New York Times seeks to profile Tim Cook after getting shut out by Apple

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  • Reply 21 of 139
    Daniel, great piece as always, which is why we cherish your appearances on my radio show, The Tech Night Owl LIVE.

    Interesting that the NY Times "reporters" never mentioned iOS 8 or Yosemite. To them, WWDC was all about Swift, though the name isn't mentioned, and Health (not HealthKit).

    But the Times also hired Molly Wood, formerly of CNET, as a tech contributor. She never met a fact she couldn't mangle. And I speak from experience, having worked with her at CNET. She mangled one of my articles as well and ignored me when I asked her to correct the piece.

    Peace,
    Gene Steinberg
    www.technightowl.com
  • Reply 22 of 139
    A new profile of Apple's chief executive, titled "Tim Cook, Making Apple his own" actually says little about Cook and virtually nothing noteworthy about how he is leading Apple. Instead, the <em>New York Times</em> simply recounts more predictions of doom for the company in a piece filled with fictions and fallacy.

    <div align="center"><img src="http://photos.appleinsidercdn.com/TimCook.100511.jpg" alt="Tim Cook" border="0" /></div>

    <h2>Not enough Cook in the kitchen</h2>

    Unsurprisingly, the article's authors Matt Richtel and Brian X. Chen have to admit early on that Cook "declined to be interviewed for this article." It's not hard to understand why.

    Richtel may be best known for his <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/05/technology/apple-woos-educators-with-trips-to-silicon-valley.html">bizarre hit piece</a> castigating Apple for <em>working to sell iPads to schools</em> in 2011.

    Chen even more famously skewered Apple for even attempting to sell its iPhone in Japan, where he assured his <em>Wired</em> readers that the nation <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/09/02/28/japanese_hate_for_iphone_all_a_big_mistake">hated it</a>. He even crafted quotes from people <em>in Japan</em> saying how "lame" the iPhone was, even if those quotes were actually completely fabricated. <q>"I think you set out to write this story," Cook told the journalists. "There was nothing that we could have said that was going to change it."</q>

    Then of course, there's the <em>New York Times</em> itself, the publication Richtel and Chen are currently writing for, which printed its "<a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/04/16/nyt-wins-pulitzer-for-ieconomy-investigative-series-on-apples-supply-chain">iEconomy</a>" series exclusively blaming Apple for everything wrong in the industry.

    Even Yukari Iwatani Kane, who kicked off the "Japan hates the iPhone" meme and crafted a masterpiece of delusional Apple doomsaying in her widely panned book "Haunted Empire," could likely anticipate that Cook wasn't going to volunteer any insight to the <em>Times</em>, given <a href="http://fortune.com/2014/03/15/from-haunted-empire-tim-cook-blasts-the-new-york-times/">her recounting</a> of the aftermath of "iEconomy" in a meeting between Cook, the series' lead reporter Charles Duhigg and the <em>Times</em> editorial board.

    "I think you set out to write this story," Cook told the journalists. "There was nothing that we could have said that was going to change it."

    <h2>The bleak crisis of Apple's success</h2>

    Without any access to write anything new about Cook, the <em>Times</em> simply begins recounting the tragic series of problems Apple now faces, the largest of which is that there isn't enough money in the world of consumer electronics to replicate the success of the iPhone.

    "Its sales now are so large that many investors worry that it can't continue to match the growth that brought it from $65 billion in sales in the 2010 fiscal year to $171 billion in 2013," the article frets.

    "In fiscal 2013, sales grew a mere 9 percent, far below an average just shy of 40 percent a year from 2004 to 2013. Profits slimmed. And the stock price fell nearly in half from its 2012 peak to the middle of 2013, vastly underperforming the market."

    It is sort of bizarre for a news story in the summer of 2014 to be detailing the "news" from the middle of 2013, but that gerrymandering of facts by Richtel and Chen is necessary because Apple's shares have rebounded over the last year, "<a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/12/28/editorial-2013-was-a-terrible-year-for-both-apples-competitors-and-its-media-critics">vastly outperforming the market</a>" one might say.

