Here's why Apple is in big trouble
If it's really the software company Tim Cook thinks it is, he'd better make way for a visionary CEO immediately.
By Rocco Pendola
If I have the chance to meet Tim Cook, I will give him a big hug right after he punches me.
The Apple (AAPL) CEO not only needs, but deserves a hug. Steve Jobs put Cook in an impossible situation.
He wasn't what Apple needed, he's not what Apple needs and he will never be what Apple needs post-Steve Jobs. This, of course, assumes Apple wishes to remain Apple and not a mediocre dividend-upping, buyback-increasing sleepy cash cow.
Some companies require good managers -- MBAs such as Cook -- to run the show. Others must have a visionary to lead and set the tone with the textbook guys taking orders and executing in the background. Apple needs a visionary (TheStreet).
Without monumental change, Apple is screwed. Had Jobs recruited a Jack Dorsey or Dick Costolo instead of promoting Cook we might have witnessed a relatively seamless transition at Apple. But he didn't; and now, here we are.
It's doubtful Tim Cook will say anything on Apple's Tuesday afternoon earnings call to satisfactorily address the greatest areas of concern (TheStreet). Number one, what's next, if anything, that is as big and innovative as the iPod, iPhone or iPad? And number two, if Apple really is a software company as Tim Cook says, will it ever start making good software (and services) beyond its core operating systems?
I address number one throughout my article history at TheStreet. I give number two the treatment, here and there, but not quite as much.
If Apple believes in the fairy tale that it -- a company that derives about 90% of its revenue from hardware sales -- is a software company, it better start coming through with top-notch software and services.
It's the beautifully designed, premium-quality, intuitive hardware that makes the Apple user experience second to none. The OS and iOS provide the foundation that makes it all tick. However, beyond the broad ecosystem, Apple software and services are run of the mill.
Outside of the operating systems, I can't think of Apple software or services I use by choice. It's almost always by default. Because I love Apple hardware so much, I accept less-than platforms -- e.g., iTunes, iCloud, Calendar, iMessage -- because they're just more convenient than better third-party options. When it's possible or there aren't too many hoops to jump through, I almost always use software and services from other companies, ranging from Microsoft (MSFT) to Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO) to developers most of us have never heard of. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)
So, yes, Apple's software and services make the OS/iOS-powered ecosystems sticky, no doubt. But we shouldn't correlate Apple devising a situation where you have to use more of its software than you might otherwise freely choose -- all else equal -- with the notion that that software is any good.
Herein lies where Apple is most screwed. If it is indeed -- and needs to be a software company in a world where Google, for example, has come to play -- it doesn't have the right person leading from out in front. Tim Cook has probably never coded a thing in his life. But, beyond that, even if we don't compare Cook to Jobs, he simply does not walk, talk and act like the type of visionary CEO Apple needs.
It needs a guy like Jack Dorsey who saw the future with Twitter and keeps on seeing it with Square. Or its present leader, Dick Costolo, who took Twitter over as Dorsey exited and not only hit every beat, but keeps making things better.
These guys know software and services; leave the supply chain and other back office and back cover details to guys like Cook. But, for their own sake and the sake of Apple's future, keep them in their proper place.
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Apple needs a visionary, because every other company does their products. better. Blackberry did the Newton better. Microsoft did PC OS better. Samsung has now done the smart phone and tables better.
Why do you think Apple marketed Final Cut Pro? So people would have a reason to buy a Mac.
Apple needs to make a car or an airplane, something where they are the only player in the market for years, because they clearly can't compete. How about toasters?
Sheep will buy Crapple. Everyone else, with their own mind, soon realized that Mac OS is not superior in any way to other operating system. Crapple just puts higher end hardware into their junk. Spend $700 on any manufacturer's tablet and it will out perform any Crapple product.
What this journalist fail at is understanding that Apple's products are actually software. Anyone can draw a picture of a slick looking phone and conjure all kinds of slick features but can they write the code to make them function?
Today, after the bell, Apple will release its' earnings reports. Then we'll see how good or bad, at least in the short term, business is at Apple. If EPS comes in higher than expected, you'll see a little increase in its' stock price. and if it comes in lower than expected, I believe that will cause much havoc with not only its' own stock price but the whole Nasdaq indices' as well since Apple is a still a huge component of that indices.
I guess the iPod, iPad, Imac were huge duds? Dumb.
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