Steve Jobs Should Not Come Back to Apple

| Editorial

Will Steve Jobs come back to Apple as scheduled this summer? Maybe. But I would submit that he shouldn't.

I'll say it again: Steve Jobs should not come back as Chief Executive Officer of Apple.

Not "he will not," or guesses to that effect. He should not. It's not necessary, he's not needed and it can be argued it's not good for him or Apple.

Jobs said, in his open letter from mid-January, "...the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction..." If Jobs comes back to Apple as the company's CEO, what makes anyone think that wil change? Even if Jobs comes back looking as hale and hearty as he has in the past, there will always be questions about his health. Granted, a lot of those questions are due to Apple obfuscating in the past regarding Jobs but that won't stop pundits, the media and the Mac Community from wondering and speculating about the issue. It has been and will continue to be a distraction for the company as long as Jobs is the face of Apple.

Look at it from two points of view: Does Apple need Jobs as CEO and does Jobs need to be Apple's CEO?

Tim Cook, from all outward appearances, has done his usual calm, cool and collected job as the replacement CEO as he has in the past as the company's Chief Operating Officer. We have not heard one single word questioning his ability to lead Apple through not only the internal turmoil Jobs' absence may have caused but also the external turmoil of the world economy at large.

Cook's leadership seems to have calmed investor's fears regarding the company. The stock has closed above US$100 for the past week with no signs of collapse on the horizon. Developers are pleased with the course of the iPhone 3.0 software announcements, due later this summer, and Snow Leopard is making steady progress.

Speaking of the iPhone 3.0 launch, did you notice who opened the presentation? You probably didn't because it wasn't Steve Jobs. But Apple proved that they can have a major event, invite the world's press and grab the community's attention without Jobs' presence.

Apple has announced new products and services without Steve Jobs. They are certainly working on even more surprises for us in the coming weeks and months. Does Apple actually need Jobs to simply introduce us to those products?

How about the other point of view: Does Jobs need to be Apple's CEO?

Remember when Jobs came back to Apple as CEO, he did so (seemingly) reluctantly. He was the "iCEO" (Interim CEO) for a very long time. The company spent a considerable amount of time and money trying to find a "real" CEO only to come to the realization that Jobs was the guy all along.

Make no mistake: Jobs did an amazing job as the CEO. He slashed the company's product line, streamlined operations, brought in new blood, energized the old guard and created or approved entirely new products and revenue streams for the company, putting Apple in market segments no one foresaw or expected.

But there were also considerable missteps. The Mac Cube and the stock options scandal spring immediately to mind. Jobs' well known (and mostly assumed) prickliness has occassionally been an issue. His well known desire for both his own personal privacy and Apple's corporate secrecy have also caused problems both inside and outside Apple.

So while Jobs may want to run the company, he doesn't need to.

Wouldn't Jobs be happier as a "Big Picture Guy?" A guy who doesn't need to deal with the minutiae of the day to day operations of the company. Doesn't need to deal with the media's seeming obsession with his health, his wardrobe, or where he parks. A guy who can focus, behind the scenes, on creating the next Great Product for one of the most remarkable companies in the world.

Why come back and subject himself to all of us peons questioning him, second guessing him, prying into his private life and his health? Why not be a "behind the scenes advisor" or even the company's official "Chief Idea Officer?" After all, it seems like he's already doing something similar. He said in his January letter, "As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out." Does anyone believe that Jobs is completely hands off during his recuperation?

He could still come back on special occasions to give a speech or a keynote if he felt like it and on his own terms to excite the masses. But Apple has shown they have plenty of people who can hold Jobs' remote and give a good presentation. After all, the exciting thing about an Apple presentation is never really about who gives the keynote but what they say and announce. Joswiak, Cook, Schiller, Forstall et al have shown they can give presentations that can get the media and community just as excited about new products and services as anything Jobs has done.

He could still be involved in the company he obviously loves but do so in the way of his choosing without having to be nearly as answerable to Wall Street, the media and the Mac Community.

And it would be healthier for Apple because as long as Steve Jobs is CEO, his very presence is commanding enough to distract not only the media, Wall Street and the Mac Community from Apple, it distracts Apple from the job Apple needs to do going forward.