    <div align="center"><img src="http://photos.appleinsidercdn.com/AAPL.Summer13.14.png" alt="" border="0" /></div>

    Apple's performance over the last year is leading the NASDAQ, the Dow and even beating Google, along with Microsoft, HP and of course, BlackBerry (Apple is the top blue line, above).

    Apple wasn't beating the market last summer, and recounting that would have made for a good click-bait story one year ago. It wouldn't have been a very smart story, because it turned out to be a misleading trough based largely upon poor insight on the future, something that has since corrected itself, particularly each time Apple released its quarterly earnings.

    Apple's stock had the same roller coaster valuations in 2008, when Apple's share price under Steve Jobs wildly fluctuated up and down, crashing in half before doubling. That was just two years after the fabled iPhone launched and two years before the iPad failed to impress journalists at launch. There is clearly no direct correction between Apple's stock price and the appearance of the next magical iProduct.

    <h2>Where is the next iProduct?</h2>

    The rest of the Richtel's and Chen's <em>Times</em> article focuses on citing various people with prestigious titles saying dismissive things about Apple. For example, "'Where is the grand design?' asks Laurence I. Balter, chief market strategist at Oracle Investment Research." And then again, "'Show me the product,' he says. 'Show me the ingenuity.'"

    The article recounted several high-level hires Cook has made, and cites U2's Bono as saying Cook is 'trying to replace Jobs with five people.' But it can say nothing from Cook himself.

    It offhandedly credits Cook with introducing the iPad mini, citing estimates saying the smaller new iPad now makes up 60 percent of iPad sales (Apple doesn't break of sales of individual models). But then the authors describe Cooks' introduction of "two new iPhones" as having "mixed results," with the iPhone 5s selling "like gangbusters" while the <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/03/22/apples-iphone-5c-failure-flop-outsold-blackberry-windows-phone-and-every-android-flagship-in-q4">iPhone 5c</a> "disappointed."

    <div align="center"><img src="http://photos.appleinsidercdn.com/13.09.10-iPhone_5c-1.jpg" alt="" border="0" /></div>

    Again, the only "disappointment" voiced around the iPhone 5c was that <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/04/26/apples-iphone-5c-ate-up-android-while-googles-moto-x-flopped-why-everyone-was-wrong">invented by the media</a>. Cook told analysts in the company's conference calls that the 5s/5c mix was not exactly what the company had anticipated, but he obviously wasn't disappointed to have sold more higher end units.

    Additionally, Cook has <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/02/28/tim-cook-at-shareholder-meeting-iphone-5s-5c-outpace-predecessors-apple-bought-23-companies-in-16-months">repeatedly noted</a> that the 5c has outsold the middle tier model it replaced, just as the 5s also outsold Apple's previous high end flagship. The only way to be "disappointed" about that is to decide you want to be disappointed, and then actively continue to be disappointed without regard to the facts.

    Richtel's and Chen's <em>Times</em> article is quite clearly the same sort of work Cook alluded to when he reportedly told the paper "I think you set out to write this story. There was nothing that we could have said that was going to change it."

    <h2>A recap of stories from 2013</h2>

    Instead of insight, the <em>Times</em> duo treat their audience to a series of demeaning observations from academics. Michael A. Cusumano, a Sloan School of Management professor at M.I.T., says "I think it's going to be very difficult for them to come up with the next big thing. They've lost their heart and soul."

    There's no explanation of what that even means.

    Next up: a recap of iEconomy style reporting, including the idea that "a quarter of a million people had signed a petition on Change.org urging Apple to improve working conditions in the factories."

    In reality, however, the 2012 Change.org petition was organized by an uninformed individual who used a website to collect social media "likes" of a <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/02/14/slacktivism_groups_claim_credit_for_apple_supplier_audits_after_the_fact">slactivism idea</a> that wasn't accurate. Even the <em>Times</em> had to admit that Apple had already been commissioning public reports on the issues for more than six years before someone on the Internet demanded they start doing it.

