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Apple cuts Tim Cook's pay 15% for missing sales goals (cnn.com)
309 points by basseq on Jan 6, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 389 comments

People are all up in arms about headphone jacks, USB-C, and dongles. When the real issue is Apple completely missing huge new markets.

Apple had Siri out and was in the lead with voice control, then they wasted it. I never use Siri, she is nearly worthless, but I do use Alexa multiple times a day. Amazon is Leading the voice assistant market, and Google is right on their heels.

Home automation was supposed to get better with HomeKit but arrived basically stalled. They announced all these partners and sold their products at the Apple Store. Then when HomeKit finally was ready none of those products worked with HomeKit. You had to buy newer versions that had some proprietary Apple chip in it.

Apple's cloud offering is confusing and hard to manage, also it doesn't work with other platforms besides their own. Amazon and Google both do this much better.

AppleTv is a great product but Apple can't seem to really work with partners to make it actually innovative. The TV app is a cool idea, but I've yet to find any reason to actually use it.

It just seems like they've been wondering aimlessly and dropping half products out there then never iterating and finishing them. Is there some other hidden project (car?) taking all their top talent? Is there some sort of corporate culture issue that has driven all the best and brightest brightest elsewhere? Is there a lot of mismanagement and mixed signals coming down from above?

Steve and the unified vision is gone.

While on winter holidays my fiance pointed out to me:

- She just got a new Macbook Pro from her new job, which has only USB C ports

- She just got a new iPhone 7 from her new job, which is only a Lightning port

She cannot connect her phone to her computer to charge without a dongle. EDIT: a Lightning to USB C cable does exist now. That is still equivalent to a dongle in my opinion, as the consumer still has to buy it and it is a cable that won't be used for anything else.

She has to carry two sets of headphones, one for her computer, and one for her phone.

The unified vision at Apple is gone.

Unified vision was nice. What interested me first in the Apple ecosystem was its use by high-end pros. Photographers, creatives, filmmakers. Then they announced MacOS X, built upon NeXT/BSD, and the mac pro products.

Now Microsoft has dedicated products for high-end creatives (Surface studio won't sell but still shows interest in pros), Linux Bash shell in windows 10. Meanwhile Apple wants pros to use a 9" tablet instead of a laptop.

> Now Microsoft has dedicated products for high-end creatives (Surface studio won't sell but still shows interest in pros)

Every single professional who uses the Surface Studio practically has an orgasm.

If Microsoft keeps support up for it long enough that the CAD program developers are willing to take the plunge on the new features and integrate them into their programs, it will completely displace Apple with the high-end professionals.

The question is whether Microsoft will keep pumping money into the line long enough to get the application developers on board. They've been burned several times.

> They've been burned several times.

I see a fundamental shift has taken place at Microsoft under Satya's direction. Open-sourcing the core technologies that act as the foundation for Microsoft is a huge deal. Surface Studio uncompromisingly for pros (a big problem for MS hardware in the past is that they try to hedge their bets- try to jam stuff in there for everyone).

When you think about how quickly this has changed, it looks like Satya has a clear vision for MS, and pros are part of that vision. When's the last time you've seen a 'visionary' Microsoft (that didn't involved delusional thinking)?

That's what I thought too about Satya's tenure. I had heard great things about win10, and then I saw the ads and freemium paywall ware that lines the standard install of win10.

Hard pass.

+1 and I agree and I personally run linux on my desktop, but I will say that if you buy your laptop from microsoft directly at least they do a good job of making sure that the only crapware pre-loaded is from microsoft, even if otherwise the same model laptop you'd get from any other store that comes with crapware from anyone willing to pay a few bucks. (or few cents?, what does a pre-install from the big vendors go for these days?)

Welcome to what Windows has been on non-pro consumer hardware for decades.

The difference is now Microsoft is providing the crapware, the crapware isn't malicious (like say, Superfish was), and it's not that difficult for power users to disable it or tuck it out of the way.

I love Windows 10 (at least, as much as my love for Windows goes), yes MS made some moves towards treating it a bit like Google and Apple treat their mobile OSes, but not horridly large steps.

> I see a fundamental shift has taken place at Microsoft under Satya's direction.

I haven't seen it yet, but it's still early days.

You cite some examples, examples that are real, eye-catching, but for me not substantive. The fundamental shift I'm looking for is a true shift in customer focus. Microsoft's big customer is enterprise I/T, who is not the end user for much of the tech. Azure seems designed to help State Farm (to pick an F500 at random) add some of that new cloud stuff to their Windows ecosystem. A good business decision, but in the age of AWS and even google services, it's simply incremental.

I could be unfair in saying "not substantive" to the open source initiatives, simply because it's such a huge philosophical shift (to a small part of their business, at least so far). Otherwise, I'm not seeing it yet.

But it takes a very long time to steer a big ship like Microsoft or Apple.

The surface studio isn't entirely uncompromising - it comes with a really unimpressive GPU for the type of monitor it's pushing and the type of people it's marketed to. On the plus side, egpus should work with it.

I do agree though the Surface Studio gets my interest in a way that iMacs haven't since the iMac G4. It seemed like after the G4 they just kept phoning it in with yet another pizza box iMac.

I would say the initial release of the Intel iMac is the last time an Apple desktop release excited me. Seeing those impossibly thin aluminum bezels with huge purple nebulae onscreen really felt a little bit like the future.

If Microsoft keeps support up for it long enough that the CAD program developers are willing to take the plunge on the new features and integrate them into their programs, it will completely displace Apple with the high-end professionals.

I think it has huge potential outside of CAD. Anything that deals with complex flows of data/material would benefit from such an interface.

If 2017 turns out to be the year the VR starts to hit the main stream, which it could be, it will be interesting to see what Apple's response will be.

I highly doubt it will be. And this is coming from an owner of a GTX 1080 and HTC Vive. There are some really awesome games and experiences, but there is nothing that I really want to keep going back to. No Rocket League or Minecraft (Well, there is vivecraft, but minecraft in VR just isn't that much more appealing to me than the vanilla game.) PSVR might get some stuff but for now it seems like most large companies are just putting their toes in the water by giving out small tech demos.

VR needs a couple of things, and they aren't going to happen in less than a year. First and most importantly, cheaper and better hardware. Daydream is nice, but at most it is good for 360 video and some cheap games. Get some head tracking in there somehow and then it becomes interesting. Also, it needs something like the oculus touch controllers or vive controllers so you can actually use your hands for things.

Secondly, an actual killer app. Some kind of game that only works in VR. Something that you want to keep coming back to.

Lastly - simplicity. Daydream is simple but too limited. The vive has all the features but setting up lighthouses is a pain unless you can permanently mount them. Also being tethered to your computer sucks (A solution for that is on the way, but it will only add to the cost.) Headsets are still bulky and uncomfortable to wear for long periods.

My point I guess is that Apple's typical timing with things would put them entering the market in 2018 at the earliest. This is like the early Windows Phone/PalmOS days before the iPhone (But I doubt Apple will be the one releasing the "iPhone" of VR.)

Tech Journalist Robert Scoble seems to be super certain that the next iPhone this year will be AR/VR and blow everyone away, he apparently has credible sources. Personally i don't buy it at all and can't wait for everyone to tell him "i told you so"

Maybe. Of course killer apps don't have to spring full formed as launch titles. Visicalc arrived two and a half years after the launch of the Apple II. I don't think we can count out people coming up with something remarkable in 2017 given that there are platforms from Facebook, Google, Steam and Sony.

As for myself, even without a killer app, VR has gotten me saving memories as photo spheres, in addition to pictures and videos.

VR has a massive hurdle to get over. You can't expect people to drop $600 on a headset _and_ (at least) $1k on a machine that can run it.

Costs will come down, but 2017 won't be the year. I expect VR to grow, but only in the gaming market.

I know I'm probably a minority of HN users and other tech enthusiasts on this issue, but I'm totally uninterested in VR. I've tried it a few times and my general impression was, "Neat." That's a far cry from an impression like, "OMG this is the most amazing thing ever!" which is what I was kind of expecting to think.

I'm more interested in AR, personally. But it's hard for me to articulate why exactly because honestly I don't have much experience with it yet. It just seems more interesting to me. I'd really like to get a Hololens to start experimenting with, but can't really justify the cost of it right now.

(disclosure: I work for Microsoft, which makes Hololens. Not meaning to promote it, these are my personal opinions)

You're not alone.

I work at an AEC firm. We give money and some privilege to 2-3 people at work to experiment with VR. It's interesting to some degree but, beyond being a marketing tool, I don't really see it being useful as a professional tool any time soon.

These things are hard to call though, like anything in future tech (or the future in general). They consider it revolutionary new tech whereas I'm on the side of "shiny new toy" and "wait and see" but the powers that be have no issue spending the money on it while I see some of core competencies and actual training for the future being ignored (transitions to BIM and training in better 3D modeling programs).

Not my company or money though.

I want to buy a VR headset but I currently cannot justify it due to the cost+use of the device.

I, and I think enough other people, already have a $1k+ PC for the huge amount of non-VR games it gives access to.

But the big catch for me is that there just doesn't seem to be enough content that will work with and (more importantly) be enhanced by a VR experience. I simply don't have the cash-on-hand to justify spending ~$800 to make Elite Dangerous slightly more immersive. But if a good VR headset was more in the $200 range (like the very similarly limited hotas I bought for the same reason) I would probably jump.

It does seem like this year may bring the cost of the devices down low enough that more devs and more audience can get on board and bring it in to the main stream because it is very nearly there already.

Not according to Microsoft, VR is going to be a big push for them this year. Granted a lot can go wrong, but they are addressing all the points you just listed:

* Headset Pricing: Major OEMs will be releasing headsets starting at $300 [0]

* Lowering system specs for VR [1]

* Not just a gaming focus: Windows 10 creators update puts an emphasis on 3D and Mixed-Reality, including a 'holographic' interface [2]

[0] http://1reddrop.com/2017/01/06/microsoft-announces-299-windo... [1] http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2016/12/08/microsoft-unveils... [2] https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/upcoming-features

I have actually been able to play around with a Hololens (AR vs VR but close enough) and it is extremely cool.

It honestly feels like only minor improvements in size/speed/usability will make it massively useful in normal life very soon.

I think Microsoft is 2-3 years too early (or maybe that's the plan?). The technology just isn't there yet. Headesets need to double the resolutions on the displays and increase the frame rate by 50%.

Agreed, I find the current resolution on VR headsets a huge letdown. Actually made worse by the fact that everything else I have these days is retina, 4K, etc so at a very high resolution.

VR could find use in other market segments that existing technologies are insufficient for at a scale that make it affordable.

Take theaters for example. They have been looking for a market for years but since people have screens and streaming at home they don't tend to go as much. However they could find a new life by purchasing VR headsets in bulk and selling livestreams of plays/musicals/operas, and possibly sports games as well. These will always be experiences better seen live, but VR would be a significant step above television.

That way someone could enjoy VR at a very low cost, and possibly spur them to buy a headset themselves, when the price is right.

You don't need a $1K machine for VR. Example:

GTX 970 = $155: http://ebay.com/itm/371833128329

GTX 980 = $235: http://ebay.com/itm/291993305929

Gaming PC with GTX 970 = $540: http://ebay.com/itm/112250177638

Gaming PC with GTX 1070 = $690: http://ebay.com/itm/222369412011

I think ebay is the last place I'd buy pretty much anything. Especially when the price discrepancy between those listings and fully legit stores is so different. Just a personal observation.

Buy from the sellers with good reviews and lots of reviews, and you will be fine. And if you pay with PayPal, eBay guarantees to return your money if something goes wrong.