Steve Jobs' time at Apple is far from over. His genius, drive, insight and determination are still needed at the company. But maybe, for his own good and that of Apple, he should step down as CEO and focus those amazing qualities in ways that don't distract from the company's mission -- continuing to lead the industry in innovation, imagination and nerve.


Shawn King has been an Internet Broadcaster for over 14 years and is the host of the Your Mac Life show.

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Comments

breeze

Take your self pompous importance to the toilet where it belongs-Ape.

If you had a clue about running a company and achievement, you might be in a position to show us how much you have a clue = in your case, you would join the ranks of jerk CEO’s (if you made it that far) that drive a company to the ground.

Those that can do and those that talk, usually can’t do anything but talk.

I Apple had to do things according to how idiots like yourself think, we know where they would be too…

joe

Did you know that Apple was started on April fools day?

Andyda

It seems that Apple is still running on things planned while Steve was in Full-time.  Before any predictions are made about how well Apple is doing without Steve we first need to see an Apple that is being run without things Steve set in place.  That could be a year or more before those plans run out.

Just MHO, YMMV

Andy

geoduck

I happen to agree with the article. Jobs could come back in some sort of Emeritus* position, gently guiding from behind, doing what he does best, but not the top guy. He gets to do what he likes, and Apple would benefit from a more stable management team. Apple would not lose the benefit of having Apple on board, and Jobs continued his involvement with the company that is such a part of his persona.

Sounds like a much better plan than Jobs returning as CEO and the ‘is Jobs sick again’ crap starting all over again.

*My background in academia is showing.

Gregg Thurman

This is a well written hit generator, but that’s all it is.  Just another wannabe “journalist” writing about a subject he knows little about.  I’m not even sure he really cares, as long as his “writing” keeps him in clover.

fultonkbd

Does Apple need Steve or vice versa? Interesting question but kind of pointless. We will find out eventually.

If the past is any indication… then Apple needs Steve. Apple needed Steve to start the company. He was then forced out and Apple became lost due to various factors, but it took Steve to get things back on track.

But we don’t live in the past. But we do find that Steve has once again been “forced out”. Will Apple continue to survive? Sure… Steve has set them up nicely for the immediate future.

The question to ask would be how does Apple move forward without Steve being the driving force? We as the ignorant can only speculate.

Dean Lewis

While I don’t necessarily agree with several of the points, or the raison d’?tre behind the points, I do agree that it may be time for Jobs to become, like geoduck said, a CEO Emeritus. What Jobs has set up will be in place for quite some time. If he were to leave and the company turned around immediately to do all sorts of things differently, the resulting press and investor unease would be more than anything we’ve seen due to Jobs’ health. I don’t see that happening.

breeze

The real distraction to Apple specifically is the lack of “manipulative” news regulation by the SEC.

Nadrews

Funny… happy April fools day to you too Shawn :]

MacMacGuyver

You hack!  What kind of journalist are you?  Burn in HELLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!

Loren

Take your self pompous importance to the toilet where it belongs-Ape.

Wow.  The author of the article has an opinion.  He shared it and his reasoning behind it with us.  If you have a different opinion or think his logic is flawed, then why not try to express that intelligently, rather than just attack him.

Oh.  Wait.  Sorry. I forgot.  It’s the internet.  Never mind.

ilovemacs

steve will always be apple,and apple will ALWAYS be steve.

HawaiiMacAddict

I completely agree with this article, and do not think this is an example of a well-written April Fool’s Day posting.  When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1997, one of the things he did was bring in people cut from his cloth, ones who share the same outlook on Apple’s future.  During the past 10 years, they have continually learned from Steve, and have grown more and more into their jobs, to the point where Steve is no longer needed to direct the daily grind at Apple.  As we all know that he will not be at Apple indefinitely, it would be good for all parties concerned to have Steve step down from the daily chores and let his hand-picked executive team takeover the grunt work.  Imagine the insanely great products Steve can dream up, if not distracted by worrying about the daily running of Apple.

Mike Kaufmann

Steve Jobs should come back to Apple.  Depending on his health, perhaps as an adviser or CEO Emeritus.  He is so much a part of Apple as a founder and a Savior, that he should not be denied his return!

david

i have a simple rule: never trust a bald internet journalist with a goatee who hides behind a set of shades and a cheesy photograph.

