Antagonism and Arrogance - Tim Cook Personifies Apple’s Approach to Android

| Editorial

Apple wowed a lot of people with previews of its new version of OS X, called Yosemite, which looks beautiful. Equally impressive was the the performance of Craig Federighi, the Senior Vice President who delivered most of yesterday's WWDC keynote. 

Federighi's high energy performance was in stark contrast to that of his boss, CEO Tim Cook.  While Federighi was charming and self-deprecating, Cook’s sections were filled with rubbish jokes, mostly at the expense of Android. 

Craig Federighi and Tim Cook

Good Cop, Mean Cop?

Even if they had been funny, the digs at Apple's major mobile rival were in poor taste. Many of the new features being announced for iOS 8 have long been standard on Android devices, most pertinently access to the third party keyboards.

It also revealed the full extent of Apple’s paranoia about it’s more dominant rival. While Apple yesterday seemed to be keen to bring in Windows users, by announcing features like iCloud Drive, it was actively antagonizing Android users.

The approach did not seem to go down well with those I was watching it with, and that was the Mac User Group in London! These user group members are obviously hugely passionate about Apple products, and were excited by many of the announcements, but had little interest in the partisan tone Cook so often adopted.

It’s clear that Apple is trying to make sure that the next PC or laptop a Windows user buys is a Mac. They are letting them get a taste of the improved syncing between devices, while depriving them of the the full power of Continuity.

However, the company seems to be taking a ‘you’re either with us or against us’ approach to Android users, saying we now have many of the features you like, so choose. Oh, and if you don’t join us we aren’t going to make your life easier. Mr. Cook’s dubious punchlines and mocking graphs personified this attitude, trying to make Android users feel stupid.

OS X Yosemite is a knockout, and iOS 8 vastly improves the entire Apple ecosystem. It’s just a shame that Mr. Cook decided to mock his rivals, instead of focusing on the positive message about the two new operating systems.

Comments

iGrouch

It seems to be one of those power trip things that goes with high power situations in big business. Not sure if this is just typically American or universal. A bit of restraint would be appreciated.

What’s most worrying is this:  If all these execs from all the main tech companies are so pre-ocupied by this one-up-manship it distracts from serving the general public well. Just imagine where Xcompany introduces features to make other ecosystems less effective by thwarting interoperability or stating that it won’t buy into some burgeoning new technology that is being adopted by the industry. 

One could be forgiven by viewing the race to the top as some sort of headless chicken producing worthless and often inane products, things that are possibly not needed and wasteful of precious resources at our disposal.

Possibly cooler heads prevail within the creative workforces of the companies to balance this out.

adamC

So is the writer is trying to mock Apple by saying whatever in iOS 8 is already in android.

Shouldn’t she take the stand that both are great systems and loved by those using them.

iGrouch

Possibly…..

paikinho

Really? Antagonism and Arrogance.
C’mon…..
Ribbing your competition is as old as the hills.
I’m not even an Apple guy and I thought the points made were good because, if accurate they clearly demarcate the difference in the platforms as well as make for a sound reason one might wish to have an Apple product over an android based product.

Perhaps the author didn’t appreciate it, but I thought it was well played and not in the slightest arrogant.
The last thing I would equate with Cooks statements are paranoia. It seems that if one is calling someone arrogant then they are filled with an overinflated view of themselves. If someone is paranoid, then they tend to have a deep pit of lack of confidence in their own abilities.

What I saw was mere facts being layed out in a humorous way that was just trying to state the case of why someone should buy Apple products over Android based devices. That is salesmanship.

d'monder

Apple, do not ever forget this:

“We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. We have to embrace a notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. And if others are going to help us, that’s great because we need all the help we can get. And if we screw it and we don’t do a good job, it’s not somebody’s else’s fault. It’s our fault. ”

-Steve Jobs, August 1997.

iGrouch

OK paikinho!! My post is better than yours… Because it was first!! ; )

Now I can see how this ribbing starts.

mrmwebmax

+

While I only “saw” the keynote through TMO’s coverage, and d’monder’s apt quote from Steve Jobs notwithstanding, this is Apple we’re talking about. As in, “Redmond, start your photocopiers.” As in “I’m a PC, and I’m a Mac.” (Granted, those were pretty lighthearted.) As in Photoshop bake-offs. As in a commercial, back in the PowerPC days, that showed a Pentium riding a snail.

Remember when the G4 came out, and it was so fast it was classified by the US Government as a weapon? I remember a commercial that showed the G4 surrounded by tanks, and the tagline: “Oh, and Pentium PCs? Well…those are mostly harmless.”

And who could forget the disco inferno commercials showing Intel engineers in bunny suits catching fire? Good times.

Apple has, and always will, trash-talk their competition. The most famous television commercial of all time, 1984, was about comparing IBM to Big Brother. If you want to hear some real trash-talking, listen to the speech given by Jobs before he unveils the commercial to an internal audience. He dings IBM for passing up on Xerography, minicomputers, microcomputers, then paints them in a truly evil light: “Will Big Blue dominate the entire Information age? Was George Orwell right about 1984?”—cue the commercial. The place went nuclear.

And, as has been stated, Cook made some valid points regarding Android fragmentation and malware. Its his job to make sure every developer in the room still develops for iOS, and part of that is to discourage them from developing—or worse yet leaving—for Android.