    Richtel and Chen then blow through Cooks' signature accomplishments at Apple in a couple paragraphs, briefly noting that a senior advisor to President Obama praised Cook's efforts to manufacture products like the <a href="http://appleinsider.com/topics/Mac+Pro">Mac Pro</a> and source components like A-series chips, glass and sapphire screen covers in the U.S.. There's a single line of praise from Greenpeace for being "the most aggressive of the companies that we evaluated in getting renewables online."

    <div align="center"><img src="http://photos.appleinsidercdn.com/Apple.data.centers.032413.4.jpg" alt="Apple's Maiden, NC solar array" border="0" /></div>

    The article then segues from muted praise to unrelated accusations, first complaining that Apple employees don't donate enough money, then spending paragraphs on a right wing activist who at Apple's shareholder meeting tried to portray Cook as turning Apple in a "philanthropic-focused company" for daring to give consideration to climate change in the <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/03/25/apples-icloud-reigning-over-the-greenest-data-centers-on-the-planet">design of iCloud server installations</a>, that same subject Greenpeace lauded.

    <h2>WWDC: what no hardware?</h2>

    If the timing of an article that basically asks "what is Cook even doing!?" seems to be strangely out of place coming immediately after what virtually every <a href="http://appleinsider.com/topics/WWDC+2014">WWDC</a> attendee has called Apple's best show for developers ever, at least Richtel and Chen do manage to shoehorn in something from the event.

    Their primary WWDC takeaway, under the subhead "Lennon vs Ringo," (which accounts for about a quarter of the piece) is that Cook is Ringo Starr, whereas Jobs was John Lennon. That's because a WWDC attendee fed them that witty observation. The people who run Apple are like the Beatles.

    The <em>Times</em> duo then paired that with a grave warning from WWDC: Apple announced a new iOS 8 app named Health, "but did not also introduce a piece of hardware to measure those results."

    "It's something Steve wouldn't have done," the <em>Times</em> cited their WWDC attendee as saying.

    Actually, Jobs released iTunes in January 2001. The iPod wasn't delivered until October 2001.

    sockrolid wrote: »
    The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times.
    Good luck adapting your old-school Gray Lady to the 21st century.

    Oh, and good luck with your new executive editor.
    We'll see if he can turn things around for you.
  • Reply 23 of 139
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,517member
    All these comments from experts saying that Apple 'has lost its heart and soul' because of the death of one man are extremely insulting to all the amazing people that have worked on amazing products in the past and all people who are working at Apple now. It's like saying they count nothing.

    And seriously, how can any sane person still doubt Cook now?
  • Reply 24 of 139
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

    We can hate on the Times for this (and many other things) all we want but the bottom line is that they're right. Since Jobs died, what new items has Apple come out with? 

     

    Please just shut up and go away. You don't comprehend the topic of discussion, so why not just not reply?

     

    ...things that we've all been wondering why we didn't have them from the get-go.


     

    THAT'S THE ENTIRE POINT, DINGUS. That's everything Apple is about. "Why haven't we had all of our music in our pockets already?" "Why haven't we had a phone that can do everything with a single touch?" "Why haven't we had an OS that can't get viruses?"

  • Reply 25 of 139
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,517member
    ajbdtc826 wrote: »
    We can hate on the Times for this (and many other things) all we want but the bottom line is that they're right. Since Jobs died, what new items has Apple come out with? Cook's done little more than polish up what's already available with pieces that should've been in there to begin with! Look at WWDC- all these software enhancements that's disguised by "innovation" are just things that we've all been wondering why we didn't have them from the get-go. If you think I'm wrong, then take your apple stuff out of their boxes and actually use them. Oooooh TouchID is now open to devs- that's something for a .1 bump. Not a whole years worth of R&D.

    The Mac Pro.

    Poof, there goes all your lame 'argumentation'.
  • Reply 26 of 139
    ryannejryannej Posts: 15member
    ajbdtc826 wrote: »
    We can hate on the Times for this (and many other things) all we want but the bottom line is that they're right. Since Jobs died, what new items has Apple come out with? Cook's done little more than polish up what's already available with pieces that should've been in there to begin with! Look at WWDC- all these software enhancements that's disguised by "innovation" are just things that we've all been wondering why we didn't have them from the get-go. If you think I'm wrong, then take your apple stuff out of their boxes and actually use them. Oooooh TouchID is now open to devs- that's something for a .1 bump. Not a whole years worth of R&D.

