John Gruber, for Daring Fireball:
The question is: Why do business in China if this is the type of shit they pull?
Money. And this is despite Tim Cook’s outburst in 2014:
“We do things for other reasons than a profit motive, we do things because they are right and just,” Mr Cook growled. Whether in human rights, renewable energy or accessibility for people with special needs, “I don’t think about the bloody ROI,” Mr Cook said, in the same stern, uncompromising tone that Apple employees hope they never have to hear. “Just to be very straightforward with you, if that’s a hard line for you … then you should get out of the stock.”
It seems that it all depends on how large that profit motive is.
Shame on Apple for catering to the Chinese government. At this point, the company needs something akin to the recent #BlizzardBoycott.
John Paczkowski, reporting for Buzzfeed News:
Apple has settled on a date for its first big product announcement of 2019. Sources tell BuzzFeed News that the company plans to hold a special event on March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater on its Apple Park campus. Headlining the gathering: that subscription news service that has been all over the news today. Unlikely to make an appearance: next-generation AirPods, or that rumored new iPad Mini.
Sources described the event as subscription-services focused, but declined to say anything about Apple’s stand-alone video streaming service, which is also rumored to debut in 2019.
My feelings towards Apple and their decisions have steadily changed over the past few years, ever since Tim Cook took over. Quite frankly, I am actually dreading what Apple will unveil at this event.
Benjamin Mayo, for 9to5Mac:
A significant bug has been discovered in FaceTime and is currently spreading virally over social media. The bug lets you call anyone with FaceTime, and immediately hear the audio coming from their phone — before the person on the other end has accepted or rejected the incoming call. Apple says the issue will be addressed in a software update “later this week”.
In the meantime, Tim Cook tweeted:
We must keep fighting for the kind of world we want to live in. On this #DataPrivacyDay let us all insist on action and reform for vital privacy protections. The dangers are real and the consequences are too important.
Twitter user MGT7500 claims to have reported the bug days ago:
My teen found a major security flaw in Apple’s new iOS. He can listen in to your iPhone/iPad without your approval. I have video. Submitted bug report to @AppleSupport…waiting to hear back to provide details. Scary stuff!
At this point it’s not even the bug itself that irritates me, but the manner in which apple handles such reports. It’s unacceptable to call “all hands on deck” only after news of the bug goes public.
Last year, before a global body of privacy regulators, I laid out four principles that I believe should guide legislation:
First, the right to have personal data minimized. Companies should challenge themselves to strip identifying information from customer data or avoid collecting it in the first place. Second, the right to knowledge—to know what data is being collected and why. Third, the right to access. Companies should make it easy for you to access, correct and delete your personal data. And fourth, the right to data security, without which trust is impossible.
But laws alone aren’t enough to ensure that individuals can make use of their privacy rights. We also need to give people tools that they can use to take action. To that end, here’s an idea that could make a real difference.
I still trust Apple more than any other company to care about my privacy (though their deal with China makes me wary) — I hope they don’t screw this up as badly as they did their pricing.
The one quote from Tim that caught my eye was the following:
On services, you will see us announce new services this year. There will more things coming. I don’t want to tell you about what they are—
I’d be willing to bet (not much, mind you) that he’s talking about the Apple TV service (aka Netflix competitor) that has been years in the making.
Tim Cook on Apple’s earning’s call:
We were surprised, somewhat, that through all of this period of time that the iPhone X winds up at the most popular for every week of the time since the launch and so that’s, I think, a powerful point. And it’s number one in China, which is another powerful point. And so obviously at some point if those technologies move to lower price points and that [inaudible] probably more unit demand. But the way we think about is trying to price a reasonable price for the value that we deliver and I feel that we did that.
There were plenty of recent rumours suggesting the iPhone X’s price would go down by $100 to $899, perhaps also to make way for an iPhone X Plus at the $999 price point. After hearing Tim’s remarks on the X last night, I wouldn’t expect the price to go down anytime soon — the iPhone X is selling extremely well, and people are voting with their wallets by buying them. You just don’t walk away from that as Apple.
I hope I’m wrong.
(You can find a full transcript of the call on iMore.)