Mark

... because this strategy worked SO well for Bill Gates and Microsoft ...

Andyda

I hope this was not Mr. King’s idea of an April fool joke.  Itis really not even funny in any way at all.

When I first read it, I thought it was his annual April 1 post.  But then I thought even he would not do one like this.

If it is, well, got me.

Rick

Bill Gates did it. He stepped down as CEO and became a Chief Software Architect. But, if Jobs is fully recovered I see no reason why he shouldn’t remain as CEO as long as he still loves doing it.

jimmy

Oh.? Wait.? Sorry. I forgot.? It?s the internet.? Never mind.

‘Seems you forgot today’s date as well…

Shawn King

Thanks for the comments, good and bad. To be clear, this is *not* an April Fool’s Day joke.

ilovemacs

long live steve…long live apple!

ilovemacs

together for ever…......

Moeskido

I can’t knowledgeably argue with any of the points raised in this opinion piece. People who are inclined to argue with it probably can’t point to many other large corporations that aren’t run by generic, talentless executive teams. Apple is run by a group of people who are a lot smarter than most of their critics.

DTNick

Take your self pompous importance to the toilet where it belongs-Ape.

You disagree with the article, therefore the author is “pompous”??

*does not compute! does not compute!*

rpaege

Wow, some of the totally unnecessary vitriolic comments here are shocking.

Is it really necessary to call Shawn King names?  I don’t think so.  You can disagree if you like, but his opinion ? and King has been around the business of Apple a long, long time ? is as valid as anyone’s, even yours.  Some of the comments are shameful and embarrassing.

It seems to me that there has been a strong case made here.  Apple seems to be doing just fine, even if it is perhaps a tad too early to tell for sure.

Jobs should at least stay out of the day-to-day stuff for another 6-8 months, and we’ll see how well Apple navigates a difficult economy without Jobs driving.

BillH

Thanks for the comments, good and bad. To be clear, this is *not* an April Fool?s Day joke.

Too bad, it would have been great!

Chas

If this diatribe consisted of only its last paragraph, it WOULD have been quite good.  WOULD have been. . .  The rest is merely blather, filler at best.  Are we comment fishing?

Bregalad

I completely agree with this article, and do not think this is an example of a well-written April Fool?s Day posting.? When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1997, one of the things he did was bring in people cut from his cloth, ones who share the same outlook on Apple?s future.? During the past 10 years, they have continually learned from Steve, and have grown more and more into their jobs, to the point where Steve is no longer needed to direct the daily grind at Apple.? As we all know that he will not be at Apple indefinitely, it would be good for all parties concerned to have Steve step down from the daily chores and let his hand-picked executive team takeover the grunt work.? Imagine the insanely great products Steve can dream up, if not distracted by worrying about the daily running of Apple.

Best response yet. The management team Steve has in place is first class so his most important job as CEO is done. His role as visionary, however, remains. Apple still needs someone who’s not afraid to say no to seemingly good ideas and champion ones that seem crazy.

Bill Gates’ role as Chief Software Architect was just a figurehead position that sounded important. Bill was never a good programmer, he was a salesman and deal maker.

Having Steve Jobs come back as Chief Visionary, on the other hand, would be appropriate because that’s exactly what Apple needs and what I believe motivates him to remain with Apple.

Lee Dronick

Bill Gates did it. He stepped down as CEO and became a Chief Software Architect. But, if Jobs is fully recovered I see no reason why he shouldn?t remain as CEO as long as he still loves doing it.

And the PC world got Vista. Not that SS MicroSoft wasn’t hitting shoals, small boats, and piers with Bill at the helm. smile

I think it was Napoleon Bonaparte who said that the graveyards are full of people who at one time were considered indispensable. Of course we could discuss that the French Empire started to decline after he was gone. Anyway, sooner or later Steve, and Bill, will be gone what happens to the companies then depends on the Boards of Directors.

Loren

?Seems you forgot today?s date as well?

I didn’t think random insults counted as an April Fools Joke.

jk

It sounds good, but it would not work since Jobs would have to run his ideas by the CEO and maybe the CEO would not agree? What then? Jobs would not have all the power to force it through.

Steven Fisher

When I saw the subject of the article, I was expecting to disagree with it. (In fact, I think your headline is trolling a little bit.)

