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 Journalthat 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.
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