Peter Wells, speaking with Tim Cook:
“I generally use a Mac at work, and I use an iPad at home,” Cook tells me, “And I always use the iPad when I’m travelling. But I use everything and I love everything.”
Later, when I ask about the divide between the Mac and iOS, which seems almost conservative when compared to Microsoft’s convertible Windows 10 strategy, Cook gives an interesting response.
“We don’t believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both [The Mac and iPad] are incredible. One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two … you begin to make trade offs and compromises.
This is nothing new — Tim Cook already made this statement a few years go.
I spent many days working solely with a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 the quickest summary I can come up with would be: it’s a good enough notebook, but a terrible tablet, at least in comparison to the iPad. The one situation I really liked it in, was editing photos in Lightroom, where I could detach the keyboard and focus on using touch. The iPad on the other hand, which I use every single day since it came out in 2010, is a great tablet and not a very good notebook. I guess it all depends where you’re coming from — Windows 10, as a desktop operating system, hasn’t yet evolved to be a great mobile OS, while iOS is the exact opposite, even though iOS 11 helped a lot in that regard.
We’re currently at these strange crossroads between the past and future, while everyone is trying to figure out how to go forward, but it appears they don’t yet know which turn to take.
When asked about the [battery] incident, Cook apologized to Apple users who believe that the company deliberately slowed the processors down in older models.
He hypothesized that when Apple released software updates to slow down older devices in older models to keep up with the new features, people may not have been “paying attention” when they explained what it was.
“Maybe we weren’t clear,” he said. “We deeply apologize for anyone who thinks we have some other kind of motivation.”
We were paying attention. His statement isn’t just bad PR, it’s unacceptable. Watch the video on ABC to hear his full statement.
John Paczkowski, quoting Tim Cook’s email:
I’ve heard from many of you today about the presidential election. In a political contest where the candidates were so different and each received a similar number of popular votes, it’s inevitable that the aftermath leaves many of you with strong feelings.
We have a very diverse team of employees, including supporters of each of the candidates. Regardless of which candidate each of us supported as individuals, the only way to move forward is to move forward together. I recall something Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said 50 years ago: “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” This advice is timeless, and a reminder that we only do great work and improve the world by moving forward.
While there is discussion today about uncertainties ahead, you can be confident that Apple’s North Star hasn’t changed. Our products connect people everywhere, and they provide the tools for our customers to do great things to improve their lives and the world at large. Our company is open to all, and we celebrate the diversity of our team here in the United States and around the world — regardless of what they look like, where they come from, how they worship or who they love.
I’ve always looked at Apple as one big family and I encourage you to reach out to your co-workers if they are feeling anxious.
Let’s move forward — together!
As responsible corporate citizens, we are also proud of our contributions to local economies across Europe, and to communities everywhere. As our business has grown over the years, we have become the largest taxpayer in Ireland, the largest taxpayer in the United States, and the largest taxpayer in the world.
Over the years, we received guidance from Irish tax authorities on how to comply correctly with Irish tax law — the same kind of guidance available to any company doing business there. In Ireland and in every country where we operate, Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe.
The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process. The opinion issued on August 30th alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on our taxes. This claim has no basis in fact or in law. We never asked for, nor did we receive, any special deals. We now find ourselves in the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don’t owe them any more than we’ve already paid.
The Commission’s move is unprecedented and it has serious, wide-reaching implications. It is effectively proposing to replace Irish tax laws with a view of what the Commission thinks the law should have been. This would strike a devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states over their own tax matters, and to the principle of certainty of law in Europe. Ireland has said they plan to appeal the Commission’s ruling and Apple will do the same. We are confident that the Commission’s order will be reversed.
Very precise and to the point.
Katie Benner and Nicole Perlroth:
Apple had asked the F.B.I. to issue its application for the tool under seal. But the government made it public, prompting Mr. Cook to go into bunker mode to draft a response, according to people privy to the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The result was the letter that Mr. Cook signed on Tuesday, where he argued that it set a “dangerous precedent” for a company to be forced to build tools for the government that weaken security.