But the idea that Steve Jobs should stick to the idea side of the business is interesting. I don’t know how that would work in a public company without putting someone in a position to ignore him (see also: John Scully), but if it could it would be great.

Steve Jobs absolutely has the chops to guide the direction of the company, but I don’t think the day-to-day stuff is healthy for him… and I’m sure someone else could do it better.

Mark Allred

Shawn King is an idiot.
I have never valued his opinions.
He is a pompous ass.

Jeff Gamet

I’m inclined to agree with Shawn on this one. Steve clearly has more he can offer Apple, but doing that while outside of the spotlight will be easier on both him and the company. There’s so much media focus on Jobs’ health that sometimes the company’s products seem as if they are secondary—and Apple is all about making great products. The more time Apple has to spend answering questions about its rock star CEO, the less time it has to make the next great thing.

Jeff

A M

Saying that Jobs shouldn’t return to Apple because Apple has been ok for 3 months is a bit like saying it’s going to be a mild summer because it has been a mild winter.  Yes, the day to day operations appear to be fine and Wall St. agrees.  But we won’t see the fruits of any changes in strategic thinking from the post-jobs team for several quarters - at best.  Even Steve Jobs return didn’t have any really meaningful impact on deliverables (aside from cutting 3/4 of the projects at Apple, like printers, monitors and the poor Newton) until the new iMac.  The iPod/iTunes product - which embodies the essence of Steve Jobs’s ‘whole product’ approach to appealing to market segments - took years.

I’m not suggesting that Apple is going to stagnate without Steve Jobs.  But I am saying that there’s no way to tell right now.

Adam Brinton

Shawn is right on the money.Speaking of which for Apple to continue doing what is best for it which is making money though in way that deserves admiration and respect unlike some other companies which go just after money and not respect in the sense of honor and in an inspirational way either. Steve has made an impact that will not go away very quickly he is a legend in the business world and in entertainment in ways few are. What is best for Apple and for Steve is that they make some changes on how they interact as well as how their lives intersect so that one does not bring down the other. Steve has earned some respite for all the work and coolness that he has returned to Apple. Apple is stronger than ever needing him only as a figurehead in the least but involved in some degree with giving input that will surely be needed as some type of chief executive board member. He is smart enough to have been involved to hire people competent to lead such a great company forward and beyond his final departure.Shawn deserves more credit for seeing what sometimes is hard to say or imagine but so necessary. Great insight Shawn!!

john dingler

Shawn,

If I had Job’s emotional predisposition, I would be comfy being the hidden hand that guides. I hope he continues as the mind that steers Apple as I have little confidence in Cook who seems to be a good aparatchick, sure, but does not seem to me to be a comprehensive visionary, nor someone who grasps the whole picture. I guess I think of him as a train conductor, not the guy who lays down new tracks in hostile territory. Therefore, Jobs, or someone with his vision, is needed who can intuit/see the future, someone who can cut away the chaff from the wheat, and introduce relevant products that elevate.

I would miss Jobs’ presentations, however; He is the best.

note: Thank God for articles with spirit such as this one clearly is, and it also has a strongly written support for your thesis, although it repeats an idea unnecessarily, but so what?

OldGuy

History is one reason Steve may be reluctant to come back in a less than the CEO role.  In ‘86 when he was pushed into a meaningless position at Apple by John Sculley and the board, he sold his shares (except one) and left.  What assurance can the board give him that it won’t do something similarly foolish if Steve has a “wacky” idea for a new product / service / direction for Apple in the future? 

Steve has filled many roles at Apple.  His most significant role may be as a designer, or design editor, for Apple products.  Run a search at the Patent office for the number of Patents assigned to Apple (or Next) where Steve is one of the inventors.  Try the same for Gates and Microsoft.  Or any other CEO or former CEO and their company.  Steve is a product guy.  He likes making really, really good products.  Something different, something better. 

If he can step away from being CEO, but still have significant input on upcoming products, then Apple will do fine. 

But if he is no longer involved at a serious level with product design, then Apple may be missing a key ingredient to its success. I hope Steve has put enough people in place and established the right culture so that his absence won’t hurt Apple that much, but I’d rather not run that experiment just yet.

p.s. I thought the cube was a great design. I’ve always been a fan of quiet fanless computers (pun intended).  But it came out too soon. LCD screens were still very expensive, and mating the cube with a CRT was just clunky looking.

brett_x

Wow. You should have posted this after the kids went to bed.