Enter Google Daydream. Only need $650 phone (much cheaper ones were just announced that support it I think) and a $80 headset. And most importantly they are building it correctly so that many/most high end VR games will also run on Daydream.

I have a computer that can run vr (i7-6700k + 1080) enough disposable income to afford a headset and I'm still not interested. There just hasn't been anything released for vr that doesn't seem like a gimmick.

Have you played one yet? I thought the same thing, argued with people, etc. Played at a friends house and ordered one the next day.

VR in 2017 will be 90+% about gaming, and Apple has never really cared about gaming. I doubt they'll start caring now all of a sudden.

They make billions off gaming...

Fair enough. They've never cared about the sort of gaming commonly done on the sort of computers that will be able to do VR in 2017. When we get to the point where the iPad/iPhone can do high quality VR then I'll re-evaluate my statement.

VR is all about immersive experiences. Apple always cares about experiences.

And my thoughts are that Apple cannot bring the same Stevie vision of simplicity and use to VR, which is why they will never care about it.

I'm not sure about that. It seems to me that VR is ripe for a high-end offering that is vertically integrated and quality assured. The VR landscape is already a bit fragmented and it probably won't get less so.

They'll have to stick better graphics cards in their computers, but that's doable.

Probably their biggest challenge would be coming up with a headset that is "Apple-y", given that the design issues involved in creating them right now still create something fundamentally klunky. (VR is starting to take off not because anyone's figured out how to make it not klunky, but because it transitioned from intolerably klunky to tolerably klunky. Along with the latency improvements.)

I'm not saying they're going to do it. But they could.

How? Everyone suddenly realizes they have been closet gamer for many years and comes out for VR?

It will be a year when VR hype scales back. Not the first time and not the last one.

Yea. Google is taking amazing steps to kill it in this market with Daydream. I have it and for the price (diff vs non high end phone) and $80 headset is it perfect.

What's hitting the market? Didn't hear anything.

Windows 10 Creators Update along with a slew of headsets from major PC vendors (HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc.) starting at $300.

The problem I see is that VR would be great with dual 2K screens and 120+hz , but we don't have the GPUS to push that many pixels today (in any remotely affordable way...maybe quad TitanX would work).

Cheaper, lower-quality VR headsets will leave a bad impression on consumers. I don't think that's the direction we should be going. I'd rather see HTC and Oculus release higher-res, faster refresh rate HMDs, but I doubt they'd do that with no single GPU able to run those today.

When you get to scale, you can start doing things like manufacturing displays with higher PPI near where the lenses are centered. That way you have the same number of total physical pixels but a higher resolution contributing to the image.

You can further reduce the computational costs by using foveated rendering(http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/johnsny/papers...). You can use low-latency eye-tracking to spend more time rendering the portions of the frame that the user is actively looking at.

I think the combo of falling gpu prices, and clever hardware design means we will probably see headsets with effectively higher and higher resolutions sooner rather than later.

That's going to be difficult given how often and how fast eyes move and how sensitive they are.

You'd need a new lens design for that really. Right now the lenses that are used aren't really good if you start looking to the side too much. When I get going in VR I generally just look with my head instead of my eyes to avoid those lens issues like chromatic aboration.

a slew of headsets from major PC vendors (HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc.) starting at $300.

Wonder if that will help or hinder VR. Personally I think the Vive is just about the bare minimum needed for VR to barely be acceptable. If peoples first impression of VR is something less than that I doubt they'll be impressed enough to actually use VR for more than 15 minutes over the first 2 weeks after purchase.

Surface Studio is actually selling at 2x what Microsoft anticipated it selling for, so it seems to be a bigger market than one would think.

The quality of the current line of surfaces is pretty good. A few friends who have needed a replacement computer/laptop but need to use Windows for work have opted for the Surface. Gives them nice portability and they don't really need an iPad (or can't afford a laptop and iPad).

> Linux Bash shell in windows 10

Despite their "this is all about the developer" statements, making Windows Subsystem for Linux unable to co-exist with VMware and other virtualization tools was a deal-breaker for me.

WSL PM here. No virtualization software is required to use Bash on Windows.


Can you expand on this? Are you saying I can't run VMware while Windows Subsystem for Linux is running? I wasn't aware of such a limitation (because I don't use vmware etc.), but would like to know more.

Heyo, PM for WSL here. Neither VMware, HyperV or any other VM software is required to use Bash on Windows.


I believe it's based upon hyper-v, which typically precludes using other VM software on the same machine. Docker toolbox for Windows 10 has the same issues.

No, WSL does not require hyper-v. It is a totally separate system from hyper-v and does not rely on virtualization of any kind. You can use WSL alongside any other VM software.

I don't know much but the bash on windows thing was a completely separate thing from vm's.

Actually, I might be wrong. I thought it required Hyper-V, since it ran an Ubuntu under the covers, and that assumption might incorrect.

Specifically, it's enabling Hyper-V which makes Windows incompatible with VMware. The incompatibility results in more issues than just those with the bash shell. The big one for me is Docker for Windows:


I think I will just try it out and revert back if there's an issue, since I can't find clear documentation about it being incompatible. So I assume I'm wrong.

I can let you know if you like.

It does run an ubuntu/GNU userspace, but not ubuntu Linux. WSL is a Linux ABI layer for Windows so no virtualisation is needed. It's more like WINE.

I would say it "gets better": I have the 12" MacBook. I only have a USB-C port. I have an iPhone. I need a USB-C cable to connect my MacBook to my iPhone. So far, so good!

But, I only have one USB-C port. I also want to charge my laptop. So I have a ludicrous dongle from Apple that lets me plug HDMI, USB, and power (over USB-C) at one time.

But, the USB port on the dongle is USB-A, and I need to use the USB-C port to charge, so I would have to use a USB-A cable to connect my iPhone if I am using that dongle.

Yes: I could always use the dongle and the USB-A cable. But that dongle is so annoying to bother with that I actually carry around all three: two cables and the dongle.

I hear this argument a lot but for some reason i never plug my iPhone into my laptop for charging, mainly because its a lot slower than using an outlet. 95% of the time i charge it at night and that's fine for the day. In the rare cases where i need to charge on the go i use an outlet or a small powerbank i always have with me.

I do not understand your comment as I almost never plug my iPhone into my laptop for charging: I plug my iPhone into my laptop as USB is a much faster and more stable transfer conduit than bluetooth (for tethering) and is essentially required for doing most development work.

Ah ok, i didn't think about the mobile developer usecase, thats a valid point. Tethering works fine for me via Bluetooth but i don't use it very often, so that might be valid too. But then a simple USB-C -> Lightning cable will solve your issues right ?

But then we come back to the premise, as you are literally just stopping at the end if my first paragraph: that works until I need to charge my phone and tether or develop at the same time, something of particular importance as there is no way to connect the phone over USB without it draining the battery of the computer into the phone.

Maybe the understanding gap here is that you don't really use your laptop very much? I use my laptop constantly. I am a developer (as are probably most people on this website), and I own a fancy laptop so I can be mobile: not thinking about the use case of a mobile developer is very strange in the context of a conversation about mobile computers in a large group of developers.

(To be clear, to avoid even more miscommunication: despite the relatively small warts in this setup which seem to violate the standard design process of Apple, I like this computer and purposefully chose it with complete knowledge of what cables it would require. I wish it had a second USB-C port instead of the headphone jack, even though that would cause me to carry around another adapter, as the adapter usage would be less, but I appreciate this was essentialy their beta of USB-C and was not where and when they wanted to start the headphone war.)

I use my laptop for work and private 10-12 hours a day and am a developer myself, i just don't develop mobile apps, mostly backend services with python/go/php so i actually hardly connect my phone to the Laptop.

Sorry i actually did not reread your original comment when replying and was assuming this was about the Macbook Pro... If you only have one port there is indeed only the usb-c hub solution which can be annoying.

I have a 13000mah charger unit with 2.1A out for my Samsung phone etc. Quite neat design; why not just get one of these if you're going to be carrying so much stuff around anyway? Could use it as a bit of spare power for the 12" as well.

I don't understand how that helps: that just replaces the power supply. So now I have my laptop charging from the power brick over USB-C and I still need the dongle to attach the phone at the same time as I charge my laptop. (I am guessing you meant to charge the phone; but not only wasn't the premise--the laptop is the device that is going to need to charge, particularly when you are using the phone over USB--it doesn't come up often as the power block for the laptop is just a 29W USB-C charger, so when it doesn't make sense to charge the phone from the laptop as if the laptop were a battery pack I can plug it directly into the wall.)

Yep I meant to charge the phone; my thoughts were if you are going to be carrying extra stuff to charge the phone then might as well carry parts that extend overall battery life. (And I was thinking of away from wall usage scenarios.)

Wow. Now that is hell.

Here's my personal conjecture based on owning most products in the Apple lineup and trying to predict the future a bit.

So far as I can tell the idea is Lightning ports for devices which require charging, and USB ports for devices which require data transfer.

All cables designed to provide power utilize a USB A connector - this is the majority of Lightning cables. In their current lineup this can be used to charge an iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, and Air Pods case.

I recognize a lot of users still use the Lightning cable to transfer data to/from the phone to/from a computer. I'm betting Apple views these users as the current edge case.

Given that - it seems only a matter of time until an iPhone which has no ports, similar to the Apple Watch.

I imagine they'd rather not deal with USB-C on their devices at all - given the madness behind the different power capabilities of cables that seem to plague the specification. But they also recognize that is the future of general-use cables and are embracing it accordingly.

Given the lack of ability to charge any Apple peripheral directly from the newest Macbook (12" or Pro) models I suspect the internal rule is that devices with batteries aren't considered charging sources.

I'm personally excited to see the directions Apple keeps moving towards. I think it'll end up a more unified future than we've had yet. But I'm also ready to be wrong. I'll try to look back on this in a few years and see how we are.

> Given that - it seems only a matter of time until an iPhone which has no ports, similar to the Apple Watch.

Unless we invent seriously good wireless charging, I just can't see that happening. There's too many cases where having your phone "docked" just doesn't work.

Personally, I usually fall asleep with my phone laying on the bed next to me playing YouTube/Netflix/etc. No way to do that if it has to be resting on a pad like the Watch.

And what about cars and navigation? Can't throw your phone in your cup holder and pull up Maps anymore. You either need a new car with wireless charging or need to strap some sort of wireless charging pad to the back, which defeats the entire purpose of wireless charging.

The Apple Watch doesn't use a pad charger - it uses a magnetic puck which attaches fairly firmly* to the device. Right now the puck is fairly large and thick, but I can hope that in the next 5 years Apple can manage to reduce its size a bit and provide an interface for it which works with the iPhone.

Given that general design I imagine sleeping with the phone next to you in bed or in a cup holder shouldn't be much different than it is now - if anything the rotational flexibility provided by the magnetic puck charger would be advantageous in both situations.

Jony Ive has a thing for reducing devices to their core-most functionality. It's a design trait picked up from the likes of Deiter Rams. One of the easiest ways to reduce a device is to reduce or eliminate points of ingress. An iPhone which has no port for charging and the updated speakers from the Series 2 Apple Watch designed for waterproofing would be more ideal.

* Firm enough that you can pick up and move the watch about using only the puck as leverage.

> Jony Ive has a thing for reducing devices to their core-most functionality. It's a design trait picked up from the likes of Deiter Rams.

Ive likes to associate himself with Rams, and people like to throw around the "as little design as possible" meme, but Ive and Rams are really very different in their execution of that idea, which counts for a lot. Ive is much more willing to challenge convention in his reductions, which sometimes pays off, but sometimes it means his products are a pain in the ass for the user to figure out when they ship. This can't be said of Rams.

They would have to switch back to a non metal back to do wireless charging. I doubt they'd do plastic on their main models and glass seemed to give them a lot of trouble with shattering the last time they did it so I'm not sure they'll do it.