Like I said a few days ago, the FBI most probably doesn’t care about Farook’s phone. They’re all in for getting access to all iPhones.
Could Pichai’s response be any more lukewarm? He’s not really taking a stand, and the things he’s posing as questions aren’t actually in question. I’m glad he chimed in at all, and that he seems to be leaning toward Apple’s side, but this could be a lot stronger.
Glad I’m not the only one in thinking that his response was weak.
I didn’t read his tweets that way — Sundar Pichai just said that this ‘could be a troubling precedent’ and that he’s ‘looking forward to a thoughtful and open discussion on this important issue’.
The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.
This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.
The FBI has been working on Apple to give them access to iPhones for a long time now, and now it appears that they’re using the tragic death of the victims of the San Bernardino attack as a way to force Apple’s hand. Public opinion is a strong weapon, especially if they can get the people behind them.
I’m happy to see Tim and Apple fighting this.
Apple CEO Tim Cook lashed out at the high-level delegation of Obama administration officials who came calling on tech leaders in San Jose last week, criticizing the White House for a lack of leadership and asking the administration to issue a strong public statement defending the use of unbreakable encryption.
The White House should come out and say “no backdoors,” Cook said. That would mean overruling repeated requests from FBI director James Comey and other administration officials that tech companies build some sort of special access for law enforcement into otherwise unbreakable encryption. Technologists agree that any such measure could be exploited by others.
But Attorney General Loretta Lynch responded to Cook by speaking of the “balance” necessary between privacy and national security – a balance that continues to be debated within the administration.
And they’re still probably using the recent and tragic Paris attacks as an excuse, despite the fact that the terrorists were using regular unencrypted SMS.
I just picked up my iPad Pro Smart Keyboard from TNT and since I need to write something to test it out, I chose to speculate a little. You see, while the Smart Keyboard was available in the EU, the Polish Apple Online Store said it would be ‘coming soon’. I already had my iPad Pro at the time, miraculously managed to snag an Apple Pencil, but couldn’t get my hands on the most important accessory, especially since I was wondering if the Pro would replace most or all of my MacBook needs. I wrote a post directed at Tim Cook and Phil Schiller at the time, keeping my fingers crossed…
Continue reading →
Tim Cook: Because it would cost me 40 percent to bring it home. And I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do. This is a tax code, Charlie, that was made for the industrial age, not the digital age. It’s backwards. It’s awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago. It’s past time to get it done.
Charlie Rose: But here’s what they concluded. Apple is engaged in a sophisticated scheme to pay little or no corporate taxes on $74 billion in revenues held overseas.
Tim Cook: That is total political crap. There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe.
A few interesting tidbits inside for those of you who are interested in what goes on behind the scenes, including Tim Cook seemingly slightly frustrated over the constant accusations.
As a user, I’m glad he’s fighting our battle for privacy.
I explained that I was christened as such when I was only in my mid-thirties at Netscape, “Years ago when I got that name, I was actually young enough for it to be ironic. These days it’s a Human Resources policy violation.”
Great story, including Craig Federighi and Tim Cook. You have to read this.
Adrian Weckler interviewing Tim Cook:
Speaking to Independent.ie, Cook denied that the death of computers such as the Mac was imminent and said that there would be a market for such traditional personal computers for the foreseeable future.
“We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad,” said Cook. “Because what that would wind up doing, or what we’re worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants. So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either. You’d begin to compromise in different ways.”
He’s right, it wouldn’t be a good experience. Macs and iPads excel in different areas: the former is extremely powerful and potentially complicated to use, while the latter is simpler, but due to iOS’ constraints, requires more work to incorporate advanced workflows. The good news is that people will be able to get more and more done on the iPad over the next few years, especially since the operating system will gain new capabilities, empowering developers to make even more amazing apps.
Brendan Klinkenberg posted Tim Cook’s email to Apple employees regarding the inappropriate behaviour in Melbourne’s Apple Store:
Our stores and our hearts are open to people from all walks of life, regardless of race or religion, gender or sexual orientation, age, disability, income, language or point of view. All across our company, being inclusive and embracing our differences makes our products better and our stores stronger.
I wish all people had a similar set of values.