Easter Bunny

Wow, I guess the old tradition of April Fools is gone.  You morons actually think that this is a real article and not a joke probably think The Onion is a real news organization.

Terrin

I think Jobs should come back if the Board of Directors want him back. He is a great CEO.  I, however,  think the company can survive without him.

I don’t see the point of bringing up the Cube and SEC scandal. The Cube was a great computer that was introduced at a bad time. You can’t always time things correctly. More importantly, what makes Jobs great is he is willing to take calculated risks. The SEC cleared Jobs of any wrong doing. That should be the end of it. Job isn’t an accountant or lawyer. Like most companies, Apple hires accountants and lawyers to handle those functions.

Lee Dronick

p.s. I thought the cube was a great design. I?ve always been a fan of quiet fanless computers (pun intended).? But it came out too soon. LCD screens were still very expensive, and mating the cube with a CRT was just clunky looking.

Speaking of old guys. My father, the Apple II apostate who switched to Windows for real estate agent reasons, really wanted a Mac Cube. He thought it to be a great design. I too liked it a lot, but it was between upgrades for me so I never got one, nor did Dad.

phranky

I had no particularly strong feelings either way, although I’ve been fearing this turn to cult of personality, as of late.

Shawn, you make a convincing argument. I believe that you have tipped the scales and I am in total agreement.

Lee Dronick

although I?ve been fearing this turn to cult of personality, as of late

As of late! Pretty much as of April 1st. 1976 smile

reven

This article is a joke and so this pseudo journalist is.. no real arguments. Just as an example, the guy presenting the keynote for Iphone 3.0 was pathetic, really nervous and not expressing well. And he is the director of the iphone division!!! Yes this company needs Steeve Job for as long as it takes? Please don’t comme back on this site and don’t clik on adds, the only thing this ite in interested in…. sad sad sad (as much as the site interface and comment form with 10000 fields to complete before posting)

FRANK PETRIE

Point taken, Sir Harry. But now even the analysts seem like giddy school girls. It’s become entirely too mainstream.

Japester

This article is why I listen to you on YML. I’m a Mac-Mac, but strive to be more balanced in my views, and it’s hard. You’ve got that detachment that helps centre me.

Knowing this, I did not react to the article like others have. You put forth alternative possibilities and this helps us prepare for otherwise unexpected changes.

So thank you for clearly expressing a view. I know you don’t mind the people who don’t take in what you say purely and therefore misunderstand it.

Lee Dronick

Knowing this, I did not react to the article like others have. You put forth alternative possibilities and this helps us prepare for otherwise unexpected changes

As Al Swearengen said on HBO’s Deadwood, “Change isn’t looking for friends, change calls the tune we dance to.”

robofly

Shawn’s thesis is pretty reasonable—sorry, haters. It’s not a referendum on “Steve Jobs rocks, Y/N.”

Why it might be best:  if Steve comes back as CEO, we and he will just have to endure his retiring all over again one day. 2X the trauma.

Why the “emeritus” thing won’t happen:  don’t think it too likely that SJ will consent to be at Apple unless the last word on everything belongs to him.

Always ready to be surprised, of course.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

This is a very tough call, and I fear that whatever I post will be in italics. On the one hand, Shawn is probably right. On the other hand, as one commenter pointed out, he’s bald and has a goatee. On the third hand, Jobs needs to get back in public, because the Woz has been dominating the headlines of late, and he is an insufferable dork. Furthermore, many outside the Apple enthusiast crowd confuse the Woz with the Steve. One asked me today why so many people revered a fat guy with a 70s beard who can’t dance and acts like a 12 year old.

I’m glad I don’t have to decide. I’ll leave this to all the other commenters this time.

Lee Dronick

I see where I screwed up a closing tag and ended up starting the italics fad. I wish that we could edit our posts as we did in days gone by, but I suppose that the change to this new system was inevitable. smile

xmattingly

Wouldn’t Jobs be happier as a “Big Picture Guy?”

Meh. In light of Apple’s modus operandi and their particular niche in the tech world, isn’t that exactly what they need in a CEO?

