Charts Show How Much Apple Has Changed Since Tim Cook Became CEO

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It has now been five years since Tim Cook took over as Apple CEO, and while the company continues to make many of the same products today, Apple has become very different. New charts show just how much things have changed since Steve Jobs stepped down.

Perhaps the most significant change — at least to investors — is that Apple is a much larger company now. In the four quarters before Cook became CEO, Apple saw around $100 billion in revenue; in the last four quarters, the company raked in over $200 billion.

However, “it hasn’t been an inexorable rise up and to the right,” explains Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. While revenues grew quickly just after Cook took over, they leveled off throughout 2012 and 2013, then spiked following the launch of the iPhone 6.


The overall effect is still a doubling of total revenue, but that is falling now as iPhone demand weakens. “I continue to believe that we’ll see a reversal of this trend in the next few quarters as a combination of factors kicks in,” adds Dawson.

Another thing that has ballooned under Cook is research and development spending. In Jobs’ final four quarters, Apple spent under $2.5 billion on R&D, but five years on, that figure now stands at a whopping $10 billion.

What’s interesting is that during Cook’s time as CEO, R&D has grown significantly as a percentage of revenue, going from just over 2 percent to just over 4 percent. However, during most of Jobs’ time at the top, R&D fell as a percentage of revenue.


Similar things can be said about Apple’s bank account. Over the past five years, its cash and investments have grown significantly from $76 billion at the end of Q2 2011 to $231.5 billion at the end of Q2 2016. That means Apple has added $155 billion during that time.

Cook has had a big impact on other things, too. Apple’s push into China under his leadership has seen its revenue share rise from just 10 percent to 24 percent there, while revenue for every other region has shrunk in percentage terms.

Cook impact China

Retail has also become much more international under Cook. While 72 percent of Apple stores were located in the U.S. at the end of Q2 2011, only 55 percent were U.S.-based at the end of Q2 2016. That means 45 percent of Apple stores are in foreign countries.

When it comes to product shipments, the differences aren’t as noticeable. Shipments for iPhone have risen significantly, from 69 million units in the four quarters to Q2 2011 to 214 million units in the four quarters to Q2 2016 — though they have already started falling again.

However, shipments for Mac and iPad haven’t changed a great deal, apart from a slight increase for the latter between late 2012 and late 2013.

Cook has also had a massive impact on Apple’s philosophy, with the company now donating more money than ever to charity, and well and truly focused on decreasing its environmental footprint, with a big push into renewable energy.

“Perhaps one of the most significant contributions Tim Cook has made at Apple can’t be seen in any of these charts, because it’s about the changes to Apple’s culture that have happened under his leadership,” explains Dawson.

“The increased openness, best exemplified by the frequent interviews Cook and other executives now regularly grant to various publications (and even podcasters), is one element of this, though Apple’s secrecy about future products remains as tight as ever.”

These things don’t have a direct financial impact, of course, but they’re changes that make Apple a much better company.

[via Jackdaw Research]