Apple's Achilles Heel Is Neither the Mac Nor the iPhone

· Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

Apple's Achilles Heel

A couple of interesting pieces got me thinking about Apple. The first was by Neil Cybart, who wrote, “The Mac Is Turning into Apple’s Achilles’ Heel.” The second was John Gruber reacting to that, saying ” The Mac is not Apple’s Achilles heel. The iPhone is.” They’re both well written and insightful pieces, but they’re also both wrong. Bryan Chaffin offers his thoughts.

Tim Cook Offers Auburn Students 'A Personal View of Inclusion and Diversity'

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Tim Cook at Auburn University

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke to the students of Auburn University—his alma mater—on Thursday on the value and importance of diversity. According to university newspaper The Plainsman, Mr. Cook’s speech was titled, “A Personal View of Inclusion and Diversity.”

Apple Pays Zilch in New Zealand Taxes on $4.2 Billion in Sales

· Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

Apple with a big pile of money

Apple paid roughly zip to New Zealand Inland Revenue—that country’s taxing authority—over ten years, even while selling $4.2 billion in merchandise in the country. The practice is scrupulously legal—and therefore OK in the eyes of many. Bryan Chaffin, however, doesn’t think it’s right.

Thoughts on the Productivity of Apple Employees

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Apple Campus 1 (AC1)

Recently, Fast Company published an article on “Why Employees At Apple And Google Are More Productive.” It’s probably true. John Martellaro dug into the article and found things to like as well as things to expand on based on his own experiences.

Apple Rumors and Manufacturing, Tim Cook's Pipeline, and $AAPL - ACM 400

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

In this 400th episode of Apple Context Machine, John Kheit joins Bryan Chaffin to discuss rumors of iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8, Apple manufacturing, Tim Cook’s claim that Apple cares about pro users and creative pros in particular, the company’s supposed pipeline, and $AAPL’s record high valuation. Oh…and Nickleback.

Apple and Silicon Valley Struggle to Navigate Trump's Waters

· Charlotte Henry & Charlotte Henry · Analysis

Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Tim Cook, Tech Exec Meeting in December, 2016

In the weeks since his inauguration, there has been much discussion about President Trump’s relationship with the media. Rightly so. Media is not alone in feeling the affects of the chaotic political climate that we are currently experiencing. The ramifications are also clear in tech, where companies have struggled with balancing politics and business, even as the two intersect one another like never before.

Tim Cook Speaks at University of Glasgow for an Hour (Video)

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Tim Cook spoke to the students of the University of Glasgow this week. The hour long event included questions from faculty and students alike. Topics included President Trump’s travel bans on seven muslim-majority countries, the reach of the App Store, the environment, wealth inequality, education, balancing work and life, technology interacting with our bodies, Apple Watch, idealism, Steve Jobs’s influence over Apple today, styluses, and more. The video was posted by a student. The audio quality is poor, but the rules for the event precluded “dedicated recording equipment.” To that end, this video was recorded entirely on an iPhone 7 in the hands of a student 50-70 feet from Mr. Cook, and is stunningly good considering. In addition, note how quiet and respectful this audience of 800-plus students is.

Apple Cash Hoard Tops $246 Billion, Enough to Buy 4.9 Billion Amazon Echo Dots

· Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

Finding Apple in a Pile of Money

Apple’s cash hoard swelled to a staggering $246.09 billion in the December quarter, an increase of $8.49 billion. This, despite returning some $15 billion to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks and dividends. It’s an unprecedented concentration of corporate wealth that would let Apple buy more than 4.9 billion Amazon Echo Dots if it wanted.