    Okay, so basically products get updates and upgrades and you're mad why? That's a pretty natural swing of things in not just Apple products but all products. It's called product evolution. Its a continuous process.

    Also, you can't be serious that you think we keep our Apple products in boxes, right? This isn't like Android. Our stuff is used all day everyday for everything. At least that's how it is in my house. Meanwhile, old former Androids and PC's collect dust. Now I wonder why that is? Though I just answered that for you.
  • Reply 27 of 139
    parksgm wrote: »
    Cook has successfully handled transition of the company from perhaps the most iconic CEO of the 20th and 21st centuries with nary a misstep for the past THREE YEARS. The volatility in the tech segment is such that he would have been out within six month if he wasn't a good fit.

    If you compare the transitions from iconic corporate leaders/founders to that of their successors, the Tim Cook is being given short shrift.
    ajbdtc826 wrote: »
    Since Jobs died, what new items has Apple come out with? Cook's done little more than polish up what's already available with pieces that should've been in there to begin with!

    Yes, Tim Cook has done a remarkable job of growing Apple while doing no harm. Despite what naysayers would have you believe, Tim Cook has done a good job.

    If that were not the case, the NYT and others would be pointing out examples of other companies that have improved in transition from an iconic leader.

    In fact, given the vitriol that is placed on the shoulders of Apple leadership, I can't help but wonder why the NYT has not regaled us with outstanding examples of leadership.

    An open question to the NYT: when are you going to brag about or denigrate the transition of another tech giant, from an iconic leader to his successor? Specifically, I am talking about the transition at Microsoft, from Bill Gates to Steve Ballmer. How about fairly comparing the performance of Cook and Ballmer.
  • Reply 28 of 139
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

    This Chen guy sounds like an Asian Jayson Blair. 


     

    But race has nothing to do with what he wrote.

  • Reply 29 of 139
    After Apple stopped inviting the NYT to its introductions and special events (likely due to the B.S. NYT was writing about them), I have stopped reading anything this former stalwart of the industry had to say about Apple. Now I've just stopped reading it altogether. It's not the NYT I loved for years. It feels more like a tabloid dressed in the garb of respectability, but it's just another rag.

    The power of the press (sadly) belongs to those who have one!
  • Reply 30 of 139
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post



    We can hate on the Times for this (and many other things) all we want but the bottom line is that they're right. Since Jobs died, what new items has Apple come out with? Cook's done little more than polish up what's already available with pieces that should've been in there to begin with! Look at WWDC- all these software enhancements that's disguised by "innovation" are just things that we've all been wondering why we didn't have them from the get-go. If you think I'm wrong, then take your apple stuff out of their boxes and actually use them. Oooooh TouchID is now open to devs- that's something for a .1 bump. Not a whole years worth of R&D.

     

    So on the market now, how many phones and tablets have 64 bit operating systems and the powerful software that comes with it?

  • Reply 31 of 139
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Someone please hack Richtel's and Chen's stock trading accounts to see how many shares of APPL these guys own.

    I'm sure none of us will be surprised at the results.
  • Reply 32 of 139
    constable odoconstable odo Posts: 1,041member

    Being "disappointed" is a relative perception and not really something you can measure with pure numbers.  A company being measured by meeting or failing to meet "expectations" is another relative thing that can't be measured, but this is how Apple is being measured by the news media and Wall Street.  Even having more than enough can certainly make humans feel disappointed.  It's hard for me to understand how Wall Street can be disappointed with the most valuable publicly traded company on the planet by a huge amount.  It doesn't quite make sense if you measure the numbers, but yet the feelings of disappointment still exist in an overbearing way.  People still argue that Tim Cook isn't doing "enough" for Apple and "investors".  I suppose it's all a matter of greed that causes Apple to be considered a disappointment or failing to meet expectations.  I'm sure it can't be much more than that because Apple's actual financial numbers should be considered impressive to practically anyone.  They're huge numbers unless you compare them to the number of stars in the sky or grains of sand on a beach.

