Tim Cooks talks about the iPhone 4S during the launch on October 4, 2011
Yesterday we were treated to a never before heard of event. Whilst Tim Cook has spoke at Goldman Sachs’ Internet and Technology conference in past years (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011) this year marked the first time that Apple has opted to offer a stream of the interview on its investor website.
Listening in first hand was the treat many expected it to be, that is if you went in with the understanding that this wasn’t an open interview between Bill Shope and Tim Cook, in fact it was more of a structured Q&A that offers a wide ranging State of Apple.
Much of what was discussed during the 50 minute session wasn’t terribly new, there were no big surprises and despite the customary warning about forward looking statements there were actually very few. What was of interest from hearing Tim Cook talk was his clear passion for Apple. Spending time making jokes (primarily aimed at Google) and carefully ruminating over how to structure an answer, Cook came across much less the one-dimensional character we often hear on financial conference calls and more a human leader of Apple; a true successor to Steve Jobs.
Currys and PC World 2-in-1 Superstore | Image courtesy of Dixons
So today we got the answer to a question that we’ve been pondering for a number of months and we got Tim Cook’s first major hire as the official CEO of Apple. But I for one am a little skeptical.
Apple’s former chief of retail announced last year that he would be departing Apple to become CEO of J.C. Penney. The loss of Ron Johnson at the time seemed like a huge deal, Apple’s retail stores have been a shining example of retail success and many of the stores themselves are an amazing example of crossing the paths of old architecture and a contemporary company.
I for one am a huge Apple Store fan, and I’m lucky enough to live not too far from my favourite Apple store in London’s Covent Garden. To me Apple’s retail stores really define how the company has changed, their growing size and pervasiveness reflects Apple’s growing size and its sometimes unwelcome foray into unfettered markets. But also the diversity of these stores reflects Apple’s diversity, not just in products but also in its people and of course the efficiency and the technological boundaries pushed within the walls of an Apple retail store are admired the around the world—think Easy Pay and personal pickup as just two amazing examples.
This success which can be witnessed with your own eyes can also be witnessed in Apple’s financials, during the last reported quarter individual store quarterly revenue was up 43 percent year-over-year to $17.3 million and during the quarter, which included the busy holiday shopping season, each store hosted 22,000 visitors per week.
All of this was in part Ron Johnson’s vision, with a heavy dose of Steve Jobs, and he put it into reality.
Apple today announced financial results for its first fiscal quarter of 2012 which ran from September 25 until December 31. The Company posted revenue of $46.33 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $26.74 billion and net quarterly profit of $6 billion, or $* per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 44.7 percent compared to 38.5 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 58 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
During the quarter Apple also sold 5.2 million Macs representing a 26 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 37.04 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 128 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter as well as 15.4 million iPods during the quarter, representing a 21 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 15.43 million iPads during the quarter, a 111 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter.
“We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.”
“We are very happy to have generated over $17.5 billion in cash flow from operations during the December quarter,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the second fiscal quarter of 2012, which will span 13 weeks, we expect revenue of about $32.5 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $8.50.”
Earlier this month I wrote a short piece on Apple’s first fiscal quarter of 2012. The quarter which ran from September 25 until December 31 looks likely to be an all round record breaker for Apple. In that post I focused on Apple’s quarterly revenue and remarked on just how incredible the quarter looks on paper.
Today Apple will announce the results of Q112 and it’s not just revenue that will impress Wall Street. Apple is set to dazzle even the casual onlookers as the numbers are released.
Apple today updated the iPod touch and iPod nano with the iPod touch now available in black and white.
The new iPod nano is available today starting at just $129 and features a redesigned user interface, 16 new digital clock faces and improved built-in fitness features.
“iPod has revolutionized the way we listen to music and with over 320 million sold is the world’s most popular music player,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “iPod touch, now available in both black and white, is the best selling iPod ever, and with iOS 5 and iCloud it is better than ever.”
Apple has now settled its holiday lineup which includes the iPod shuffle for just £40; iPod nano with Multi-Touch starting at just £115; iPod touch available in black or white, including iOS 5 and iCloud, starting at just £169; and iPod classic in a 160GB model for £199.
Ahead of the iPhone 4S release on October 14 Apple will release iOS 5 to the public. On the same day, October 12, Apple will unleash iCloud to users of iOS 5 and OS X Lion.
“iCloud is the easiest way to manage your content, because iCloud does it all for you and goes far beyond anything available today,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “You don’t have to think about syncing your devices, because it happens automatically, and it is free.”
iCloud services include iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that work seamlessly with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices.
iOS 5 which was previewed in detail back in June at its unveiling has today been released as a golden master to registered iOS developers. iOS 5 includes over 200 new features including Notification Center, an innovative way to easily view and manage notifications in one place without interruption; iMessage™, a new messaging service that lets you easily send text messages, photos and videos between all iOS 5 users; and Newsstand, a new way to purchase and organize your newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
iCloud will be available on October 12 as a free download to iPhone, iPad or iPod touch users running iOS 5 or a Mac running OS X Lion with a valid Apple ID. iCloud includes 5GB of free cloud storage for Mail, Document Storage and Backup. Purchased music, TV shows, apps, books and Photo Stream do not count against the storage limit. iTunes Match will be available starting in the US later this month for $24.99 a year. Using iCloud with a PC requires Windows Vista or Windows 7; Outlook 2010 or 2007 is recommended for accessing contacts and calendars. Additional iCloud storage upgrades are available to purchase starting at $20 a year for 10GB, $40 a year for 20GB and $100 a year for 50GB.
iOS 5 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and iPod touch (third and fourth generation) customers, allowing them to experience the amazing new features.
