Apple shipping delays higher under Tim Cook than Steve Jobs, data finds

Posted:
in General Discussion
During the past six years with CEO Tim Cook, the average gap between Apple announcing and shipping a product has reportedly been 23 days -- more than double the 11 days under the previous six years of Steve Jobs.




Some examples of delays include the Apple Watch -- which was promised for early 2015, but shipped in late April -- and AirPods, which were intended to arrive in October 2016 but were delayed at the last minute, ultimately shipping on Dec. 20, the Wall Street Journal noted. The company was also late in delivering the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro.

Most recently the company missed a December target for the HomePod, which should now ship in the next few months. The delay may have further entrenched Apple's rivals in the smartspeaker space, Amazon and Google.

The discrepancy between Cook and Jobs is said to be at least partly attributable to preferences on when to make an announcement. Jobs normally preferred waiting until a product was ready to ship, according to former Apple workers, the exceptions being more radical products like the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

Other factors are said to include the growing complexity of Apple's products, and more micromanagement of components. Whereas early iPhones used a complete camera from a single supplier, modern ones mix-and-match parts for an ideal technical combination and maximizing profits.

Cook has shipped over 70 products under his tenure. Of these, five had gaps of three months or more, while nine arrived within one to three months. Jobs is said to have delivered roughly the same number of products, but only one had to wait over three months, and only seven came within the one- to three-month window.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    Means nothing, other than the fact Apple is a little bit more "open" about upcoming products (instead of keeping everything a secret until launch).
    pembrokemwhiteGG1mavemufcrandominternetpersonSpamSandwichStrangeDaysradarthekatandrewj5790tmay
  • Reply 2 of 61
    danv2danv2 Posts: 29member
    Honestly, I think they should do a test on how many bugs result as a cost of Jobs shipping so fast. There were problems that were put out there at times.
    pembrokegregg thurmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 61
    sergiozsergioz Posts: 202member
    The longer you wait the higher perceived value  of products that are being sold. It’s actually better if you make potential costumers wait! 
    gregg thurmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 61
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,447member
    Means nothing, other than the fact Apple is a little bit more "open" about upcoming products (instead of keeping everything a secret until launch).
    Exactly! 

    danv2 said:
    Honestly, I think they should do a test on how many bugs result as a cost of Jobs shipping so fast. There were problems that were put out there at times.
    I would like to know this as well... Rushing shit out isn't always the best idea and having a Steve Jobs at your throat all the time isn't always the best either. 

    I also think Apple is announcing for more advanced products too. We don't know if Steve would have announced AirPods if they would have been delayed as well. Same goes for Apple Watch, etc. These products are very advanced versus what Steve was shipping, which was basically new Macs for the most part. The iPhone came very late into Steve's time at Apple. 

    But....I guess we should look to let Tim go. I mean after all...this is what everyone seems to want isn't it? /s
    edited January 5 pembrokeMacsplosion
  • Reply 5 of 61
    aegeanaegean Posts: 91member
    Alternatively, they can announce things when its absolutely ready in every aspect for tomorrow's dispatch. A week or two delay in announcement is not going to hurt anyone. So basically its just shifting of timeframe. But delay is good if product is not ready yet for example HomePod and my expectation from HomePod is to give me the best possible music listening experience. The rest is totally secondary and less important.
    edited January 5 gregg thurmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 61
    TomETomE Posts: 85member
    I don't mind waiting, especially if it means getting the product right.
    As for the current Intel Chip problem, is it better to wait on new products or ship them ?
    I want to know if the product is about to change enough to make me wish I should have waited to buy or invest.

    gregg thurmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 61
    This article doesn’t even make any sense. For Cook, it notes delays for Apple Watch, AirPods, Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro’s keyboard, and HomePod. With the possible exception of the keyboard, these are all entirely new products released during Cook’s tenure. Then the article notes that for a few items, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, Jobs made the announcement well before products were ready to ship.  So... the issue is that for entirely new product lines, announcements tend to come early, and for Cook, the announced ship date is apparently a little too ambitious. Or is it that Cook is actually more of a perfectionist that Jobs, willing to delay to achieve higher quality?  I’m not sure what the information actually means. The intent, however, seems pretty clear: choose an arbitrary metric and spin it to negatively compare Cook to Jobs.

