Tim Cook’s short run as Apple CEO has been pretty great.
While the stock has fallen from its heights, it’s still up overall since he took over the company.
However, he’s not perfect. No one is.
Yesterday, we looked at the smartest things he’s done since taking over, we’re going to look at the flip side here. We have gathered what we consider to be his biggest mistakes as CEO.
We applaud Cook for quickly apologizing for the Apple maps debacle. But, we ding him for letting it happen in the first place. Apple maps should not have gone out until it was ready.
Apple had the best ads of any tech company. It explained its products in a simple, clear, and time funny way. In the last year or so, the ads have turned a bit stale. They're too focused on products and not enough on people. When Apple tried doing people ads with a new Genius bar theme, they flopped. Cook needs to get Apple's marketing mojo back.
Apple updated the iMac last year making it significantly thinner. Thinness is a big theme at Apple. Usually, it's a good thing. In this case, it was probably a mistake. To make the iMac thin, Apple produced a machine that can't perform as well as other desktop computers. There's no advantage to a thin iMac. It just sits on your desk. It looks pretty much exactly the same from the front as the old iMac.
Cook has been running Apple as it transitioned to iCloud. iCloud is wonderful for backing up your iPhone. Otherwise, it's got a lot of problems and developers are ignoring it. Cook needs to fix iCloud because Internet software and services are one of the biggest weaknesses at Apple.
Siri was pretty weak before Tim Cook took over. And it hasn't improved under his watch.
For a long time Apple demolished its earnings guidance. As a result, Wall Street started bumping its estimates higher. Then something changed. Apple missed the Street's estimates repeatedly. And the stock, and to a certain extent Cook, took a hit. Last quarter Apple issued a range of guidance and tried to tell analysts that it was serious about its guidance. Apple probably should have been doing this sooner to avoid whiffing on analyst estimates. Missing analyst targets fed into a false narrative about the company being hosed.
Apple release the iPad Mini, new iMacs, new iPods, and a new iPhone all at the end of 2012. There may be a method to this madness that we're missing, but right now it feels like it was a mistake. It feels like Apple should have held the iMac for this Spring. Because now it has nothing to announce until June, it seems, which gives Apple's rivals an opportunity to dominate the headlines.
We're not convinced this is a huge mistake, but we do think Apple probably should have made the screen bigger overall on the iPhone, not just taller. There's a reason every other phone maker has a bigger screen than the iPhone. Consumers like them.
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