     

    Whether Steve Jobs could have done better than Tim Cook we will never know but as Apple stands now, as a company, it still looks pretty impressive to me.  However, I've learned to temper my expectations and look at Apple compared to most tech companies and Apple doesn't seem to come up short to any of them.

  • Reply 33 of 139
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    ajbdtc826 wrote: »
    We can hate on the Times for this (and many other things) all we want but the bottom line is that they're right. Since Jobs died, what new items has Apple come out with? Cook's done little more than polish up what's already available with pieces that should've been in there to begin with! Look at WWDC- all these software enhancements that's disguised by "innovation" are just things that we've all been wondering why we didn't have them from the get-go. If you think I'm wrong, then take your apple stuff out of their boxes and actually use them. Oooooh TouchID is now open to devs- that's something for a .1 bump. Not a whole years worth of R&D.

    And it took how many years to get cut/copy/paste on iOS under Jobs and you're saying Cook is doing nothing because TouchID was opened up to devs at the very next iOS cycle after its release. You're going to have to try a lot harder than that if you're going to troll.
  • Reply 34 of 139
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    clemynx wrote: »
    The Mac Pro.

    Poof, there goes all your lame 'argumentation'.

    64-bit ARM, all the HW advances on the A-series chip that best high-end smartphone performance per Watt, and Retina IPS displays at an affordable price also come to mind.
  • Reply 35 of 139
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    How can you say they got shut out by Apple when Jony Ive was quoted several times in the article?

    [QUOTE]Jonathan Ive, the head of design at Apple and a name nearly as adored by its followers as Steve Jobs, says Cook has not neglected the company's central mission: innovation. "Honestly, I don't think anything's changed," he said. And that includes the clamor for some exciting new thing. "People felt exactly the same way when we were working on the iPhone," Ive added.

    "It is hard for all of us to be patient," Ive said. "It was hard for Steve. It is hard for Tim."[/QUOTE]

    [QUOTE]Almost daily, employees would spot Jobs having lunch on Apple's campus with Ive. These days, Ive said, he meets three days a week with Cook, generally in each other's offices. But Ive said the design processes are essentially unchanged.

    "Steve established a set of values, and he established preoccupations and tones that are completely enduring," Ive said. Chief among them, he said, is a reliance on small creative teams whose membership remains intact to this day. The philosophy that materials and products are intertwined also continues under Cook. For instance, when the company decided to use titanium to build a laptop, Ive said, he and Cook and Jobs thought extensively about how to push the boundaries of the metal to get the look and feel they wanted. And Ive pointed to another enduring value: a complete focus on the product.

    If Jobs was maniacal about design, Cook projects "quiet consideration," Ive said. Cook digests things carefully, with time, which Ive said "testifies to the fact he knows it's important."[/QUOTE]
  • Reply 36 of 139
    wsharpwsharp Posts: 2member
    It's pretty obvious that these people are being paid by Samsung.
  • Reply 37 of 139
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

    How can you say they got shut out by Apple when Jony Ive was quoted several times in the article?

     

    The only redeeming quality of the article is the one quote that proves Steve Jobs was not at all receptive to a smaller iPad, contrary to what was said before.

     

    That doesn’t mean Mr. Cook is uninvolved in product decisions. Since he took over, the company has released a number of upgrades, including a smaller tablet, the iPad Mini. Mr. Cook “thought the world would love a smaller and less expensive tablet,” said Robert A. Iger, the chief executive of Disney and a member of Apple's board. It was a product that Mr. Jobs thought did not have a market, he said. 


  • Reply 38 of 139
    Yup NYT = Gizmodo with older writers.
  • Reply 39 of 139
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    The NYT has gone from respectable paper to hit whore like the rest, making up crap for ad money. Not a shock Apple cut them off.
  • Reply 40 of 139
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    The only redeeming quality of the article is the one quote that proves Steve Jobs was not at all receptive to a smaller iPad, contrary to what was said before.
    Yeah just proves Steve wasn't always right.
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