    O.K. Got it.
    randominternetpersonmuthuk_vanalingamgregg thurmanlito_lupenawatto_cobrapatchythepiratejony0
  • Reply 8 of 61
    mavemufcmavemufc Posts: 309member
    Surely that just means the one, the company now has more products, and two, they’re also pre-announcing a lot more products as well.
    randominternetpersongregg thurmanlito_lupenawatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 61
    There are plenty of explanations for this - the company is much bigger and therefore more complex, there are more leaks so secrecy makes no sense, and perhaps they've become more relaxed about sometimes letting the market know what they are working on because the competition has improved in the last ten years.
    randominternetpersongregg thurmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 61
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,347member
    Oh, brother.
    philboogiegregg thurman
  • Reply 11 of 61
    It's not great when Apple misses an announced date, but the solution is probably just to be more conservative about a) when to announce and b) what ship date to announce.  Under promise and over deliver isn't a bad rule of thumb.  Or just do what Steve did and don't have the event until you can say "and it's in stores TODAY!"
    SpamSandwichgregg thurmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 61
    eacummeacumm Posts: 91member
    TomE said:
    I don't mind waiting, especially if it means getting the product right.
    As for the current Intel Chip problem, is it better to wait on new products or ship them ?
    I want to know if the product is about to change enough to make me wish I should have waited to buy or invest.

    But what have they got right, nothing my iPad Pro 2nd generation has been replaced once 3 months ago, now this one is doing the same thing as the old one and most likely will be replaced, my iPhone X has a problem that Apples Engineers are trying to figure out for 2 weeks now, but they have been unable to figure out what’s causing the problem. Apple needs to get things right or they will lose me as a costumer.
  • Reply 13 of 61
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,936member
    Uh oh, better get his marching orders ready. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 61
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,936member
    It's not great when Apple misses an announced date, but the solution is probably just to be more conservative about a) when to announce and b) what ship date to announce.  Under promise and over deliver isn't a bad rule of thumb.  Or just do what Steve did and don't have the event until you can say "and it's in stores TODAY!"
    The problem with not announcing until it ships is the incessant whining from the tech pundits, complaining about why apple doesn’t have this, is behind, is too secretive, etc. It never stops, no matter which route they go. 
    gregg thurmanwatto_cobrarandominternetperson
  • Reply 15 of 61
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,936member
    eacumm said:
    TomE said:
    I don't mind waiting, especially if it means getting the product right.
    As for the current Intel Chip problem, is it better to wait on new products or ship them ?
    I want to know if the product is about to change enough to make me wish I should have waited to buy or invest.
    But what have they got right, nothing my iPad Pro 2nd generation has been replaced once 3 months ago, now this one is doing the same thing as the old one and most likely will be replaced, my iPhone X has a problem that Apples Engineers are trying to figure out for 2 weeks now, but they have been unable to figure out what’s causing the problem. Apple needs to get things right or they will lose me as a costumer.
    Yeah your claim that they’ve got nothing right is pretty much bullshit. My iPad Pro kicks ass. My X kicks ass. My AW3 kicks ass. My AirPods kick ass.*

    *side note, my SO’s right airpod was flaky so we submitted a ticket online. They had a replacement at our door the next day! Sent the old one back. That’s service!
    king editor the gratemike1gregg thurmanwatto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 16 of 61
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,428moderator
    AppleZulu said:
    This article doesn’t even make any sense. For Cook, it notes delays for Apple Watch, AirPods, Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro’s keyboard, and HomePod. With the possible exception of the keyboard, these are all entirely new products released during Cook’s tenure. Then the article notes that for a few items, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, Jobs made the announcement well before products were ready to ship.  So... the issue is that for entirely new product lines, announcements tend to come early, and for Cook, the announced ship date is apparently a little too ambitious. Or is it that Cook is actually more of a perfectionist that Jobs, willing to delay to achieve higher quality?  I’m not sure what the information actually means. The intent, however, seems pretty clear: choose an arbitrary metric and spin it to negatively compare Cook to Jobs.

