Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tim Cook Has Lost Consumer Reports

Apple has always had Consumer Reports in it's corner. Pretty much from the days of the original Macintosh.

 I admit to a love/hate relationship with CR.  They do decent enough work but they do play favorites.  I had always more or less assumed that Apple was one of them and for the usual reasons.

Apparently the new MacBook is so bad that Consumers Reports feels that backing it would damage their reputation.

Consumer Reports took many by surprise last week -- certainly Apple -- when it said it doesn't recommend the company's new MacBook Pro models. The American magazine, which has garnered credibility over 80 years of its existence, said battery life on Apple's new laptops was all over the place -- hitting 19 hours in a test, but less than four hours in another. Last week, Apple's VP of Marketing, Phil Schiller insisted that Consumer Reports' findings didn't match the company's field data, and that Apple was working with Consumer Reports to understand its review. Now Consumer Reports has responded:

The nonprofit organization is standing by its initial verdict in which it did not give the MacBook Pro (2016) its "recommended" rating.

The organization has now said it doesn't think re-running the tests will change anything. "In this case, we don't believe re-running the tests are warranted for several reasons. First, as we point out in our original article, experiencing very high battery life on MacBooks is not unusual for us -- in fact we had a model in our comparative tests that got 19 hours," it said. "Second, we confirmed our brightness with three different meters, so we feel confident in our findings using this equipment. Finally, we monitor our tests very closely. There is an entry logged every minute, so we know from these entries that the app worked correctly," it added.

This is very bad news for Apple because it was always the computer that any idiot could use.  The deal you made with Apple when you are locked into the walled garden is that you will well taken care of.  That they will pay rigid attention to their standards and guard their reputation like a rooster guarding his flock.

There is a two fold problem at Cupertino, the first is a corporate culture where everyone wanders around muttering, "what would Steve do?"  The other problem bluntly is Tim Cook.  He is not up to Jobs' job and it this point it shows.

All of Steve Jobs projects have cleared development.  The new stuff is all Tim Cook.

Apple’s chief executive has been battling lackluster results at the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant, with critics blaming ho-hum sales on an increasingly stale lineup of gadgets — including the iPhone.

The most recent evidence came Friday, with a report from Nikkei, the Japanese news agency, that Apple will slash production of the iPhone 7 by about 10 percent because it “has sold more sluggishly than expected.”

The downbeat news echoed this spring, when Cook was forced to announce a dismal milestone: Quarterly sales of the iPhone — by many measures the most successful consumer product in history — dropped for the first time ever.

“This, too, shall pass,” Cook insisted on a call with Wall Street analysts in April. “The future of Apple is very bright.”

Some investors aren’t so sure. Cook had pleaded that the iPhone 6S — whose sales dropped 15 percent and 16 percent in the spring and summer quarters, respectively — was more or less a placeholder product ahead of the iPhone 7.

But when the iPhone 7 got unveiled in September, the biggest difference reviewers found between it and the 6 models was that it lacked a headphone jack — a switch that many actually found annoying.

The news was the latest disappointment for Apple shareholders, who have weathered a bumpy ride this year. The stock rose 10.8 percent this year, but that’s short of the Dow Jones industrial average, which added more than 15 percent.

It’s not just stale product updates that are now plaguing Apple. Lately, execution under Cook looks slipshod.

The iPhone 7’s painful pivot for customers came as Apple announced the AirPods, a wireless set of headphones to accompany the jackless iPhone 7. But the $179 AirPods soon got delayed past a promised October shipment date and weren’t available to many customers until after Christmas.

Tim Cook on the face of it appears to be a lot more interested in SJW politics than he is running the company.  That stupid Frankenstein commercial this Christmas shows just how far off mission Apple is getting with Cook at the helm.

Producing an iPhone without a headphone jack was the kind of bold thing that Steve Jobs might try, except that Jobs would have left nothing to chance.  It's probably their biggest screwup since the Apple Newton.

This may have all been by design rather than happenstance.  Tim Cook was handpicked by Steve Jobs to be his successor.  Most people would assume that he would pick the best man for the job.  But here is the big question;  Would he?  The man had a hell of an ego on him.  Would he want Apple to survive without him?

"Gordon Way, wondered how his company would do without him now that he was dead.  He didn't like either answer he came up with."  -- Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency. 


Jew613 said...

Steve Jobs was a visionary. Part of his strength was the ability to recover from disastrous mistakes which would have ended other men's careers. Those very mistakes came from Jobs willingness to take risks in the first place. We tend to remember Jobs from his days at Pixar or his second tenure at Apple. But he was driven from Apple by Pepsi and Pixar was a failure for years until Toy Story came out in 1995. Jobs had the vision to see past the failure to the possibilities, learn from his failings and come back stronger then ever.

Jobs was a leader and successful leaders surround themselves with lieutenants who will fulfill their vision. Tim Cook was a great right hand man for Jobs. But being great at fulfilling someone else's vision doesn't mean you are capable of being captain of the ship. I believe that was Jobs's mistake in appointing Tim Cook, he mistook a good subordinate for a protege.

Cataline Sergius said...

The truth of the matter is that Apple is the choice of Baby Boomers and rich liberals. It's more of a class identifier than it is a product.

Now I do know some right wingers who swear by Apple's stuff but it's always a very defensive position. "I love Apple electronics, damn it!" While I do count them as dear friends they are uniformly technologically illiterate. There is a reason for that.