>Lightning ports for devices which require charging, and USB ports for devices which require data transfer

Except the new macbooks use USB C for charging, and one of the things Apple emphasized when they switched from 30-pin to lightning was the increased data rate. There's no consistency. This is just another case of everyone moving toward a standard (micro-usb and now usb-c) and Apple ignoring it, except this time Apple doesn't have any excuse.

I believe Lightning was added to the iPhone (and the headphone jack removed) only for the purpose of waterproofing the device. But that's just off the top of my head.

I doubt it, S7 has both, headphone jack and an micro USB port, and it is still waterproof.

I don't follow how this is an example of what you conclude.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but we never been able to connect iPhone's to computers without a special cable.

It's baffling, but not new.

Sure 30-pin and Lightning to USB-A cables are both "special." But in the past users have been able to connect the phone to the current MacBook lineup out of the box. Now users of the current MacBook lineup have to buy a new Lightning to USB Type-C cable as it is not included. It is certainly an example of disunity among their product lineup.

Thank you, this is exactly what I meant.

>the unified vision is gone.

I disagree, their unified vision is a wireless one. But you could say they rushed it at the expense of the consumer.

And yet they don't offer wireless charging.

Who offers true wireless charging ? I have the so-called Samsung Galaxy wireless charging, which is no different than just plugging in. I don't even bother

I used to use wireless charging every day with my old Nexus 5, I loved it! I had a wireless charging puck at work where I would sit my phone on whenever I was at my desk, it was so easy that I could do whatever I wanted with my phone whenever and not worry about battery, ever (I also rarely needed to charge when I got home). I'm now using a Oneplus 2 phone and miss the wireless charging feature every time I need to plug in a cable, if I can, my next phone will support wireless charging again, I miss it so much.

Didn't Apple recently stop developing their wireless routers?

That's why the very first thing I mention is Steve.

Good luck charging your phone wirelessly

I've done it with about 5 dollars worth of hardware (total for both Qi emitter and receiver), and it was a bit fiddly to place the encased phone on the charger in the right place, but no luck was actually required.



> 5 dollars worth of hardware

But how many dollars worth of experience, education, and attentiveness?

The irony is that say she has a macbook pro and a google pixel phone, its trivial to plug the pixel phone into the usb c port on the mac book pro without any dongles, using the cable that came with your phone.

That the new MacBookPro doesn't at least ship with two dongles (for USB and Lightning) is pure arrogance from Apple.

That MacBookPro 13" without touchbar comes with just two USB-C and an old-school audio port (gone in iPhone7) is just stupid, as one USB-C port is used to charge the notebook.

Steve Jobs vision and his personal testing of products is missing. He would have prevented such things leaving the factory.

Beside that little ports and touchbar fiasco, the MacBookPro is a good notebook. (though I wished Intel would get their act together and finally release a chipset for 32GB RAM)

> The unified vision at Apple is gone.

My theory is that something happened and Apple felt it was forced to release the new MBP 6 months or maybe 1 year before the whole line was ready.

Microsoft Surface happened and was being more Apple than Apple.

Is there no Lightning to USB C cable?

Buy an iphone. Buy a macbook. Now try to connect the two. That's what he meant. It's possible with additional accessories, but that's not the point.

But most people aren't buying an iPhone 7 and a MacBook at the same time, and Apple only had one laptop with USB-C ports until a month after the iPhone's release.

An iPhone 7 buyer is far more likely to find a USB-A port to plug into. Your idea would be to make the masses buy a dongle, instead of the minority who own brand new laptops.

I think you're missing the point that it's fundamentally un-Apple-like to have two new products that out-of-the-box can't connect with each other.

That might be OP's point, but that ignores the fact that Apple would likely dealing with a much worse PR disaster when millions of users can't plug their phone into literally anything they own without first buying a USB-A cable.

Seems like you don't know apple. They have always favored fancy features and out of box experience with other apple products over out of the box backwards compatibility.

It's really not usual at all especially for devices that are not required to be connected to each other or span different generations of Macs.

The AirPort has never come with an Ethernet cable

The iPod never shipped with both FireWire and USB to 30 pin cables

The ThunderBolt Display was incompatible with Macs without ThunderBolt ports

The 30" Cinema display was only compatible with the Mac Pro when it launched and later required adapters (not included) to be used on other Macs

The original iPhone's recessed headphone jack required an adapter to use older iPod headphones

The first generation of Apple USB mice/keyboards did not come with an ADB adapter

Why can't Apple ship both a USB-A and USB-C cable? In the early 2000s, Apple bundled both a USB and a Firewire cable in the packaging with a new iPod, presumably to facilitate exactly the sort of transition they're confronting now.

Well, this seems to be a trend. Buying a new power adaptor for new macbook:

* Buy adapter. * Buy extension cord. * Buy USB-C cable.

Those aren't packaged together anymore so now you get 3 separate boxes full of packaging just for a power adaptor. It feels wasteful... not to mention annoying if the apple sales person forgets to tell you you need to buy USB-C separately! And the correct one at that.

Reminds me of using an iMac 20 years ago...

As per previous comments, _very_ recently one came out. It was not out with the initial rollout of the devices.

What? Apple's shipped in March, and third party cables have been available since at least May, 2015. IIRC there was ~a month between release of the USB-C MacBook and the first such cables, but they were available for over a year before the MacBookPro shipped.

The headset jack issues on the iPhone 7 make me more angry about a product I own than anything I can recall in recent memory.

Utterly frustrating.

Wow, I love this being trotted out every single time.

Unless the latest macbook and the latest phone are released at exactly the same time, this was always going to happen.

They could have added 2 cables, which is a huge waste since most people only need one.

Or they could have kept a shitty USB-A port on the macbook, which is not progressive enough for Apple.

Or you put a USBC-Thunderbolt cable in the new macbooks box

> She cannot connect her phone to her computer to charge without a dongle.

Is it still a valid point once USB-C to Lightning Cable is out?


Didn't some market study show that almost nobody plugs their phone into their computer anymore?

At least i can't remember the last time I did.

Does Apple include that cable with either the iPhone or the MacBook though? I consider it to be unreasonable to expect consumers to fork over more money to connect two devices from the same company to one another.

You don't, though, iPhones will sync with the macbook over wifi: the only real problem is that the iPhone won't charge without the usb -> lightning cable or a power adapter.

No, the current expectation is the consumer to buy it :/

The point is people don't want to carry a bag of dongles with them everyday.

Especially the Pro model consumers. It's fine for reduced ports on an Air or MacBook, you're going to make sacrifices for portability. For a flagship laptop consumers expect options.

Meh, I have exactly the same problem with Nexus 6p. I need one USB-C/USB-A cable for data transfer, another USB-C/USB-C for fast charging from the power brick that came with the phone, but back again to USB-C/USB-A to charge from the car. And don't get me started about the lack of good car charges that that support USB 3.1 PD.

It seem some friction to be inevitable when new physical connector is introduced.

Most of those cables are "stationary" though (quotes because your car moves). And a stationary cable isn't that much hassle or friction.

I have a cable that never moves from my bedside, it plugs my Pixel C-to-C into the brick. I have C-to-A cables at my desk at work and at home, neither moves. Your car's C-to-A cable (presumably) doesn't leave your car.

The move to C on the host end is something that hasn't happened recently (not since A took off >10 years ago), but the move to C on the device-end is comparable to the move to the original 30-pin i-device cable, Mini/Micro-USB, or Lightning. It's obnoxious but inevitable.

But don't worry, in 5 years it'll be ubiquitous, like USB-A is now! You'll see it on planes, busses, hotel room USB outlets...all those places which now have USB-A with 500ma charging which are now obsolete. The hotel alarm clocks with 30-pin connectors are especially hilarious to me, since they're "new" but already obsolete. It's still not reasonable in 2017 to travel and forget your charger, and it'll get worse (again) before getting better.

Exactly like the FireWire ports on my older macs.

It wouldn't make any sense to provide a Lightning/USB-C cable instead of Lightning/USB-A.

Far more people own laptops with USB-A ports, and far more people never even plug their phones into anything besides their wall charger.

The iPhone isn't just for Mac users.

They could've provided one cable with an adapter.

USB type-c to type-a doesn't require an active dongle.

I purchased and received my new 15" MBP over the holidays as well (already have the new iPhone 7) and it blew my mind that the MBP had the old headphone jack.

If a Lightning to USB-C cable (which has existed for a while now) is a dongle then what is the USB-A equivalent ? How do you think people have been charging their iPhones to date ? And you realise you still need a "dongle" if Apple used USB-C on the iPhone ?

And why does your girlfriend need two sets of headphones when there is an included 3.5mm adapter with the iPhone ?

So many questions. Because literally nothing you wrote seems to make much sense.

I agree. They seem to be making the same mistake as Microsoft did in the Ballmer years. Yes, they are poking at some new markets, but quite half heartedly and believing their own ecosystem hype too much.

It feels like all the protests about Vista back then. When in reality this was trivial compared to the fact there was virtually nothing exciting coming out from them and they misstepped on huge new markets.

I honestly get the impression they are shocked that people don't love all the new stuff as much as they expected.

It shouldn't surprise anyone. Tim Cook and Steve Ballmer shared a similar roll when they were under their respective CEO/Celebrities.

I know this isn't what you meant by car, but I want to take this opportunity to mention that my least favourite thing about my car is the Apple software which runs on it; Apple CarPlay.

I live in London. Apple maps is a disaster. Businesses which have moved shop years ago are in the wrong place. Traffic routes which are congested every day are recommended. It's literally a waste of my life to use this software.

Despite this flaw (and the fact that the head unit is actually useless until your plug in your iPhone), Apple maps is the only navigation software permitted to run on these head units; even though, it is permissible to use Google Maps or Waze when I am walking on the pavement; even though, it is permissible to mount my phone to my car and use an alternative navigation software.

Additionally, on the subject of "wireless grand unification," you can only connect your phone via USB.

> Apple maps is a disaster. Businesses which have moved shop years ago are in the wrong place.

Are people submitting corrections? It's amazing how quickly they respond here in the US, at least where I am. I submit corrections and usually see a notification within a week that it's been addressed.

I haven't tried, but I'm sure they would be quick to address a correction. Unfortunately I don't think the typical car buyer should be smacked with the choice between poor data and the opportunity of volunteering for the upkeep of a product they paid for. Personally I don't think it reflects well on the company. Traffic problem still remains.

CarPlay has supported wireless functionality for some time, but car manufacturers and 3rd party addons are only starting to support it now.

No defense for the maps restriction, however.

You're right, however, CarPlay is already a very recent development. Bluetooth seems like quite a major omission, especially when you consider that it has been an established technology in cars since at least the turn of the millennium.

Thankfully that doesn't bug me so much, because I tend to want to charge my phone when I drive anyway.

It's not a restriction. Apple simply hasn't built out a fully featured third party SDK for CarPlay yet. It's impossible to build a maps app using the currently available third party CarPlay APIs.

The thing that just makes me throw my hands up in exasperation is that Apple could have been early to the "home hub" game with AppleTV but they just didn't see it.

Imagine if, instead of Apple Watch, they had put those folks into building the AppleTV into a home hub based on Siri. I feel like Apple Watch was to be their "always available assistant" but I just don't see it succeeding in that market for most people.

(Siri isn't as good as Alexa or Google's thing but that's a separate issue...)

Imagine how so many Sony and then Microsoft fans feel. Either the Playstation or XBox could have been a wonderful device to centralize around in a home. Yet they constantly bungled it from generation to generation. Sony was promising when they had PS2 compatible with PS1.