Tim Cook: The iPhone Hasn't Reached Tech Maturity, Has Room to Grow

· John Martellaro · Analysis

iPhone7 lineup - tops

Some observers have suggested that the smartphone is at the end of its technical life. They say it’s time to move on to the Next Big Thing. During Apple’s Q1 2017 Earnings Report, an analyst asked Tim Cook about the future of the iPhone. Has it reached technical maturity? Will we continue to see new features? Here’s how Tim Cook responded. Plus John’s analysis.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Trump's Muslim Ban 'Is Not a Policy We Support'

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Tim Cook from Washington Post Interview

Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees Saturday that President Trump’s Muslim ban, “is not a policy we support.” Echoing his many previous comments on diversity, Mr. Cook said, “Apple would not exist without immigration.”

Former Apple Engineer Claims Tim Cook Made Apple Boring

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

The Apple Crystal Ball

Former Apple engineer Bob Burrough has been arguing that CEO Tim Cook has made Apple boring. In a combination of tweet storm and an interview with CNBC stemming from said tweetstorm, the engineer said Mr. Cook has eliminated conflict within Apple, sapping its vitality in the process. Mr. Burrough argued that Steve Jobs ruled with ever-shifting chaos, where product triumphed over hierarchy. Under Tim Cook, he said, Apple is siloed, smooth, and essentially complacent. Former Apple wunderkind Tony Fadell coincidentally tweeted just last week that Steve Jobs did not manage through conflict, and others have taken issue with Mr. Burrough, too. The reality is that any one person’s perspective never tells the whole tale, but his opinions make for an interesting read. You can see the whole tweetstorm in this tweet and in the CNBC story.

Apple Schedules 2017 Shareholders Meeting, Reveals Executive Pay Cut

· Jim Tanous · News

apple senior leadership

Apple has scheduled its annual shareholders meeting for February 28, 2017 and in so doing revealed that the company’s top executives saw a pay cut in 2016 thanks to Apple’s first year-over-year sales decline in 15 years.

How to Decipher Apple's Conflicting Messaging About Macs

· John Martellaro · Columns & Opinions

iMac and MacBook Pro

Mixed messages are coming out of Cupertino. On one hand, Apple failed to say the things it needed to say about the Mac during a recent Mac event. Now, Tim Cook said he’ll fix that. Meanwhile, the community has spoken with a loud and unmistakable voice that the Mac is not yet dead. Tim Cook seems to have gotten the message, but now we wait for products in 2017 to certify Apple’s change of heart. John analyzes the issues and conflicting messaging.

Tim Cook Says 'Great Desktops' are Coming

· Jeff Gamet · News

Apple CEO Tim Cook says new desktop computers are coming

The iMac hasn’t been updated in over a year and the Mac Pro is more than three years old without any changes, leaving many wondering if Apple is stepping back from the desktop computer market. Apple CEO Tim Cook says that’s not so, and that there are “great desktops in our roadmap.”

A Fascinating, Realistic Glimpse: What Would Steve Jobs Have Done?

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Steve Jobs

It’s seldom convincing to pretend to know what Steve Jobs would have done in any situation were he alive today. We have general ideas, but invoking him as a cloak of authority is fraught with problems. On the other hand, when someone intimately familiar with Steve Jobs makes an astute observation, it’s worth a read. John Martellaro found one of those insights and highlights it.

Why Some High-Profile Hires Don’t Thrive at Apple

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Apple Campus 1 (AC1)

Recently, a high profile executive, Yoky Matsuoka, left Apple for unknown reasons. Often, the temptation is to surmise that a departure of any given executive at Apple is a sign that Apple is losing interest in a particular technology. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, certain high-powered people have to leave for personal reasons. Or perhaps they just didn’t realize what they got themselves into and decide that the Apple culture isn’t for them. John explores the various scenarios based on his experience.

Tim Cook's Message to Employees after Election: 'Move Forward Together'

· Bryan Chaffin · News

Apple CEO Tim Cook during Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a company-wide email to employees Wednesday evening encouraging them to “move forward.” While he didn’t name President Elect Donald Trump or his defeated rival, Hillary Clinton, by name, the theme of the email was that the election shouldn’t divide employees.