Apple has today announced the much anticipated fifth-generation iPhone called ‘iPhone 4S’. The iPhone 4S features Apple’s A5 dual-core processor, an amazing new camera and Siri an intelligent voice assistant.
“iPhone 4S plus iOS 5 plus iCloud is a breakthrough combination that makes the iPhone 4S the best iPhone ever,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “While our competitors try to imitate iPhone with a checklist of features, only iPhone can deliver these breakthrough innovations that work seamlessly together.”
Siri is the headline feature for the iPhone 4S and despite being software only requires the devices A5 processor. Siri understands context allowing you to speak naturally when you ask it questions, for example, if you ask “Will I need an umbrella this weekend?” it understands you are looking for a weather forecast. Siri is also smart about using the personal information you allow it to access, for example, if you tell Siri “Remind me to call Mom when I get home” it can find “Mom” in your address book, or ask Siri “What’s the traffic like around here?” and it can figure out where “here” is based on your current location. Siri helps you make calls, send text messages or email, schedule meetings and reminders, make notes, search the Internet, find local businesses, get directions and more. You can also get answers, find facts and even perform complex calculations just by asking.
iPhone 4S packs an 8MP camera with a new custom lens with a larger f/2.4 aperture and an advanced hybrid IR filter that can produce, sharper, brighter and more accurate images.
iPhone 4S can also now record video in full 1080p HD resolution and with the new video image stabilization feature, you can take richer, smoother videos. Other iPhone 4S video camera improvements include increased sensitivity, sharpness and an increased ability to capture video in low light conditions.
iPhone 4S features the same design as the iPhone 4 but now with both CDMA and GSM antennas and also supports HSDPA with speeds up to 14.4 MBps.
iPhone 4S comes in either black or white and will be available in the US for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model and $299 (US) for the 32GB model and $399 (US) for the new 64GB model.
iPhone 4S will be available from the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and through AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless.
iPhone 4S will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK on Friday, October 14 and customers can pre-order their iPhone 4S beginning Friday, October 7.
Continuing towards a self-set goal of opening 30 new retail stores before the end of September, Apple will this weekend open another three. So far Apple has opened 14 new stores in four weeks with another four to go.
In other retail store news, work at Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City is progressing at a rapid pace. TUAW this week has posted pictures and video of the new glass panels being unloaded for use in the stores brand new cube. Work began on Apple’s iconic store two months ago, one of the aims of the renovation work is to reduce the number of glass panels used to make up the cube from 90 panels to just 15.
Steve Jobs served as Apple’s CEO for 14 years. This week sees the biggest shuffle in Apple’s executive structure since 1997, the changes are reflected in the updated executive bio page on Apple’s website.
Tim Cook the new Chief Executive Officer of Apple has served as Chief Operating Officer since 2007 but he was snapped up by Jobs in 1998 following a short tenure at Compaq as VP of Corporate Materials. Cook is no stranger to the computer industry, outside of his long stint at Apple he has also worked for IBM and Intelligent Electronics.
In an excellent profile of Cook published by CNN in 2008 Adam Lashinsky gives a detailed look at the man who had been predicted to take over from Jobs for several years.
As pointed out by Lashinsky Cook once said that Jobs was “irreplacable” adding that “I see Steve there with gray hair in his 70s, long after I’m retired.”
Famed for keeping Apple’s product inventory the tightest of any electronics company and known as the man behind the deals that cornered entire component markets, like that $1.25 billion purchase of NAND flash in 2005.
Some of Jobs’ features also shine through in Cook, he is regularly sending email at ungodly hours and organises conference calls and meetings at any point in the week, his favourite being Sunday evening. As pointed out in Lashinsky’s extensive bio, Cook is also known to be formidable in meetings and with personnel, with a previous unnamed Apple executive saying that he’s seen Cook “shred people” in particular, “He asks you the questions he knows you can’t answer, and he keeps going and going. It isn’t funny, and it’s not fun.”
Also in true Jobsian style, Cook last year delivered a commencement speech at his alumni university Auburn.
Cook is no stranger to being the CEO of Apple, during 2004 when Steve Jobs was first diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer, Cook served in his place. Since then Cook has stepped in for Jobs twice, the first in 2009, earning him a cool $22 million bonus to say thanks and the second time of course beginning earlier this year.
Cook has big boots to step into but almost 24 hours after the news broke of Jobs’ departure it appears clear that investors, analysts and pundits are fully behind the new CEO and confident that Apple can continue its phenomenal success.
The sensible amongst us know that Steve Jobs was not Apple alone and many hundreds of talented people make up the successful consumer electronics company. That aside Jobs undoubtedly has a knack for understanding a product, his wisdom will for now remain at Apple as he serves on the board and no doubt takes an active role in future product development.
Cook has immediate challenges on his hands though, his previous position of COO needs to be filled quickly, most likely with Jeff Williams, and Ron Johnson Vice President for Retail will depart to be CEO of JC Penny later this year and will also require a speedy replacement.
Consensus across the valley and across the world is that Jobs will be missed as the iconic figurehead of Apple. We haven’t heard the last of Steve Jobs though and with the eminent blessing of Jobs we can all confidently stand behind Tim Cook as he continues to steer Apple.
Below is the first email sent to Apple employees from Tim Cook as Apple’s new CEO:
I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.
Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve’s ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman.
I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that—it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.
I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.
Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple with Tim Cook being named his successor. Steve Jobs will remain as chairman of the board and Tim Cook joins the board. The following letter was submitted to the Apple board of directors:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.
Official Apple press release:
Apple’s Board of Directors today announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.
“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s Board. “Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”
“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” added Levinson. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”
Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board today and strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.
As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.