The problem was they each always try to just extend their corporate wall around your home. Rather than giving an inviting place to encourage innovation in your home. Apple has the same "our way, on our time" mentality that stifles innovation by third parties. For a time, this was offset by the awesome innovations they were providing. That time seems to be ending.

Great point- and if I'm not mistaken there was voice recognition available on the XBox 360 and the PS3 through their add-on camera kits, which meant only some relatively small portion of installs had it. Then they both did the exact same thing in the following gen.

The XBox has Cortana, I think, but does the PS4 have a "smart assistant"?

Cortana requires a mic attached to Xbox or the controller. But I never use one. It would be nice to have a mic built into Xbox, which would act like Alexa or Google home.

My wife and I both use our Xbox One with Kinect and Amazon Echo daily. Alexa works extremely well, but Cortana works only 80% of the time and so slowly we usually pick up a controller, even just to pause Netflix.

but Cortana works only 80% of the time and so slowly we usually pick up a controller, even just to pause Netflix

That's why I unhooked the Kinect that was forced upon me when I bought a launch day box, and put it in the garage. That pile of garbage worked just often enough to trick me into trying to rely on it. But 80% isn't anywhere near good enough, IMO.

Xbox one can be controlled remotely with Xbox mobile app, you might find that useful. I didn't get the Kinect by the way.

I've read speculation that the last AppleTV update was supposed to come along with a big content deal that didn't materialize. Of course, maybe the "old" Apple would have been able to wrestle the bargain.

    - Apple had Siri out and was in the lead with voice control, then they wasted it.
    - Home automation was supposed to get better with HomeKit but arrived basically stalled.
    - Apple's cloud offering is confusing and hard to manage
    - AppleTv is a great product but Apple can't seem to really work with partners
3 out of 4 of the above has to do with UX and software. Apple is losing its way with UX with particular pieces of software. In the old days, the errant groups would get spanked by Steve Jobs or his chosen lieutenants. In the old days, the last one would also be brought home by Steve Jobs or his chosen lieutenants.

> Apple had Siri out and was in the lead with voice control, then they wasted it.

I think this statement can be generalized to almost every single product Apple sells or has sold. They've seriously excelled at innovation in the past (tons of great historic computers, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, Siri, etc.) but then it's like the whole company eventually gets bored with Product X and moves on because "Innovation is Out There!"

I honestly want to know what was innovative about Siri. Android already have voice commands at that time, they just didn't have a cutesy name for it. I guess Siri was "innovative" in that it had a clever marketing campaign behind it, that Google, Microsoft, and Amazon later copied.

> Android already have voice commands at that time, they just didn't have a cutesy name for it.

So did iOS, well before Android. They just didn't have a cutesy name for it.


Siri was a big distraction when it came in the box with humor.

But otherwise, it was the future. Just think if you were supposed to control your device with voice only. Blind people could use it. Car drivers could use it. Lazy people could use it.

Siri took a long time to integrate into apps. Siri took a while to get some intelligence. Siri took a while to integrate more into the OS. Siri became just another app but with a hardware shortcut. Nothing more. Future spoiled.

But Siri wasn't voice activated at the start. It actually got that feature after Google Now had it. So again, I don't see anything that was innovative about Siri at its release.

> Amazon is Leading the voice assistant market, and Google is right on their heels.

That's rather subjective. My experiences with Siri have been way better than with Google.

> You had to buy newer versions that had some proprietary Apple chip in it.

Not accurate at all.

> Apple can't seem to really work with partners to make it actually innovative.

Neither can Google or Roku. Content providers are stubborn.

> they've been wondering aimlessly and dropping half products out there then never iterating and finishing them

You just described Google, actually.

I mean, they're making billions a year in revenue in the markets they are in, so maybe they don't care?

(side note: in my experience Alexa is much worse at understanding what I'm asking)

edit: to quote the article: "Shrinking iPhone sales last year caused Apple to suffer its first annual revenue decline in 15 years." Apple is incredibly successful, all of this declaring them dead because they had a bad quarter is kind of dumb.

HomeKit doesn't require a proprietary Apple chip, I have no idea where you got that idea. It just has very high security standards.

> "HomeKit doesn't require a proprietary Apple chip, I have no idea where you got that idea."

A few sources disagree:


> "Apple’s MFi guidelines require manufacturers to use only Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and also include a specialized chip for authentication"


> "The certification ensures that these smart home devices have an authentication chip and have undergone rigorous testing to get Apple’s official seal of approval"


> "Apple Inc. requires anyone making a device compatible with its HomeKit environment to buy and use a special identity chip."

Now, I don't have access to the official docs for MFi - so maybe these sources are all wrong. But I'm pretty confident a special chip is required.

Huh, you might be right. I've never run across any references to this before, all I've seen in the past is about how HomeKit has very high security standards and that's why a lot of devices don't work. Still, without access to the MFi documentation, it's not clear if this chip is actually required or if it's just the easiest way to meet the security requirements that HomeKit imposes.

The Homebridge project provides HomeKit compatibility without Apple authorization. I don't know if Apple controls this using patents or trademarks but you don't technically need Apples authorization.

I'm pretty sure that when you register a Homebridge instance to your Apple device though you get a message about the accessory being in test mode.

Homebridge is presumably making use of some debug mode that you wouldn't use in a shipping product - and if you did, Apple wouldn't let you advertise it as officially compatible with HomeKit.

From what I can tell from Homebridge they provide HomeKit emulation - not compatibility. You're running a local Node server to emulate the Homekit API.

Still neat - but hardly the sort of thing that implies you can ship a product utilizing Homekit without following the MFi spec.

To emulate the iOS HomeKit API, meaning you can write plugins for it to provide support for non-HomeKit-enabled devices. But presumably Homebridge itself must still vend itself as a HomeKit-enabled device on the network or else you wouldn't be able to control it.

All I know is that I have Philips Hue lights, Belkin Wemo switches, and a Nest thermostat and none of them connect to HomeKit. For the Hue I have to buy a new bridge, Belkin says that they can't support it without completely new hardware[1], and Nest is completely mum on the issue but presumably there's no hope of support in the near future.

These devices all have active developer communities and good API/interaction. I plugged my Amazon Echo in and it immediately detected all three and allowed me to control them seamlessly. I don't know what the specific issue is but it sure seems like Apple is the problem.

[1]: http://www.belkin.com/us/support-article?articleNum=187953

The issue is Apple's security standards.

Yes, it is a security standard issue, but it's enforced with hardware. So, while this is there for a reason (possibly even setting a standard for these IoT devices), it's not simply a lack of developers building secure software. It's with the hardware not being spec'd to meet these "arbitrary" security standards. I say arbitrary because clearly no one else in the game is using it. So, I think the OP is correct here, Apple has made a product that simply doesn't work with other products due to their own decisions.

Edit: Typos

As a disclaimer I'm not really an apple fan and have found all of their products to be blah to me.

Considering the rise in IoT based DDoS attacks and the ftc going after companies like D-Link for poor security practices, aren't security standards like Apple is requiring something we want to commend?

Insteon is still an insecure and unencrypted protocol, just the new homekit hub is 'more secure' now, controlling insecure items.

You can also install a general homekit proxy with a general nodejs server called homebridge. That homekit proxy can control anything with any kind of security.

So at this point it's just another proprietary standard unfortunately :( Might as well call it another MFi program.

It is part of the MFi program.

What would you like Apple to do?

The same standards that let a stranger stand in front of your door and say "hey Siri, open the front door" and walk right in?

Out of curiosity, how does the required chip/hardware help defend against this?

I was going to reply to the person that replied to you (I had agreed with you and thought it was just beefier hardware they'd need to handle the encryption demands) but it turns out they specifically require a certain type of coprocessor:

> Where many companies fail to secure their products at all or use simple 128-bit encryption, all HomeKit certified hardware includes a dedicated security co-processor paired with 3072-bit keys and the very secure Curve25519 key exchange system


> Home automation was supposed to get better with HomeKit but arrived basically stalled.

No clue where you're getting this from. HomeKit is bigger/better than ever. There are tons of new HomeKit compatible devices being shown at CES this year. You can goto major hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowes and buy HomeKit lights, outlets, switches, door locks, etc. Apple made some nice improvements to HomeKit in iOS 10 by adding the 'Home' app and including control of HomeKit accessories in Control Center. They also added a bunch of new features to the HomeKit APIs to support new types of devices. I've never heard anything about incompatible HomeKit devices. It's possible but I'm using all first-gen devices and they work fine so I doubt it.

> Apple had Siri out and was in the lead with voice control, then they wasted it.

Just ask "Who's the next President of the United States of America." OK Google gets it. Siri shows you a list of web/wiki articles.

Also, remember Maps? Such a useless app. Can't cache anything, and no updates since ever.

Actually, maps has improved dramatically which is why it's the one complaint about Apple that is rarely repeated.

No cache at all is horrible mobile experience

Like others I don't shed a lot of tears when an exec makes only 89% of their multi-million dollar target bonus :-) I asked an exec at Oracle once about how it was even motivating. For much of my career I've had some sort of bonus associated with my salary, at Sun, NetApp, Google all had bonus programs (with different tweaks). And for an engineer it could be a huge thing. At Google with all the multipliers in place you could get your entire salary paid again in just bonus money if you were a superstar. For an engineer that can be hugely motivating because they need their salary to live on, so bonus money is "extra".

But when you're an executive and the different in bonus is $8M vs $5M? Sure its a huge number that you didn't get an extra three million dollars but what can you do differently with $8M that you can't do with $5M? So my question to the Oracle exec was "Does it really motivate you to work harder, smarter, etc if the difference between hitting it out of the park and not doing so has no impact on your lifestyle?" And his answer was that most of the people that he worked with were "score" motivated, it wasn't the money it was that they had a bigger score than their competitive exec.

I'm not sure I really believe that. I mean could Oracle just have Brownie Points as their bonus metric and still get the same performance effort? But it really did surprise me that the number was important even though the effect of the number on their lifestyle was probably not noticeable.

I think Tim needs to avoid being painted like Steve Ballmer, an exec that led Microsoft to higher growth, profit, and sales, and into the swamp. And for that reason, not the size of his bonus this year, he needs to pay attention to the changing forces in the market.

This sounds a bit like "my income is normal, and everyone above that is rich"-thinking that a lot of people have.(if there's a word for that i'd appreciate any hints :) ) i'd definitely consider engineers at google to be rich and don't see how another 200k makes that much of a difference. you think these execs are rich and don't see how another million makes a difference. and the execs consider billionaires to be rich and don't see how another billion makes a difference. it's just different scales, but who's actually right?

i think it's important to realise that the scale of income has an extreme range and we are already on the upper end and definitely rich by global standards. my personal opinion is that a majority of people living in the western world is actually rich and any complaints on salaries by these are just first world problems.

on a more constructive note, i think i've seen a study that said that higher salary actually does motivate more, but hits the point of diminishing returns at about (i think) 80k or 100k. I don't remember which country and whether it was $ or €, but that should give a sense of the rough order of magnitude.

This is a good point. Everyone brings an idea of what "rich" means with them to the table.

My experience of being an engineer in the Bay Area, with three kids and a wife, has been that much of my annual salary has been consumed in costs which I felt I "had" to pay (mortgage, power, food, pre-school or school, clothes, saving for the future (401k)). And while I recognize that from an annual salary, property ownership, and actually having savings for retirement that made me "rich", a bit of extra money from bonuses would enable things like replacing an older car, or a family trip to Hawaii. Often times the bulk of any "extra" money would go into things like the savings fund for my kids college tuition.

For me, and my living situation, when I had the option of earning a bonus it would enable something in my life (saving for kids educations, a vacation trip) that would normally be outside of my financial profile. As a result I was motivated to compete for those bonuses. But had all those other things been covered vacationing every year in the Alps in my chalet, private jet service where ever I wanted to go etc. Extra money would have very little motivation for me. That is why I was really curious about how it motivated someone who had a multi-million dollar bonus program.