    O.K. Got it.
    Apple was always keenly aware of the Osborne effect and careful not to make itself a victim of that.  And there’s the rub.  You never want to announce far in advance a product that will cause your customers to delay purchases of your existing products, but you do want to announce far in advance products that will cause your competitor’s customers to delay purchases of their products, or decide to forego those purchases in favor of waiting for your offering.  And that’s the reason you want to announce far in advance your initial offering in a product category in which you don’t yet sell products, like the initial Apple Watch, or in the past the first iPhone and first iPad.  But not when you already have products in a category.

    And there exists some gray area, where a far-in-advance announcement causes your customers to delay purchases of your products but also causes your competitors customers to delay or forego purchases of competitor’s offerings, if your calculus is such that you’ll harm yourself less than you’ll adversely effect your competition.  

    And so it all makes sense. .
    entropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 61
    Point is...?  This isn't even an apples-to-apples comparison...pun intended.
    watto_cobrabaconstangmavemufc
  • Reply 18 of 61
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,678member
    I thought only Elon Musk missed self-imposed deadlines. I guess now it doesn't mean they're doomed if a company has some delays.

    Means nothing, other than the fact Apple is a little bit more "open" about upcoming products (instead of keeping everything a secret until launch).
    Still, it's better to underpromise and overdeliver. Missing so many self-imposed deadlines doesn't look good for multiple reasons. The switch to Intel was an amazing, in no small part, to starting the switch so far ahead of the first stated timeframe.
    edited January 5 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 61
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,678member

    AppleZulu said:
    This article doesn’t even make any sense. For Cook, it notes delays for Apple Watch, AirPods, Apple Pencil, the iPad Pro’s keyboard, and HomePod. With the possible exception of the keyboard, these are all entirely new products released during Cook’s tenure. Then the article notes that for a few items, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, Jobs made the announcement well before products were ready to ship.  So... the issue is that for entirely new product lines, announcements tend to come early, and for Cook, the announced ship date is apparently a little too ambitious. Or is it that Cook is actually more of a perfectionist that Jobs, willing to delay to achieve higher quality?  I’m not sure what the information actually means. The intent, however, seems pretty clear: choose an arbitrary metric and spin it to negatively compare Cook to Jobs.

    O.K. Got it.
    Apple was always keenly aware of the Osborne effect and careful not to make itself a victim of that.  And there’s the rub.  You never want to announce far in advance a product that will cause your customers to delay purchases of your existing products, but you do want to announce far in advance products that will cause your competitor’s customers to delay purchases of their products, or decide to forego those purchases in favor of waiting for your offering.  And that’s the reason you want to announce far in advance your initial offering in a product category in which you don’t yet sell products, like the initial Apple Watch, or in the past the first iPhone and first iPad.  But not when you already have products in a category.

    And there exists some gray area, where a far-in-advance announcement causes your customers to delay purchases of your products but also causes your competitors customers to delay or forego purchases of competitor’s offerings, if your calculus is such that you’ll harm yourself less than you’ll adversely effect your competition.  

    And so it all makes sense. .
    When you're in Apple's position, just like MS was in the 90s, the promise of an upcoming product can be an shady marketing tactic. I don't think Apple is pulling a MS because, for example, the market for, say, the iMac Pro isn't likely to switch to Windows or Linux. Instead they'll just keep using their current Mac until the product is released… all while bitching about Apple not having a cheese grater tower anymore.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 61
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,387member
    Soli said:
    I thought only Elon Musk missed self-imposed deadlines. I guess now it doesn't mean they're doomed if a company has some delays.

    Means nothing, other than the fact Apple is a little bit more "open" about upcoming products (instead of keeping everything a secret until launch).
    Still, it's better to underpromise and overdeliver. Missing so many self-imposed deadlines doesn't look good for multiple reasons. The switch to Intel was an amazing, in no small part, to starting the switch so far ahead of the first stated timeframe.
    When, or, which car, didn't make the self-imposed deadline? I thought all their cars made it out the door on time.

    Anyway, the Intel architecture? Allegedly they've always been running/designed for Intel CPU's, beginning with Rhapsody. That's because they intended the OS to run on x86, including DEC Alpha workstations as well as PPC's.

    Their transition to APFS is, in my opinion, is a much greater achievement. Pity it doesn't support compression, yet.
    watto_cobra
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