Tim Cook ain’t that strong

I love it when I’m right. With the recent shakeup at Apple, Tim Cook shows that’s he not as strong, or forceful, a leader as Steve. From CNN Fortune:

It does not suggest that Cook’s hands are firmly on the steering wheel when a veteran executive announces his retirement, only to be placed in a critical role overseeing initiatives key to the company’s future.

A final word on Tim Cook. In only a year on the job he led Apple to new heights. He has pleased investors, listened to employees, mollified critics of the company’s labor policies and overseen the introduction of products that have sold exceedingly well across the world. He even has shown humility by apologizing for the mapping snafu.

One thing Cook has been unwilling to do, however, is explain himself. In his very few public utterances he has mouthed platitudes. Steve Jobs too played cat-and-mouse with the public, revealing what he wanted, when he wanted. But Steve Jobs earned his caginess. He got the benefit of the doubt after silencing the doubters. Cook isn’t there yet. He needs a new strategy for communicating what is going on at Apple.

Not a bad thing, but if anyone thought that Apple didn’t lose its soul when it lost Steve, you’ve got another thing coming.

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Tech Talk Oct 24, 2012

Broadcast live on October 24, 2012

I present a weekly tech segment for Today on Beyond Beijing.

This week, we talk about the Apple announcements, Windows 8 and Surface Tablets, as well as Marissa Mayer at the helm Yahoo.

[audio http://dl.dropbox.com/u/81315943/TT%201024.mp3]

Further Reading:

One of the biggest weeks in tech history will determine the fate of the digital economy

Why Windows 8 sales will be slow

Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo Interested In Buying Open Table And Other Tech Cos — Yahoo Media Screwed

Tablets used on couch and in bed

ChinaTalks: Stan Abrams on Intellectual Property

UPDATE: Got embedding to work. Thanks to Raincoaster on the WP Support Forum

I just started a new program for CRI’s English website.  The first interview was with Stan Abrams.  We talked about IP and IP protection in China.

I’m trying to figure out how to embed video from Youku in WordPress.  For now, you can watch it here.

iPad 4 and the Break Down of Decision-Making at Apple

iPad mini and the new new iPad. Two products that came to fruition without the blessing of the all mighty Steve Jobs. From what we can tell, the last Apple device to be anointed was the iPhone 5 with its slightly longer screen. It’s hard to argue that it wasn’t a smart move: competing product lines all feature 4 inch screens, whereas the iPhone was visibly smaller.

The iPad mini seems smart as well given the recent success of the kindle fire and amazing sales of the nexus 7.

But why in the world did Apple just announce a new iPad? Granted, the updated hardware is in fact minimal: A6X processor, lightning connector, no changes to screen or body. One could see this as a release of the new iPad S, with similar incremental upgrades as the iPhone 3GS and 4GS. However, those followed the yearly release schedule we’ve all become familiar with. With the the latest new iPad, it’s only <strong>seven months</strong> since the last iteration of the Apple tablet.

I have to wonder if this doesn’t signal a breakdown in the decision making process or perhaps high level disagreements in Apple leadership. Certainly, they had already planned for the Lightning connector for the iPhone 5 and one can assume that the tech was there when the new iPad was released (although perhaps not ready). Another possibility is this is a way to convince people to keep buying iPads off the shelf with iOS6, with all the complaints recently about maps and wifi.

I can’t help but think that if Steve was still around, we would see strict adherence to release schedules and damn the complaints.

Apple does need to be careful. Humans have a tendency to turn on their gods and those that represent them. And when they do, it can be quite vicious.

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