Apple has been called a religion countless times. Its fans have been called iSheep, drinkers of Kool-Aid, fashion and status-conscious techno-fools. An entire cottage industry has existed for decades predicting the company’s doom. Books like Haunted Empire are written. There are probably more columns stating that Apple can no longer innovate without Steve Jobs on the web then there are pictures of cats. (OK, that’s a stretch. Cats rulz te inter webz.) Heck, there’s even a counter-cottage industry to address foolish Apple punditry in the likes of The Macalope and TMO’s ADKC, to name two. So yeah, Apple deserves to talk a bit of smack now and then.

Blissmonkey

Then the London group seems to have missed the whole point: Tim was ribbing Android in a way that’s purposeful to developers.

Developers care what kind of activity is going on with users; who’s updating to the latest OS, who’s involved in the security of their phone—who cares about their phone enough to make it an active part of their lives and participates enough to, wait for it buy apps!

So, Cooks ribbing is a signal to the people watching, the people that paid a whole lotta dough to be there: we have a ton of apps, a ton of users, and those users are intimately involved in the use of their phones: they’re using the latest software at record rates, they are quick adopters to new technology, and they buy apps.

Unlike the competition.

Adding Swift is icing on the cake for developers.  Cook’s job is to make Apple look like a developers paradise, and that’s exactly what he did.  So, what’s the complain about?

Blissmonkey

Then the London group seems to have missed the whole point: Tim was ribbing Android in a way that’s purposeful to developers.

Developers care what kind of activity is going on with users; who’s updating to the latest OS, who’s involved in the security of their phone—who cares about their phone enough to make it an active part of their lives and participates enough to, wait for it buy apps!

So, Cooks ribbing is a signal to the people watching, the people that paid a whole lotta dough to be there: we have a ton of apps, a ton of users, and those users are intimately involved in the use of their phones: they’re using the latest software at record rates, they are quick adopters to new technology, and they buy apps.

Unlike the competition.

Adding Swift is icing on the cake for developers.  Cook’s job is to make Apple look like a developers paradise, and that’s exactly what he did.  So, what’s the complain about?

Placebo Effect

Here’s some arrogance…. Apple Executive Dr. Dre Talks About That Time He Gang-Raped a Prostitute and Then Killed Her… http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2014/05/29/apple-executive-dr-dre-talks-time-gang-raped-prostitute-killed

paikinho

iGrouch
Doesn’t matter who posted first or last.
Doesn’t matter whose post is better or not.
Is their ribbing going on in your second post? Or my first post?

I remain confused.

aardman

All I can say is Eh?  Since when did anyone in Silicon Valley not take potshots at the competition?  The author and the London people she referred to thinks only Tim Cook does this because they only pay attention when it’s Apple talking.

mistergsf

Hey @charlotteahenry and London Group, grow a pair. What a bunch of wusses.

mistergsf

“However, the company seems to be taking a ‘you’re either with us or against us’ approach to Android users, saying we now have many of the features you like, so choose. Oh, and if you don’t join us we aren’t going to make your life easier. Mr. Cook’s dubious punchlines and mocking graphs personified this attitude, trying to make Android users feel stupid.”

Maybe Charlotte is the one who is paranoid. I’ve seen the keynote twice and never did I get this take on it.  How were the graphs Tim Cook presented mocking?

KurtG

I do think that the author missed the point.  Not sure about the London MUG.  Then again the culture of Silicon Valley is certainly not London’s.  Enjoyed all the comments though.  Good to see the controversy.

iJack

Weenie Brits.
Apple is paranoid about nothing!

RacerBloke

The writer should refrain from commenting on business - a subject of which she clearly has no grasp!

I’m also a brit but not a ‘weenie’. Hurry up iJack, you’ll be late for school.

anovelli

I got just a twinge, mainly from the sense that there is still a significant underdog aspect to the Apple persona, which seems to feel it needs to take potshots. There is absolute justification if not need to identify to that audience the switchers and adoption rates, but the style could shift some. And beyond that, Craig is still just plain goofy, and Tim is only somewhat less cardboard. I appreciated the other engineer cameos very much. Seemed more real and natural.

gnasher729

Charlotte, I get the impression that you are easily offended. Maybe that you are looking to be offended. I’d say the problem is not what Tim Cook said, which is actually absolutely fine with me, but how you took it.

I mean, get real. Do you _not_ expect Tim Cook to make strong pro-Apple statements? He’s the CEO of the company. It’s _his job_ to present Apple in the best possible light and the competitors / copiers in the worst possible light. You are confusing self confidence with arrogance.

Now about your complaint about third party keyboards being standard: I don’t know if it occurred to you, but third party keyboards get access to every single character I type. They are the perfect means to steal information from me. Therefore, such software must be absolutely prevented from passing on that information to anyone. Do you think anyone on Android was bothered by that at any time?

pattii

Must be these people’s first Keynote.
Steve Jobs poked fun at Microsoft for years in Keynotes. Also jabbed at Intel. Did it in TV commercials too—Apple toasts the Intel bunny suite guy and all the Mac vs. PC ads mercilessly made fun of what people using PC’s ridiculously choose to endure. Presenting humorous knocks at the competition has always been an Apple tradition to open people’s eyes to a better product, it’s part of the fabric of an Apple Keynote.

Nothing new here at all.

anovelli

Gnasher, totally agree. My partner found a newish droid on her morning walk and while it required a pass code to make a call, I had access to everything else. It was a joke. Facebook, email, contacts, settings, everything. It’s possible that it wasn’t set up properly, but to have that level of access just speaks to how important security is to them.

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