On another note, Shawn - bitchin’ profile photo, dude! I have to wonder if you have a second job tracking fugitives…

James

Steve should come back in a new capacity with a new title more befitting his role in the company, Chief Visionary Officer.

FRANK PETRIE

Shawn King. Bounty hunter. grin

B9robot

I like 99% of the people disagree and Steve Jobs should come back. Why?
Who basically took Apple from a dying company and turned it on its ear back to being successful. Steve Jobs that’s who. He has his faults but so does everyone else. What he doesn’t fault at is business and Apple wouldn’t be where they are today at all with out him period!

Nicholas

“Wouldn’t Jobs be happier as a “Big Picture Guy?” A guy who doesn’t need to deal with the minutiae of the day to day operations of the company.”

I think his passion for the company makes the minutiae worth it, he’s not a sell out and I’d encourage anyone who thinks he’ll step down to not underestimate his thick skin (unless it’s related to his health)

John

This is Apple and Steve Jobs we’re talking about, not Microsoft and Bill Gates. Microsoft is just as irrelevant without Gates as it was with him. That doesn’t mean Apple will be the same, worse or better without Jobs. It’ll be Apple. Steve laid the foundations and has rebuilt the structure. He’ll always be part of the spirit of Apple for decades to come.

DanBeck

Like others, I clicked on the headline expecting a trollish article, but found Shawn’s reasoning sound.  If I were Jobs, and had successfully extracted myself from the public scrutiny I hated, I’d seriously consider keeping things that way indefinitely.  Jobs can always announce a return if Apple suddenly needed a shot in the arm, but as sound as the company is, and as likely as it is for it to succeed moving forward, I see no reason why that has to be anytime soon.  Shawn is right—Jobs doesn’t need to retire, but remaining in the background makes a lot more sense (under current conditions) than returning as CEO and having to endure so much scrutiny, criticism and second-guessing (mostly by fans!). A return by Jobs may accomplish some great things, but it surely guarantees even more turmoil at his inevitable actual retirement at some future point.  Would it really be worth it, from Job’s perspective? 

I suspect the vigorous opposition to this idea is coming from those who think Apple = Steve Jobs.  I appreciate what Jobs has done (and can continue to do) for Apple as much as anyone, but I’m tired of people equating the man with the company.  There were times when that FELT true, but I doubt it ever really was.  The longer Jobs lays low, the more apparent the falsity of this equation will become.

Boscher

I agree DanBeck.  I thought I was going to be offended by the article but then Shawn made some good points.  We know that Jobs is a sound and intelligent leader…and a good leader is always looking to the future and Jobs will not live forever.  Apple is his baby and he wants it to continue to thrive without him.  Being faced with his own mortality, I am sure it has made him ponder the possibilities and scenarios of Apple moving ahead without him as the CEO.  Jobs turned Apple around in many ways but I don’t think I would be a shareholder or have as much faith in Apple as I do if I thought that Steve Jobs=Apple.  I like to believe that Apple is a collective of great minds that ‘Think Different’.  wink

Eugene King

I initially thought this was an April Fools Prank.Why, because when I tried viewing this article on a windows box [Dell laptop at work] I could only see Shawn King’s [no relation] picture - no text. I finally got to look at this on my 2003 PowerMac G5 at home.
Anyway, I’m not hastening it but someday Steve Jobs won’t be Apple’s CEO. I wish him and Apple the best.

WetcoastBob

I’m with you Geoduck!

It is the sign of a good leader to groom a successor and know when to step aside.

An example of someone NOT doing this is Robert Mugabe and look where this is going.  It is the most common failure of politicians.  Hopefully Steve Jobs is smarter.

NE1956

I don’t see any reason to believe Steve will completely distance himself from either the day-to-day operations or even the ‘behind the scenes’ gently guiding.  In fact, I’m fairly sure he’s doing that now.

NEED Steve Jobs?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

WANT Steve Jobs?  Of course.  But LIKE his guys who ARE in the day-to-day as usual.  Apple, regardless of any bashing Microsoft ever conjures, rules.  Been in my home since 1988.  And I am a VERY VERY picky consumer.

Also, I agree with the critics of this supposed ‘journalist’.  He’s not in touch with the Apple Community.  Just trying to make a buck.  Bah humbug.

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