  1. Wealth is exponentially distributed.
  2. People tend to socialize with people in their rough income range.
  3. Expenses tend to grow to fill any budget.
  4. US society isn't very good at saving money, so most 
     people's budget for spending is their entire income.

  1. People tend to know a few people who make >10x what they do, 
     a few people who make <1/10x what they do, 
     and a lot of people that make about what they do. 
  2. Normal expenses in a milieu are enough to use up a person's entire income.
  3. A person's idea of a luxury will tend towards something
     that would require >10x their income to be affordable.

I like the list, in my case with #3 that wasn't true. Perhaps because my wife's mother was an accountant and so she was always attuned to the cost vs value equation or perhaps because my involvement in startups where I have always been attuned to the burn rate vs progress equation.

When I moved to the Bay Area from LA it was with the plan to get a house as quickly as I could, build up some equity in the house while working for a company with offices outside of the Bay Area and then transfer to one of those offices when we had kids so that using the equity in our California house we could greatly reduce our burn rate and in a lower cost of living location and support a one earner payroll. So paying attention to our burn rate as a family was critical to understanding what the payroll requirements would be on a single earner to maintain a lifestyle that didn't add stress to our lives.

And there are lots of things that incrementally add burn rate, communication charges, cable service, eating out, expensive to maintain cars, debt (especially credit card debt) etc. I also had aspirations for paying my kids college tuition (even though tuition was rising much faster than incomes or inflation) and being able to reach a point where I could develop enough passive income from investments/dividends/royalties/what have you that I would not be required charge an employer for my services in order to survive. Doing that math kind of make #4 a necessity, had to send money into the future (save) so that it could cover those costs which I wouldn't be able to cover out of a paycheck.

On your corollaries I find #1 is blown away by attending a church. It is especially true if you're volunteering for some of the community service activities at said church.

I certainly see #2 as a valid up to a point, per the $75K mention earlier. I remember working as a summer Intern and getting paid $200 a week and thinking "Wow, I can't even spend all the money I'm making!" but yes, you can always spend more without too much effort. During (and after) the 2009 banking crisis when people I knew were out of work and looking at being so for a "long" time a few of them were astonished at how much their monthly expenses has creeped up on them without thinking about it. One guy who was out of work for 18 months, once he got back to work he and his family made an explicit agreement to talk about 'incremental' costs before they took them on.

I also don't know about Corollary #3. Perhaps its a magnitude thing.

Thanks for the detailed response :)

Corollary #3 is the one I feel the shakiest about. Interesting point about church. Childhood friends who went into careers with diverse income ranges, combined with a social scene outside my career does some of the same things for me, but I suspect church would do a yet better job in keeping me grounded.

but what about maybe another yacht? some island? that limited edition lamborghini? oh you could collect art. use your bonus to get more of that. i think this "if i had this specific amount of money, then i'd have everything i could possibly desire" is unlikely to be true, you'll find more things to spend your money on.

another thought: you could donate all of it. the perfect money sink. it actually helps, and more of it helps better. so with an altruistic mind you can get motivated with that no matter on which salary level :)

Obviously I can't answer for anyone but myself, and I personally wouldn't be motivated to get a second yacht given how much work keeping one up is (not that I have one).

But how about you? Do you feel better about yourself if you have more art? or more cars? a bigger house? a staff? And if so, why does that make you feel better about yourself?

My experience - having gone through times where a week before the end of the month, I had to calculate very carefully what food I could buy so I could welcome the next month without an empty stomach - is that money itself does not make me happy, but having to worry about money is an exquisite torment.

Whoever said that money was an obedient servant but a cruel master pretty much nailed it.

There are, of course, plenty of things to worry about that money cannot solve. But having known the kind of worries brought on by too little money, I very much appreciate that none of my current worries are about money. Anything beyond that is nice to have, but I doubt anything could beat that feeling of not having to worry about money any longer.

Personally I feel better when I worry less about money. Once I reached that point money became less of a motivator. Career promotions and title changes are now my primary motivator.

Sure my family with an extra 100k could do a handful of extra things in life but quality of life isn't going to change because of it.

Personally I have no interest in such luxuries and hope I never will have. My goal is to keep my expenses to the (relatively low) level it is now, and save excess money for kids (which i don't have yet) or donate it. But I'm not there yet, I'll leave university in a few months, and what do I know what my future self will do.

It was $75K https://www.princeton.edu/~deaton/downloads/deaton_kahneman_...

Happiness does not grow linearly with salary and happiness is what you ultimately want to maximize. Income is only one input, and as it grows, it can actually complicate your life decreasing your happiness.

This would be true except that there are fixed costs of living. Say Tim Cook was making three million less -- is he going to have to make lifestyle changes to spend 3 million less a year? No way.

A person making 60k a year losing 15% of their income? There's likely to be significant lifestyle changes.

Whether or not it necessitates a 'lifestyle change' depends on what you spend as a proportion of your income; not your income alone.

Furthermore, I think any financial advisor would advise that your 'lifestyle' not depend on one year's bonus!

I'm pretty sure that there are lifestyles that burn several millions per year, and my guess would be there are people living a happy life with less than 60k.

but of course it's true that the further you go up the scale, the more absurd it becomes to talk about serious comfort losses, and there's a point on the lower end where we're talking about actual poverty.

You might be hard pressed to construct one without getting a bit crazy. Most of the cost is going to be salaries of staff. At the extremes you have the Royal Family of England[1] ($43M) and Warren Buffet[2] (<.5M$).

[1] http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/money/mortgages-bills/how-much-...

[2] (warning self starting video) http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financialcareers/10/buf...

The killer for entertainers and sports figures who blow through tons of money is keeping an entourage. There are probably tech figures who have one, but I don't know who they are.

I'm no expert but I think this would qualify as a projection bias.

hedonic treadmill is close to word you are looking for.

Since it is impossible to give a precise estimate of each manager's contribution to the firm's output, it is inevitable that this process yields decisions that are largely arbitrary and dependent on hierarchical relationships and on the relative bargaining power of the individuals involved. It is only reasonable to assume that people in a position to set their own salaries have a natural incentive to treat themselves generously, or at the very least to be rather optimistic in gauging their marginal productivity. To behave in this way is only human, especially since the necessary information is, in objective terms, highly imperfect. It may be excessive to accuse senior executives of having their "hands in the till," but the metaphor is probably more apt than Adam Smith's metaphor of the market's "invisible hand." In practice, the invisible hand does not exist, any more than "pure and perfect" competition does, and the market is always embodied in specific institutions such as corporate hierarchies and compensation committees.

Piketty, Capital in the Twenty First Century

I'd also like to disagree with Piketty here.

It is very difficult to give a precise estimate of the value of Tim Cook's contribution to Apple, or indeed what it might be at any other firm. Competitive markets do not need (and often must not) rely on comprehensive estimate analysis pricing to determine the value of something to the parties making the exchange. This is why they were much more successful than totalitarian central planning: central planners found themselves forced to try costing out all prices in terms of their complete component parts and recursing ad nauseam, rapidly running into limited knowledge issues. Instead, I find the more Hayekian analysis of prices emerging through human behaviour on voluntary transactions much more compelling.

While Piketty is right to mention that the market is embodied in specific institutions and that no market exists in pure isolation from institutional dynamics, these different institutions do exert competitive pressure on one another.

I largely disagree with Piketty in this case. There are metrics which are available to management which provide the specific insights needed to drive compensation to the most appropriate individuals. I do not disagree that there management systems which ignore those metrics and base their compensation on relationships.

I agree with the basic thesis that as the productivity of workers (as measured by $ generated per worker hour of labor) has gone up tremendously in the silicon age, and that the fruits of that gain have been disproportionately allocated to management. But as the root of that gain has been the transition for goods economies to information economies, and information economies are particularly susceptible to price correction through antagonistic action[1] Given the challenges of creating barriers to entry, the information economics will (in my opinion of course) eventually force capital to the creators away from management.

[1] In the goods economy if the price of a car is too high you substitute other goods (like bikes or motorcycles) but in an information economy if your price is too high people simply pirate the content and take the capital out by force. cite: Netflix vs Napster vs MPAA.

> the root of that gain has been the transition for goods economies to information economies

Piketty argues that the root of the move towards equality from 1945-1995 was long-lasting economic shocks after WWII:

Quite different in their effect were the rates of 20–30 percent or higher that were imposed in most wealthy countries in the wake of the military, economic, and political shocks of 1914–1945. The upshot of such taxes was that each successive generation had to reduce its expenditures and save more (or else make particularly profitable investments) if the family fortune was to grow as rapidly as average income. Hence it became more and more difficult to maintain one's rank. Conversely, it became easier for those who started at the bottom to make their way, for instance by buying businesses or shares sold when estates went to probate.

> Given the challenges of creating barriers to entry, the information economics will (in my opinion of course) eventually force capital to the creators away from management.

Until we can eat information, or make a house out of information, we won't be living in an information economy. (Even at that point you can bet that someone will have figured out how to gate/moat/control/curate/distribute the most "necessary" information, much as corporations and the press do today). For now we need to rely on taxation to redistribute the returns on capital:

Without taxes, society has no common destiny, and collective action is impossible. This has always been true. At the heart of every major political upheaval lies a fiscal revolution. The Ancien Régime was swept away when the revolutionary assemblies voted to abolish the fiscal privileges of the nobility and clergy and establish a modern system of universal taxation. The American Revolution was born when subjects of the British colonies decided to take their destiny in hand and set their own taxes. ("No taxation without representation"). Two centuries later the context is different, but the heart of the issue remains the same. How can sovereign citizens democratically decide how much of their resources they wish to devote to common goals such as education, health, retirement, inequality reduction, employment, sustainable development, and so on?

The issue is not that he is making 15% less salary, the issue is that we all know that he was punished: that must feel devastating. That the punishment may or may not be something you consider harsh or not doesn't matter: the real punishment is that CNN just wrote an article about how Apple is having issues and important people are blaming Tim Cook, and reducing a CEO's salary at a publicly traded company is a "forced public" punishment.

This article and its headline are misleading. No one is being "punished" and no one's pay is being "cut". All that happened is that 2015 was a blowout year and 2016 was (by comparison) not, so the exec team got a lower percentage of their target bonuses. From the actual filing

   2016 net sales and operating income were
   96.4% and 99.5% of the respective target
   goals set by the Compensation Committee.
   This performance resulted in a combined
   payout at 89.5% of target for each named
   executive officer ... the 2016 payouts to
   our named executive officers were significantly
   less than the annual cash incentive payouts for
   2015, reflecting strong pay-for-performance alignment.
   The Compensation Committee determined that no downward
   adjustments to the payouts would be made, based on
   Apple’s 2016 performance and the individual
   contributions of our named executive officers.

> I'm not sure I really believe that.

I can believe it. I once worked at an investment bank where, during bonus time, I needed to deal with an issue at a trading desk. While there I had the following conversation with a particularly angry fixed income trader.

  Me: Hey Trader, what's got you so pissed off? 
  Trader: Just got my bonus. I got 13MM, but Trader2 got 16MM! Can you believe it?! I made way more money than Trader2 this year!!! 
  Me: ...
His anger had nothing to do with total dollar amounts. It was only that someone he rates himself against made more.

Nice problems to have.

> I'm not sure I really believe that. I mean could Oracle just have Brownie Points as their bonus metric and still get the same performance effort?

No, because brownie points are not backed by the full faith of the US government.

"The only difference between $10 million and $50 million is an astounding $40 million." - Dave Chappelle

If you were a competitive person, you'd understand.

