Highlights of Tim Cook’s Town Hall Meeting with Apple Employees

tim-cookApple CEO Tim Cook recently summoned the company’s employees in Cupertino, California for a Town Hall meeting to discuss various aspects about Apple’s business, the company’s tumbling stock price, and Android’s dominant marketshare numbers.

Since the meeting was held right after Apple’s financial results for the last quarter, the stock price drop that followed was obviously a topic of discussion. Cook addressed employees, dismissing stock price as an area that’s not as important to the company as making great products. He brought the focus on Apple’s record earnings for the last quarter, saying that it was the best quarter any technology company has ever had.

Apple’s much talked about initiative to bring some part of Mac manufacturing back to the US was also a part of Tim Cook’s address. He said that this move wasn’t to gain positive press, but to improve Mac supplies, which have remained constrained since the past few months. He also reiterated that Apple requires its suppliers to comply to the same ethical standards as the company. In its latest supplier responsibility report, Apple revealed that it terminated its contracts with a circuit board manufacturer. Earlier this month, Cook along with marketing head Phil Schiller visited China, where Foxconn—the company that assembles iPhones and iPads—is based.

Cook also discussed Apple retail, whose management has seen a lot of turmoil lately with both the VP and SVP of retail leaving the company. Cook acknowledged that employee satisfaction ratings have dropped in recent times, and the top brass of Apple is doing all it can to improve these ratings.

Another topic Cook addressed was Android, Google’s OS that is taking the developing market by storm, which is worrying a lot of Apple investors. Cook highlighted the huge disparity between Android’s marketshare and its share of web traffic, indicating how the OS ends up on low-end phones that don’t get used for anything apart from calling or texting. He said that Apple’s devices are bought by customers because of the great experience the OS and the hardware offer, while a major reason for Android’s dominance is the cheap prices it is offered for in the market.

Cook added that if the iPhone division alone was spun off as a separate company, it would be ahead of Microsoft in terms of revenue. He continued that if Apple were to split into separate companies corresponding to each product division, many of those companies would make it to the Fortune 100 list.

Cook also noted that China is a very crucial market for Apple’s future growth, and that people in the reason are already very receptive to Apple products. The iPhone 5 sold more than two million units within the three days following the launch of the device in the region.

Do you agree with Tim Cook on all fronts? Do you think Apple should dismiss Android as an OS primarily “winning” because of cheap pricing?

Via: 9to5Mac

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  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.kennard Steve Kennard

    I love apple, but some companys get so large and loose the personal touch, my fear is Apple are going the same way, I dont like the idea of Apple making so many models and colours of the iPhone, I think it just waters down the brand. IOS is starting to show its age, the iPhone 5 is not a great product, its not too well made, Did Apple try to cut costs but still sell at a premium price? I think so.
    Make a few great products, not a lot of mediocre items and you have Apple.
    Steve

    • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

      I completely agree with most of what you said.

      My only contradiction would be that while its NOT perfect, the iPhone 5 is a pretty well made device. Yes, it scratches easily and the aluminum used is obviously not the strongest, but I don’t think those were intentional choices Apple made, especially not with the anodize coating. I think they should have done a lot more testing and got a stronger grade of aluminum and maybe went with a different method of anodizing that would be more resistant to scratching.

      As far as colors, I personally agree. I do think there is a wide segment of the customer base that would LOVE to see color options, but I don’t know how many teenage girl customers Apple has! LOL

      There is not much room to go thinner or lighter and maintain any respectable battery life, unless Apple took my advice (ha ha ha ha!) and has invested some of their billions in battery technology we haven’t seen’t before, and we all know critics expect some kind of drastic change or “Apple is out of creativity. ZOMG!!!!”, but offering the same phone or basically the same phone in a variety of colors is NOT the way to go, IMO.

      I am personally happy with the form factor exactly as it is. There really is no merit to a larger screen that makes one-handed operation impossible, so other than the coating and bending issues, I think the current iPhone is as thin and light as it could be. So that leaves performance upgrades. The A6X from the new iPad is the fastest out there as far as mobile chips. Upgrade it. Make it faster. Better camera. This is almost inevitable anyway. Sony’s 13MP sensor is a no-brainer now. It is an excellent piece. And maybe an increase in resolution. Not because we need it, but because it would give them a “stat” to appease the masses since that is required to keep the world from turning on you.

    • jaybeans821

      i agree, they need to stay with the products they have now and improve on them and only add one more product…an actual apple television…ipad mini was a good addition, ipod in colors is ok also, but thats it!! dont make a cheaper version of iphone, and Dont make iphone in 6 different colors, get a little more open on the next ios and they should stay sittin pretty,

  • Alex

    Here’s a question for Tim:

    Who at Apple has the ability, responsibility and authority to create the next “iPhone” type product?

    • http://www.iphonehacks.com iPhoneHacks

      I don’t think that should be a concern in the short term as I’m sure Steve Jobs ensured that Apple has a good pipeline of products and with Jony Ive as the Design Chief, Apple is in good hands.

      I think what we are missing is Apple just had its biggest ever quarter in revenues and profits, it didn’t need a new product to achieve it.

