Tim Cook fumes at report claiming that he seems disinterested in product design

Tim Cook fumes at report claiming that he seems disinterested in product design
Yesterday we passed along a story that was published in The Wall Street Journal that gave an unflattering look at what is happening at Apple. The report basically said that design chief Jony Ive left Apple because CEO Tim Cook is not interested in product design. Cook replaced Steve Jobs twice as CEO, the second time on a permanent basis after Jobs' death. Unlike his successor, who put together Apple's impressive supply chain, Jobs was obsessed with product design and he and Ive both spoke the same language. The report noted that the culture inside Apple has changed with Cook said to be more interested in profit margins and continuing Apple's past success rather than focusing on the design of the company's devices.

But Tim Cook says that the WSJ portrayal is not true. In an email that he wrote and sent to NBC News, the executive says that the Journal story is "absurd," and that it doesn't show the reality of what is going on at Apple. Cook states that the article twists what is really going on at Apple so much, that it seems to discuss a company that can't be recognized by Apple insiders. Meanwhile, a statement from Colleen Schwartz, senior vice president of communications for The Wall Street Journal, says that the business daily stands by its reporting.

Ive hopes to remain involved in Apple's product designs even after he leaves the company

Apple announced last Thursday that Ive was leaving to start up his own shop and will take Apple along as a customer. Ive helped design Apple's most iconic devices including the iMac G3, iMac G4, the iPod mp3 player, the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. His British accent was heard narrating Apple's new product videos. And he also helped design iOS 7 after Apple canned its software chief Scott Forstall following the disastrous launch of Apple Maps in 2012. Ive told the Financial Times last week, "While I will not be an (Apple) employee, I will still be very involved — I hope for many, many years to come. This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change."

This has been a tumultuous year for Apple starting on the second day of 2019 when the company cut its fiscal first-quarter revenue guidance. Apple blamed fewer iPhone upgrades and tough business conditions in China. That knocked nearly 10% off of the company's stock price, although the 2019 low was made the very next day. The stock closed at $211.75 on May 3rd and has been building a base since (the stock closed today at $202.73). Besides struggling iPhone sales, the company canceled the AirPower charging pad in March, 562 days after introducing the product. And the company was criticized after renders of the 2019 iPhones showed that the models could have a square camera module on the back. Many have called the design ugly, hideous or worse.

In addition, Apple has spent the year under the cloud of having its devices hit with an import tax in the U.S. The recently announced truce between the U.S. and China means that for now, the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch are not going to face a 25% tariff. The three devices were reportedly in the next tier of $300 billion worth of Chinese products that U.S. President Donald Trump was going to impose tariffs on. Although Apple's products are designed in the states, they are assembled in China and are imported into the U.S.



1. Vokilam

Posts: 1344; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

I like this, hopefully cook can listen to this and put Apples warhammer to good use.

11. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Cook is a twat. It doesn't take a WSJ article to see the stagnation, it's obvious in their phone designs. The management team at Apple is in a never ending circle jerk sustained by their worship of Wall Street and led by Cook. Jobs would have told Wall Street to shove it a long time ago.

19. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

No mention of the major stock buy back that was approved in May 2019, for another $75 billion. Tim only cares about profits. Where as Steve cared more about the user experience. Tim can say that he is fuming at what the WSJ has said. But since he took over Apple's iPhones, Apple has been following Android smartphones these days. Yet today iPhones are falling behind, and cost more money, for less specs. It's a fact.

20. mackan84

Posts: 609; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Actually no. Apple made more profit from a sold iPhone back in Jobs era then now.

2. cmdacos

Posts: 4302; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Design hasn't been Apple's forte in quite sometime. Change is needed and Cook needs to go as well.

5. Vokilam

Posts: 1344; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

@cmdacos post #2. I hate agreeing with you cuz you’re an Apple troll, but on this I agree with you 100%.

17. oldskool50 unregistered

He's not a troll. he is someone who loves tech and speaks for or against any brand. A troll is a person like YOU who sits and debates facts, simply because they are facts that don't paint you in a good way. Apple isn't perfect and just because someone makes those imperfection apparent, doesn't make them a troll. Like they do say, it takes one to know one. So you must be one.

18. Vancetastic

Posts: 1699; Member since: May 17, 2017

Lots of irony here.... Vokilam is pretty fair, in my opinion, and not afraid to criticize Apple at all. You’re off base with this.

3. Derekjeter

Posts: 1546; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I don’t think anyone cares about design in that company. Every iPhone for the past 6 years have been ugly AF. Not only the iPhone but the watch, AirPods, speaker you name it. It’s all horrible. They are only banking on those sheep who will buy a bag of crap with the fruit logo. Apple has not released anything worth buying or innovative. Years behind One plus.

9. technut

Posts: 205; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

I absolutely agree 100%. Meanwhile, people are oblivious to the skyrocketing OnePlus 7 Pro sales. First to have ufs 3.0, first to have a 90hz quad HD amoled display, and also available with 12gb ram. Oh, and no unsightly notch. I've always been a Samsung fan, but the 7 pro converted me. 2 things always lagging behind.. Apple phones, and Sprint service. Both are overpriced, and just plain crap imo.