Bigger is better. As simple as that.

I think ultimately this is the correct answer for me.

> Sure its a huge number that you didn't get an extra three million dollars but what can you do differently with $8M that you can't do with $5M?

You can do a heck of a lot more with $3m than $13k.

I know you're thinking proportionally, but that's not necessarily correct.

And you can always find things you really need the money for. Want a mega-yacht? Better start saving, because $13M ain't gonna cut it.

Apple should have removed the indicator that showed Tim Cook what his sales goals were.

Yeah, the sales goals were never accurate to begin with. :)

That takes courage.

To step away from sales, since everyone seems so focused on headphone jacks/MBPt. I think a lot of the uproar this year will subside over the next 1-2 years and the decisions Apple made will make sense.

Apple has always made controversial decisions of this fashion in its history, many today don't remember because they weren't Apple customers then. I think those who said Steve Jobs wouldn't have let these decisions happen couldn't be further from the truth. But these decisions have usually paid off, there just were less people then to notice/complain.

A lot of the decisions made on the products released last year actually make a lot of sense to me. If anything, Apple should simply stop including the earpods with the iPhone to reduce confusion and waste. Moving away from the headphone jack is not just about wireless and space, but making the DAC part of the speakers/drivers system. The lightning port is destined to disappear eventually too, with induction or wireless charging.

I think a lot of this is the result of Apple being ahead of the curve (and partly driving it), and is consistent with Apple looking ahead and delivering long-term value products. A wise investor would see the stance of the company keeping course for the vision in the face of such bad publicity as a good sign it hasn't lost its edge.

> I think a lot of the uproar this year will subside over the next 1-2 years and the decisions Apple made will make sense.

Uh, they subside because people don't want to argue over stuff that happened 1-2 years ago... do you still argue about apple's change from it's 30-pin to lightning connector that happened in 2012? no, because you either 1: just dealt with the annoyance that you had to rebuy charging cables or 2: decide buying these cables was not worth your loyalty to apple and just stopped buying iphones.

i'm not going to argue about the new iphone only having a lightning connector and no headphone jack in 2 years. why? because i'll either be using a device that actually has a headphone jack or i'll just give in and buy lightning headphones. the difference between the "uproar" is whether this causes people to start rethinking buying an iphone.

another thing: the decisions apple made for the macbook pro will _probably_ make sense in 2 years, the problem is this laptop exists now. not 1-2 years from now when, "it will make sense"

I mean, I went from being super mad about lightning to really appreciating it. It plugs in exactly right every time and doesn't take up 50% of the width of the bottom of my phone.

And I recently went from "kinda upset about the headphone jack" to "oh man, these airpods are infinitely better", so...

Oh, and I also checked out the 13" Mac Pro in-store. I was a very upset Mac Air aficionado, but I could see myself using the base-level 13" Mac Pro.

I'm not mad anymore about these things, I've just come around.

And honestly, having both used Lightning and USB-C… USB-C is a dog. It's terrible. It doesn't attach as securely and it's yet another female-masquerading-as-male connector with a bunch of microscopic moving parts that will inevitably wear out and/or fail.

I could not be happier with the Lightning connector, I just wish Apple had opened the standard or proposed its use for USB.

The headphone jack is beautifully simple, DRM free, sounds good enough even for audiophiles and has been around for over 100 years. Buying a decent pair of headphones with a jack is a worthwhile investment. Buying "lightning" anything, much less so.

You don't necessarily have to buy lightning headphones (I wouldn't) or stop using the audio jack. Audiophiles have already been using lightning to audio jack DACs, even when the iPhone still had a jack port, for superior audio quality. You can also connect your jack headphones to a clip-on bluetooth DAC.

So nothing wrong with the audio jack, it's just that exporting it from the phone usually makes for a better user experience. Ultimately earphones should not be tied to a device but thought of as tied to your head and be able to switch between your devices seamlessly.

> So nothing wrong with the audio jack, it's just that exporting it from the phone usually makes for a better user experience.

I feel like "usually" is a kind of a big leap here, since there's been exactly one phone to do this, and the verdict is still out about whether it's a "better user experience".

> Ultimately earphones should not be tied to a device but thought of as tied to your head and be able to switch between your devices seamlessly.

That's exactly what we had before when every single device had a headphone jack. I'm not sure having my headphones work normally on most devices but then randomly need a dongle for another is "seamless".

> Buying a decent pair of headphones with a jack is a worthwhile investment.

The funny thing is they'll probably come with a quarter inch adapter because a lot of Pro audio gear and some of the highest quality vintage stereo equipment ever made only have quarter inch jacks.

Apple's decisions "won't make sense" in 2 years, just like they don't make sense now.

There is just no rational narrative applicable when Apple launches their 2 flaghip products separated by 2 months (iPhone and MacBook Pro) and they have totally different ports.

That's a complete lack of strategy like the two teams didn't communicate with eachother.

Typo "subside" not "subsidize", confused me a bit.

corrected, thank you!

Apple's share price for the last year is up by about 10%, despite problems with disatisfation over MacBook Pro, no earphone jack, etc. Personally, the only thing I am really disappointed with is slow progress on web services.

I was considering moving on from Apple myself, but decided that I like their hardware and my workflow is good on macOS and iOS (on a iPad Pro). I just bought a MacBook and when my Android phone is 4 years old (soon), I am going to get an iPhone.

Apple products are expensive but I spend so much time with them that the extra cost is worth it. Still, I wish Tim Cook and the board of directors would sit down together and compare Siri with Google Now and Google Assistant.

The new hardware is still good, but they're not innovating enough. I have a new Macbook and I really like it. Best device I ever used.

Apple's stock price is being driven by buybacks and cheap liquidity (i.e. borrowing against their foreign cash hoard to pay out dividends). This ultimately has nothing to do with technology.

Everyone I talk to in person loves their new MacBook Pro. They say it's their favorite MacBook ever.

I think the new design/specs were polarizing enough to dissuade many devs (at least in my circle) from even bothering to upgrade.

But those who were polarized in the positive direction probably got it and do love it.

I use a 5yo MBP with 16G RAM; the idea of dropping 4 grand on a laptop that will still be capped at 16G 5 years from now is laughable.

This is the single reason why I am waiting for next update. Which should give us the option of 32GB with LDDR4 (or whatever low power memory they are waiting for). This is possible because laptop speed doesn't really increase as much with each revision anymore.

It is, but most people who'd buy the laptop will be just fine with 16GB for the next 1-2ish years.

People hate it won't buy it. Survivor bias.

How are they dealing with the absence of the 'Esc' key? Is it annoying to have the soft key or hardly noticeable?

I remapped my Caps Lock to Esc. My motor memory is adapting, and Caps Lock is actually closer.

I started as someone very sceptical about the touch bar. I don't like it yet, but I don't hate it now.

Its weird, I never missed the key when I hit it but it always felt strange due to lack of feedback. I ended up binding Capslock to Escape and training myself to use that instead. Now I don't care at all.

As someone how has to lug their MacBook from office to home everyday, i'm really looking forward to upgrading. As for the ports, a good 5k screen will work as a dock for the assortment of USB devices, headphones etc that I currently have to connect one by one each morning.

I played around with one waiting for my flight and was tempted to get one then and there as I heard my friends praise it and it felt nicer than my 2014 MBP.

I moved onto a Surface after a few years of being on Macs. While there are some minor, yet key, areas that the Surface, and Windows, are behind in (touchpad, power consumption), I think that the gap between them is closing very quickly. Windows has Ubuntu built into it. The kernel goes through a Windows subsystem, so there is a thin layer of syscall translation involved, but it's more or less complete and is highly usable. I use it daily, and between native sshd and PuTTY, I have a "real" terminal that closely resembles the setup I had going on my Macs. Being able to use the screen as a notebook or tablet is HIGHLY convenient for my meetings and research materials. The Touch Bar is convenient, but very lacking in this regard, and the macOS team is very steadfast in avoiding the development of something similar (that we know of).

Before I bought my MacBook in December I spent a week trying to decide between a Surface Pro and the MacBook. I thought the Surface would be a better fit for what I needed, but I have years of time spent on a OSX (maxOS) workflow for writing books and writing Java, Ruby, Haskell, etc. code for consulting customers. I was concerned that it might take months to get re-settled on Windows 10 + Ubuntu subsystem.

Apple's stock price remains constant because they are artificially inflating their own stock through increased dividends (more than 10bn per year) and stock buyback (increased to 175bn for this next year). They do this so the major shareholders don't lose their value (or, I'm guess this is so).

Apple is dropping faster than excrement in the bowl.

Apple's yield is a little over 2%. That's not a high dividend rate. While it's true that a lack of dividends in a mature company can cause some shareholder dissatisfaction, dividends tend to not pay for themselves in increased market capitalization.

There are companies that use large (10% or more) dividend yields to inflate their share price, which lets them dilute their stock at better valuations. Small shipping companies do this. It's a strategy that's long ceased to be possible by the time a company's valued at a billion USD, let alone over half a trillion.

Oh no, now he won't be able to afford that thing. Oh wait, yes he will.

It seems to me that executive compensation has become so inflated, it's lost its incentive value.

I have read studies that too much reward actually destroys the incentive. Instead of doing the work they are supposedly incentivized to do the main focus shifts on getting the reward at any cost.

There's that, but mostly when someone is being rewarded as much as the CEO of Apple, there's really not much they need money for, nor does a pay cut have any real material meaning.

I think I read that incentives only really work for mundane repetitive work. For anything intellectual or creative it is neutral or even negative.

My company gives out bonuses in the range of 10%. I really appreciate that but it's not large enough for me to change my work. It probably makes me stay longer with the company.

If my bonus was a multiple of my salary I would probably think more about increasing the bonus at any cost.

Investment banker then. Isn't normal bonus 2x salary?

I would hate to rely so much on bonus. You can't count a mortgage payment on it. Shouldn't really count retirement on it.

I have a relative that is an ibanker. His bonus was a little more than his base, but he's still somewhat junior (only a couple years in).

He basically lives off his salary and is building up a reserve from the bonuses that he will then plan to spend in a controlled fashion. The general sentiment of that industry though seems to be "you should earn enough to not care about money, and if you don't you probably aren't good enough to deserve to be a banker."

Especially when they pay it out every 6 months, which is standard practice.

"Eh, I'm unhappy but I might as well stay around just another 6 months to get the next bonus. Then I'm gone."

The fact that Tim's compensation is tied to sales goals says all you need to know about Apple as a company.

The idea presented here by Steve about what happens when sales people run the company is becoming more and more true: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBma82g3Uag

That's how most CEOs are paid. Their compensation is tied to goals. Those goals can be sales figure like Apple or Car deliveries like Tesla. For Steve Jobs it was revenues.

My theory (everyone has one) is that Tim Cook is excellent at delegating and orchestrating operations, but he lacks the combination of qualities, charisma and personality of Jobs that pushed(forced?) people to go above and beyond and surpass expectations.

Jobs likely had zero tolerance for good enough products. Cook, I presume, would have wanted people to stay that course but looks like that didn’t happen, and he wouldn’t boss them around until it did, because maybe he himself doesn’t know what is great and what isn’t and delegates that to his lieutenants, and because that’s just not who he is and how he treats his people.

Apple execs have to do a lot of soul searching to do and should put their resources to a better use. Invest in quality products(that was their trademark but they kind of lost their way there), invest in ‘cloud’ services and AI/ML because they can’t afford not to, innovate in hardware, and understand that many of their competitors are constantly and consistently out-Apple-ing them so time is ticking.

It's easy to paint Tim Cook as beancounter and Steve Jobs as mastermind. But doesn't this story actually show that Apple's stock holders/investor relations are the prime reason Apple doesn't take risks/investments as they used to under Jobs?