      • Alex

        Wall Street is forward looking, and they see lower margins and serious questions about innovation. Now, as for employees, one would imagine they’d be a bit thoughtful about the future as well, but it’s true this is a far off issue for their employment.

        Now, margins? Sure, but we’ve all known the issues. Wage pressure in China; a good thing IMHO. Pressure from US Carriers tired of paying half. Less pricing power ala iPad Mini, and even MacBook Airs. All known. Apple’s Forward P/E expects growing market share and the ‘next thing’ to compensate for all these expected issues. When there are hints of more legit competition and Moore’s Law-like advancements are sold as innovation, well…

        Now, yes, we all love Jony and he is the closest answer to the question above. However, it doesn’t look as if that’s his deal. Is he now working on iOS Icon Design style? Um, ok.

        Goodbye ’12 Q4, now, what’s going to happen to ’13 & ’14 Q4? Thus the question: Who at Apple has the ability, responsibility and authority to create the next “iPhone” type product?

        So forget Wall Street, Tech is trendy. Customers long for the fun of a new toy. Products get stale. Companies get intrenched; ever watch a friend on a Droid attach multiple photos to an email? Pisses you off, hu? I don’t like that so many people think their non-Apple phone is cool, or, yikes, even better. I don’t agree with them, but it’s getting harder not to. I don’t care about the Stock price, but I care about why it’s dropping. These issues are real, as much as I hate to admit it.

  • Nick

    If apple is going to win they need to continue to make great products which people would like and appreciate. I personally dont like the iPhone 5 because it seems like they rush the production and the competitor are winner because their devices offers the same things the iPhone offer and more.

    • Pacomacman

      I never upgraded to the iPhone 5 because I’m happy with my 4S. There isn’t a scratch on my 4S because I look after it, and I know if I had the 5 it would still be in tip top condition. I write software for these devices so I’m using the iPhone 5 on a daily basis, and it is a fantastic device, well built and extremely fast in comparison to my 4S and other phones I use. There is nothing wrong with the iPhone 5 if you look after it. I just don’t like the 16:9 aspect ratio and I don’t need an upgrade because my 4S performs just fine. I will however be upgrading next time. I know I’m not the only one who thinks this way as in the uk most phone providers no longer offer 1 year mobile contracts, it’s all 18-24 months so people are still tied in to existing contracts and can’t upgrade. This is the reason the iPhone 5 hasn’t seen the same level of sales, and has nothing to do with build quality or a dodgy maps application.

  • http://twitter.com/joek1971 Joseph

    Apple is still far ahead of Android, I had to use Android tablet and it totally sucks, I forgot how it was to use Android, last time I used Android product was 2 years ago and nothing has changed. I had to do lot of different things to get it to do what I needed, when I came home and used my iPad2 it was pure pleasure so simple. But in todays economy lot of people care about the price thats why Android is doing so well. I also think its time for iOS to update its UI make it nicer better multi tasking, they should hire some of those people who create apps for the jailbreak community they have some awesome looking things that apple should incorporate. I think since Ivy will be in charge of the iOS he will change it up make it even better. You cant make everyone happy, even by releasing new colors, there will always be people who will find things not to be happy about. I used all types of phone from Blackberry to Palm Pre, and none compare to iPhone the only one that came close was the Palm Pre but they screwed that up. No need to worry Apple will come put with new great stuff and there always be people who dont like Apple and try everything to bad mouth it. There are Apple fans, Android fans and Win8 fans, the bottom line is everyone has different life style and they need to find the right product for it, regardless of the OS or the Company.

  • Horatiu Anton

    Apple needs Steve Jobs back. I am a big fan of Apple products, but their products stand still. to sell the same product dressed in a higher case just because you have no idea or do not have the guts to design something, it’s like selling Coca Cola with Sugar Free label on it. An old OS, no new ideas, only numbers with many zeros. Apple has lost its shine. Apple became a company too big and I think she lost touch with reality. We bought products that we have loved for design, quality and their ingenuity, though many of us have been saving to buy them. Steve Jobs left, taking with him the heart and soul of Apple. Andoid win the battle now, as Microsoft has won the battle two decades ago. I hope that someone will have the courage to radically change the direction Apple is heading.

    • Pacomacman

      What I don’t understand is why people that often don’t even own an Android device hold Google up as a shining example of a great OS. Let me tell you from a developers perspective we all develop apps for iOS first and Android second. It’s a nightmare to work with and really doesn’t shine in terms of performance. There is a good reason why Android devices have 1.5 – 1.7GHz quad core processors, because they struggle to keep up with a 1GHz dual core iPad. Just use an Android device for 5 minutes, and look past the widgets and animated wallpapers. Just what is it that appeal? I struggle with the laggy desktop scrolling on my Nexus 7 when no other program’s are running. Just what are those 4 cores doing! As an OS Apple got it right from the start. It doesn’t been to drastically change because it already works fine, it just needs expanding, but not necessarily with battery killers like animated wallpapers and widgets. You have to remember that 750.000+ apps have been designed around the look and feel of iOS and to change that would require lots of work from lots of developers.