4. Knownhost

Posts: 111; Member since: Nov 13, 2017

Cook actually is quite passionate about the designs of the iPhone. Okay, maybe just two designs. Why else would they recycle the same design for three or four years at a time?

7. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

What's the longest they've reused the same design? Of the top of my head, maybe the iPad Mini, 7 years lol

21. Knownhost

Posts: 111; Member since: Nov 13, 2017

6, 6s, 7, and 8 recycled the same design other than antenna lines. X, Xs, 11 virtually identical. Both of these designs have the same screen to body ratios and same screen sizes. There's a reason iPhone owners don't know which model they own--there are only two modern designs in circulation. After a couple of iterations, they become pretty stale. Samsung learned that lesson last year with an iterative design and stepped up its game. Apple should do the same.

6. JustinPrime

Posts: 12; Member since: Aug 20, 2018

I was excited to see ivy go until i saw that apple will be there customer for design? why do that? GO ANOTHER DIRECTION APPLE!

8. Whitedot

Posts: 858; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

Having said that who if not Ive was responsible for the repetitive, recycled and I dare to say ugly iPhone designs that came out for years.

10. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1459; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

But with Cook intent on milking the cash cow as much as possible, don't you think it's likely to get worse rather than better? He doesn't actually deny his lack of interest in design. He cares about $$$. Losing sales is fine as long as the services revenue goes up, but if they drop too far...

12. inFla

Posts: 165; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

This is what happens when a business has been successful and profitable for a long time. They feel they can dictate to what the public wants and the public will buy it.

13. baldilocks

Posts: 1542; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

A good design doesn't need to be changed all the time. It's like a Porsche 911, it will always remain true to its original form. The Galaxy S, on the other hand, as well as most other phones is still mess when you open it up. There is no attention to detail. The childish hate for Apple is laughable at best.

22. Knownhost

Posts: 111; Member since: Nov 13, 2017

Attention to detail? It's pretty easy to iron out every wrinkle when you iron the same shirt four times before finally hanging it up.

14. Xxtoxicskittlexx

Posts: 192; Member since: Jun 11, 2018

Apple needs a new leader. Been saying this since iPhone 7. What will be Timmy's legacy ? Good things don't come to mind for sure.

15. LawnBoy

Posts: 203; Member since: Feb 23, 2019

Welcome to the Fake News era Mr. Cook

16. oldskool50 unregistered

Because he knows it true. Starting with IOS 7. I understand he is gay. That's HIS choice. But then he rainbowed up the UI on iOS 7 and it was terrible and girly looking Then the iPhone 5C was a joke. The iPhone 6 Plus bending, shows they didn't care about design as far as making sure it didn't bend, even though their own engineers told them it would. Then the bending iPad was complete BS. Just because a product costs $1000, doesn't mean it should be less durable. How is it other tablets like the Surface and galaxy Tab are far harder to destroy vs Apple Chinese cheap made products? The UI on iOS is still ugly, still backwards. he should have brought change. Put settings in apps. Face ID should unlock directly to the home screen. headphone are stil those cheap $3.00 rejects from China when they own beats and could put better ones in the box. Still using cheaptastic charging cables. That ugly notch on the X models, the Macbooks are ugly now. Same old designs being used on the iPad and iPhone over and over and over again. Funny how the fast blasted Samsung over the S8 and S9 having a similar design vs Apple where the 6, 6S, 7 and 8 all look alike. Tim Cook only cares about money. Once the iPhone sales slump below 150M, he's gonna be looking for another job. He may have to go work for Ive.

23. johnbower888

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 04, 2019

homophobic much???

24. johnbower888

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 04, 2019

Just to answer some of your questions. iPad bending because it's made in China - *uhh FYI the surface is now manufactured in China. The tab is manufactured in Vietnam, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, and Korea. IOS being rainbowed up and girly because Tim Cook is gay- *Just because your homophobic doesn't mean the UI of IOS has anything to do with Tim Cook's sexuality 'That's HIS choice' (yeah... because being gay is a choice apparently, just like being straight is a choice...). All they did was modernize the interface, so it wasn't as drab, android did the same thing. UI being ugly - *that is subjective, just because you don't like it means it's terrible. Maybe you just have bad taste. Not putting beats in box - *correct me if I'm wrong but does any smartphone company put premium headphones in the box???? Why FaceID doesn't immediately go onto home screen - *Because when you lift the phone and look it, it unlocks your ability to get more detailed info about your notifications so any random can't see your messages by just picking up your phone. It's a security feature, one that I happen to like. Crappy charger - *I actually agree with you here. Apple should be including fast chargers, they are cheaping out in this aspect. Same old design used over and over: Yes.... but clearly people still like them because they keep buying them. Do you honestly believe if the general public hated something they would spend $1500 to buy it??

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.