I think it's very short-sighted of Apple to neglect their MacOS business in favour of iOS devices, even though iPhone sales might trounch MacOS's now.

Mentioned, but this was a reduction in cash bonus of around 2.6 million. While approximately 136 million of his equity vested in the same year. And, he got a 1 million bump up in base salary. The total hit to his comp isn't terribly notable.

The pay dink is probably just the political cover for "sending a message".

How is Tim Cook still CEO of Apple? Forget sales for a moment and just consider the damage Apple's brand is suffering. $300 books, headphone jacks, unreliable cloud services, missed product launches. In may ways Apples becoming the butt of jokes, a symbol of ignorance. Apple's in total disarray right now and the most loyal followers, myself included, are either jumping ship or seriously considering. The mistakes being made are all, without question, completely avoidable and yet here we are. So I ask again? Why benefit is Apple gaining keeping him on?

The company you say is in "total disarray" still made $45.7bn in profit in 2016, and grew its share price by 10%. Those are the facts.

Outside of the technology bubble, most people don't know or care about many of the issues you cited, or what "loyal followers" on internet forums think. Major investors, who are the only people who could force Cook out, care about the numbers. And while Apple's revenue declined this year, it's still insanely good by any reasonable, and unreasonable, measure. Plus, it comes on the back of many years of growth, much of which was delivered under Cook's leadership.

If there's a continued decline of revenue and profits, then you might see Cook forced out in a couple of years, but to ask why he hasn't been forced out already only demonstrates a total lack of understanding of how business works.

I completely agree. Very few people outside of HN and r/apple that I have talked to have negative opinions of what Apple is doing.

I see no evidence that Apple's products are becoming less popular. The iPhone is still the go to smartphone that I would recommend to anyone. I have switched back and forth between iPhone and Android since they came out, but I would never recommend an Android phone to a casual user. If they want the newest phone they get the iPhone 7. If they just want a phone the iPhone SE is a great phone for the price. It will last years and be secure with continued security software updates.

The Apple Watch is the only smartwatch I've seen bought en mass by non-techies.

The MacBooks are still the go to laptop for college students that can afford it. With the exception of some engineering circles where the Surface is popular, MacBooks are ubiquitous.

And while the AirPods had a delayed launch, they are in my opinion an amazing first gen Apple product. The ease of use and quality of the Bluetooth connection is not something I've experienced in Bluetooth before.

Up until recently Apple was sort of in a league all of its own, it had an aura about it of what I would perhaps describe as "justified hubris", before Apple perhaps only Microsoft has had that same kind of aura when it was firing on all cylinders. I think people are sensing that Apple has passed the top of its curve and is now losing momentum, the hubris isn't really justified anymore.

Apple will still be a hugely profitable and influential company, but it's no longer in a league all of its own.


Though for security of personal information it's still leagues above Android and Windows.

You don't think that declining sales and revenues are evidence that Apple's products are becoming less popular?

For certain categories of problem it seems the general public is ignorant. OTOH, the headphone jack seems to be the talk of my non technical iphone associates, and more than one regular upgrader has mentioned they aren't ready to upgrade their iphone 6's because of it.

My wife is the apple user in the house, and I think she is indicative of a lot of them at this point. She chooses apple because they are cool status symbols and her friends have them. The issues with the iphone7 modem (yah I went out of my way for the qualcomm and then had an entertaining conversation with her about it) and headphone jack were completely off her radar. The apparent short life of her iphone 5s battery, and the weird wifi issues with the ipads after OS upgrades/etc don't enter her head as problems with the devices.

Annecdotally, I know 2 long time iPhone users who I helped switch over to a Google Pixel and both of them have been happy. I've been surprised how little they complained or asked questions about anything after 5 minutes of android training.

Your comments aren't unfair nor even incorrect. However, there is something systemically wrong inside of Apple that those with a gift for "hyperbole" might call total disarray.

Yes, I would be happy to take their recent results in my own business and wouldn't at all be disappointed. You could also point out that management may well be taking the long view of a post-Jobs Apple and giving Cook room to find that Apple of the future... as opposed to being driven purely by short term results/quarterly reports: something that I think many on HN condemn in other contexts.

Still... think of post-Gates Microsoft. They had huge momentum (which showed in the financials as well), but everybody including me thought there was something deeply wrong with Microsoft, too. They were coasting on that momentum and doing very little aside from coddling their more conservative customers... just as you suggest Apple can get away with. Microsoft was losing their leading position and was getting on the slow death-march path. They may have turned that around while they still could.

No doubt, casting MAJOR screw-ups aside, Apple will not die as a company anytime soon. Apple and Cook are still completely in position to turn things around. But atrophy and possibility of ending-up as some sort of also-ran... that's not impossible and it's also fair to point that out.

>Your comments aren't unfair nor even incorrect. However, there is something systemically wrong inside of Apple that those with a gift for "hyperbole" might call total disarray.

Yes, but then again, those without a gift for prophecy had called Apple's impeding DOOM several times a year since 2001.

Yeah, and those people's wrongness was pretty well-established by Apple's ever-increasing sales, revenues, and establishing new market categories. All of which have ended.

I have, I think, a pretty nuanced view of Apple. It's looking increasingly like 2015 was the best year ever for Apple. 2016 was worse, and there's very little sign that 2017 will be better than 2016. That said, 2015 was the high water mark for a uniquely valuable company with a uniquely valuable product. There's a lot of value in Apple that doesn't require being literally the single most successful year in, like, the history of capitalism.

And I think that most of Apple's decline is due to secular, external forces -- basically, the maturation of the smartphone market -- not because Cook is fucking up. Probably any CEO Apple had would have had pretty similar results -- or worse ones.

But that said, all the people who are like, "What? No, there are no problems with Apple" are obviously wrong on the face of it. iPhone sales are falling. iPad sales fell off a cliff more than a year ago. The Apple Watch has not been successful enough for Apple to even tell us how many units were sold. This is not the picture of the company in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014.

Yes. And this is where people that are Apple investors have to try and sort out which side are they on: those that think the doom answer is correct will sell (or short) the stock and those that are on what seems to be your side (yes, I might be wrong) will buy. Over time, those that are right will profit (or at least not lose) and those that are wrong will (should) eat their misguided notions. Anyone else... simply is armchair quarterbacking and frankly, doesn't matter.

I am in the "doesn't matter" category... I'm less interested in Apple (I'm not an investor in Apple, in any sense of the word, nor even a customer) and more interested in how perceptions about a companies are formed and how companies in similar circumstances can have very different conclusions drawn about them. Emotional appeal, brand loyalties, etc. can have some interesting influences in this regard.

That doesn't mean they'll be wrong forever.

No, a broken clock is also right twice a day.

You can make profit for a number of years before things go badly; profits are a lagging indicator.

> The company you say is in "total disarray" still made $45.7bn in profit in 2016, and grew its share price by 10%.

Microsoft was very profitable with Ballmer at the helm, but it can be argued he put the company in a very bad position that took them significant effort to fix and right the ship.

Very profitable? Their stock flatlined for a decade while it's peers sky rocketed.

The stock was flat but they were very profitable. Look here: "Microsoft was very profitable during Steve Ballmer's tenure. As you can see from the chart, revenue doubled and net income doubled as well. Nearly $19 Billion in net income from $62 Billion in revenue is nothing to sneeze at, and that kind of growth is not easy for a company that large." [1]

[1] https://www.quora.com/Did-microsoft-make-a-profit-under-stev...

Many of these same type of things were said about Microsoft during the early Ballmer era. His emphasis of the bottom line over vision and innovation inflicted a lot of damage that Microsoft is still recovering from. Yes, total disarray is an exaggeration, Apple isn't going anywhere, but there are a lot of parallels with Ballmer's Microsoft.

Oh how quickly the Steve Jobs era is forgotten. Remember the white iPhone 4 that was delayed almost a year after Steve announced it? Or when they changed from the 30 pin to Lightning? Or when they dumped the floppy and optical drive?

Apple is focused on the iPhone because that's where almost all their profits come from. It's annoying for us long time Mac users, but even Steve was focused on iOS devices when he died.

Update: also Antenna Gate, the fact that Steve didn't want any third party apps on iOS, the G4 Cube, iPod Hi-Fi, MobileMe (if you think their cloud services are a mess now...), iTunes Ping, etc etc. The list goes on.

The hockey puck mouse and the iPod HiFi might deserve places on that list.

I got the HiFi, but yes that mouse! Also his complete rejection of the obviously better multiple button mice in general. That was literally form blocking the way of function.

Lightning came out pretty long after Steve Jobs died. And I thought it was generally agreed — not right at the time, but not long afterward — that Apple made the right call getting rid of floppy drives on their Internet-focused consumer machines.

Nope. The reaction to floppy-less iMac was more or less a direct replay of the current headphone jack, escape key, and USB-C "outrage":

>Long-time users were outraged that they'd be forced to buy new peripherals and couldn't back up the 4 GB hard drive with a waist-high pile of diskettes. They also wondered about the wisdom of using USB ports, ports that weren't yet widely accepted by the industry.


So much this! The parallel-to-USB dongles for printers were ludicrously expensive and really flaky! For us old-time Apple users, this current round of caterwauling is highly amusing.

You said "nope" and then posted something that agrees with what I said. I suspect you did not read my comment very carefully.

Fair point, though it was close enough that I bet he knew about it (iPhone hardware has a long lead time).

What was wrong with the G4 cube? (speaking as someone who has always wanted to own one)

Among other things: underpowered for the price, touch sensitive power button was too easy to accidentally trip, ports were all on the bottom so you'd have to tip it over to get at the USB/Firewire.

It was a total flop sales wise, it only lasted about a year. It was underpowered and overpriced, you were paying for the design and it turned out most people didn't want to do that.

They're cheap on eBay though (~$100), go get one!

>How is Tim Cook still CEO of Apple?

Because he was the COO that made them the most valuable company on earth, and the CEO that hit record points and maintained that position?

>just consider the damage Apple's brand is suffering. $300 books, headphone jacks, unreliable cloud services, missed product launches.

They always had BS hyperbole against them. It's the easiest click-bait target for hack journalists.

And those "unreliable cloud services" not only are much more reliable than they were in Jobs day (their old Cloud stuff was a joke) but earn tens of billions (just the iOS app store paid around 20 billion dollars to developers in 2016 alone), and are used by close to a billion people.

Your whole list of complains for damage to the brand is BS:

"$300 books" -> They put out a high-end, limited run, coffee table book. Didn't force anyone to buy it, and it's just a homage to their 30+ years of design work.

"headphone jacks" -> Competitors already had models out without headphone jack, and Samsung is following suit too. Some people might lament them, but going forward they bet on wireless for most people -- plus they offer an adaptor so all existing headphones can be used.

"unreliable cloud services" -> Compared to what? And how? I already spoke about their Cloud services above anyway.

"missed product launches" -> It's not the first time and it's not a big deal either. When you design for million unit production runs (unlike the smaller runs of competitors with 50+ product configurations), and you push the envelope in construction, machining, engineering tolerances, etc, you get those things. Not many places that can arbitrarily manufacture your stuff. They could always put out cruder products and get them out faster, but that's not their thing. Besides, Intel delays launches all the time, Microsoft has done it time and again, Google and co put out BS projects that often get lauded from the press for innovation but are half-thought, sell badly and get pulled (Google Glass for one, several first iterations of the Surface, etc.).

Your first reason for him being a bad CEO is a $300 book. A lot of companies have these type of books which are also costly, I don't think it's a good idea to start argument about him being a bad CEO with a book example.

I took the order of arguments in this case to be random, not in order of strength. While I agree that it's generally best to lead or finish on the strongest arguments, it seems pretty clear here that these are randomly ordered.

I think they were also randomly selected from the list of all possible english sentences.

It's perception I'm talking about, the real damage being done by releasing this type of tone-deaf product at the same time good, hardworking and long-time users can no longer afford their products.

That book is really more about Jony Ive's legacy as a designer than anything else. It is mostly going to be appearing in libraries and the offices of other designers, not on people's coffee tables.

I think the "perception" you are talking about is just from gossipy tech blogs and people on Internet forums who have made a hobby out of getting upset about things like this.

>> I think the "perception" you are talking about is just from gossipy tech blogs and people on Internet forums who have made a hobby out of getting upset about things like this.

Well a lot of these things have made the rounds on late night talk shows, which are watched by normal people (on TV and on viral YouTube clips).

Colbert made fun of the book [1]. Conan made fun of the airpods [2] and even has an Apple Spoofs playlist [3]. Kimmel made fun of Apple fans [4] a few months ago.

While Conan doesn't get big TV ratings, his Youtube videos do get a lot of views. I'm guessing the reason why Fallon doesn't do as many spoofs is because he is in some iPhone ads.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W63_N63Qy-w

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_wImaGRkNY

[3] https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVL8S3lUHf0RCRdtpshOa...

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfxmhZD-IZk

" "users can no longer afford their products"

Er, what? Going back to the last iPhone that fell mostly in the Jobs era - the 4S - it was priced at $599 for the 16GB version.

Compare that to the iPhone SE which starts at $399 for the 16GB version. Or the iPhone 7 which starts at $649 for the 32GB version.

I'm not sure how users who could once afford the products no longer can.

No, it's a fine example, and makes a succinct point.

It's a hobby project that keeps designers feel valued and most companies do it. Some release it, some don't. But they all do it.

Honestly, this cost is on par with other book-based photographic collections from small, bespoke printing companies (Such as Lodima Press). The real question is how many copies did they run. This will determine whether or not the cost is justified for the value you get from it.

As an example, a few years ago, I purchased a copy of Edward Weston's "Life Work" from Lodima when it was released. I think I paid ~$150 for it. They're now selling it for $1000 per copy because they have a limited number left.

If Apple printed thousands and thousands of these, then I doubt the cost is justified. But if it was a limited run, say less than a few thousand? Seems appropriate to me.

>>If Apple printed thousands and thousands of these, then I doubt the cost is justified. But if it was a limited run, say less than a few thousand? Seems appropriate to me.

What bothers me out of this discussion is that people are getting upset about the price they choose to sell the book at. People feel way too entitled. They could sell it at a million bucks each and if people were willing to pay that then why would anybody complain. Unless you feel you somehow have a God given right to decide how people sell their own products.

I don't have a problem with their pricing decisions. It works for some people, it doesn't work for others.

I was just noting that the pricing mirrors what I've seen in the photo/art book world.

What point does it make? I am not interested in buying the book, but to me it suggests that Apple highly values design and its design team. I think the book is something Steve Jobs would have loved.

Would have loved, Sure. Would have done, No.

The book took 8 years to make. He died in Oct 2011. He probably knew about it.

The problem is not the book, the problem is the pricing for the book which he had nothing to do with.

At 30$ or 300$ the company is not going to get meaningful revenue, or likely enough to pay the cost of production back. So, the pricing needs to relate to something else.

The point of the book wasn't to juice the "Other revenue" line in their quarterly report, it was to produce a high-end art book of their design work. It actually makes more sense as a high dollar item considering that allows it to be made with high quality materials and become a collectors item. At $30 it would probably be junk, uninteresting to collectors/designers and the mass market alike.

The argument is they could use the same materials and sell it for 30$. At 300$ they are already going to be out millions. So, the difference in price is just not going to be meaningful until they start selling 30,000+ copies.

The bugatti veyron for example sells for ~$1.5 million, but it costs more than twice that to make ($6.25 million). However, as VW only sold ~50 veyron's per year it's was just not an issue for VW compared to the 10.14 million cars they sold per year.

I don't have a time machine, but why do you think he wouldn't have done the book? He was responsible for the ridiculous 20th Anniversary Mac ($7499 in 1997!):


That's a way bigger time/money sink than allowing your designers to put together an art book of Apple products.

I don't think he was responsible for the 20th Anniversary Mac, which was released in March 1997. Apple bought NeXT in february 1997, and Jobs only be became de facto chief of Apple after Amelio was ousted in July 1997.

That's fair, but I still think he would have loved the book and quite well may have known about it or even approved it.

Is it, though? It had to have been one of Ive's first projects at Apple, and you can't get good industrial design without putting stuff into the hands of users. Who knows how much collective knowledge and experience Apple internally acquired with that work.

As far as a consumer product or a moneymaker, yeah, it's crap.

The point being made is your house is on fire and the firefighters show up with an ice cream cone. It's a lovely gesture in the right context, but we've got way bigger problems at hand.

In every market segment Apple plays in they're facing incredibly stiff and in many cases, superior competition. To make matters worse Apple "playbook", that attention to detail, the advertisements, etc -- yes it's taken a while but it's been mostly cracked. To be clear that's good for any of us who've been fans of that book, but it's absolutely not good for Apple should they choose to remain stagnant.

The result is a situation where Apple's hard won customers -- like me -- are looking to other companies and they're "speaking our language", offering products and services that are on-par and in many cases, simply better.

And it's not just desktop -- Siri is stagnant/broken, the iOS App Store is a mess, Email, on and on.

My point is at a time where competition and strategic advantages are under incredible stress, where incredibly obvious mistakes are being made in core product lines, Apple releases an outrageously high-priced picture book. It's totally fine, understandable, admirable even, if you think all's going well, but I do not think things are going well.

I don't understand why I can't plug the lightning headphone that comes with my brand new apple phone in my brand new apple notebook.

EDIT: Oops, the adaptor goes the other way. I didn't really think that through. Still, not being able to use your lightning earpods with your Mac isn't a big loss.

You can. Your brand new iPhone also came with a tiny little cable that you attach to your lightning headphones and now you can plug them into your Mac. It's really not that hard.

More generally, the reasons for ditching the 3.5mm jack on the iPhone aren't really applicable to the Mac, so there's no reason to remove that jack from the Mac, which means it still has it. And the iPhone uses lightning for a lot more than just headphones, whereas if the Mac got lightning, it would literally be for just headphones. So it's really kind of a waste to add a second port on the Mac that is intended for just headphones, even though you can attempt to plug other shit into it (like a USB charger), which would be confusing, and since the Mac already has a dedicated port for headphones. Oh, and your lightning earpods came with a little adaptor that makes it work on the Mac. Also, don't forget, Apple's really trying to push wireless headphones as the future, and wireless headphones work on the Mac just like they do on the iPhone.

So it's really not that hard to see why Apple decided not to put a useless port on the Mac that would simply cause a lot of confusion down the road, seeing as there's really no reason to do that.

No I can't, it came with p2 to lightning adapte not the oposite.

the iPhone 7 comes with a lightning to headphone adapter. plug that into the side of your new macbook pro...

What are you talking about? No it didn't. It came with an adapter that has a female 3.5mm headphone jack on one and and a male Lightning adapter on the other end to allow you to connect headphones with a 3.5mm connector to your Lightning-only iPhone 7. To connect to a 2016 MBP, you would need the opposite—a cable which does not currently exist.

No no, cust0m is right, I didn't think it through. It comes with a 3.5mm female to lightning male adaptor, not a lightning female to 3.5mm male adaptor.

That fine line between Courage and Cowardice. Enough courage to make you buy a product (bluetooth headphones) to fully make use of the phone that most of us upgrade, but not enough courage to use it with the personal computer that only some of us upgrade.

Because the headphones are meant for the phone?

Since the iphone was released was posible to use the headphones with computer I don't get why this change.

To save space (inwards, not height), nudge users to wireless which they believe is the future, and help with waterproofing?

Or why you can't plug the USB cable from your brand new iPhone into your brand new MacBook Pro?

The list goes on and on.

I swore I'd never buy a mac when I was 10 because the mouse had only 1 button.

I have the same feelings when I look at the latest macbook but using the previous years macbook I must say I can see the appeal and I might consider buying one.

It's funny that just when the public ire is growing I discover myself wanting to buy it....but the new chromebook from google with stylus pen and keyboard that can be flipped into a tablet + millions of android apps is a really good offering as well.

>I swore I'd never buy a mac when I was 10 because the mouse had only 1 button

It's not like "the more the better".

Macs still did right click context menus (it's Control + click), and of course could accommodate two and three button mice just fine and use all of their buttons.

One button mice also meant that all apps were designed to be more usable with one button operation (and interactions like drag etc) compared to merely stuffing important stuff in context menus.

it also means every app is a mess of modals, and people likes it, for whatever reason.

Not in my experience (and I've used Windows too up to Vista and can compare). Can you give an example of how Mac apps overuse modals?

Apple is in "disarray" in the same sense that Facebook is dying.

If your judgment of the entire company comes down to whether a new iPhone can be physically plugged into a new MacBook Pro, then I suppose it might seem to be in disarray. Apple's taking some heat now because they're working towards an ecosystem that is not based on wires at all to the greatest extent possible.

Apple has been the butt of jokes at least since 2008 when I first got my first Apple product (an old 17" MacBook Pro). Back when I was looking at laptops then, I saw the same complaints that I see about the new MacBook Pro: too expensive, specs aren't good enough, etc., etc. None of this is new.

>> Apple has been the butt of jokes at least since 2008 when I first got my first Apple product (an old 17" MacBook Pro). Back when I was looking at laptops then, I saw the same complaints that I see about the new MacBook Pro: too expensive, specs aren't good enough, etc., etc. None of this is new.

But actually some of it is new. I go back to the Apple ][ days, so I've seen my share of disdain of Apple products from people who weren't users of Apple products.

A lot of the uproar in the past several months, however, has come from vocal Apple users who feel let down.

I even saw complaints about MacBook keyboards back then. RAM from Apple was not just limited but hilariously expensive.

Even the controversial use of new ports or removal of old ones is not unfamiliar in the history of Apple.

I'm not trying to defend every decision Apple has been making, and I don't necessarily agree with them all myself. But, honestly, it mostly feels like business as usual to me.

For the Macbook keyboard complaints - that was for a new product and didn't affect a lot of existing customers on the higher selling Macbook Air or Macbook Pro users.

The removal of ports with the first iMac happened when Apple had a much smaller customer base in a different era. Nobody was looking at Apple under a microscope the way they are today.

I may not like the direction Apple has taken (which caused me to switch a couple of years ago) but I don't have a problem with it. They are following the money. Who can blame them for that?

But anecdotally speaking -- since the 2016 Macbook Pro announcement, there have been more-than-usual negative Apple headlines (many of them being from Mac using bloggers) trickle into the HN front page, and I have never ever seen so many comments by Mac using HN'ers looking for non-Mac alternatives. I get that HN'ers are probably a small percentage of Mac users, but I also tend to think HN'ers are probably technology influencers in their social circles as well.

Next upgrade I'm moving to MS Surface or something similar. The dongle thing did it for me, which is pretty sad.

I was also a bit surprised to find out that 95% of the gaming market is still on PC [1]. Guess I was a disillusioned Mac user, but I thought Mac was bigger in games.

[1] http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/

You're not disilliusioned, the Mac always was a niche player for games.

Everyone for the past 2 decades knows you don't buy a Mac for games.

Part of it's probably availability of games on the platform (which has gotten better but is still poor), but part of it's because you can buy both a lower-end Mac (an Air, say, or an entry-level MBP) and build a pretty nice gaming PC for less than the cost of just a gaming-capable mac.

Also as far as I know you can't bypass OS X's video compositing which adds latency to the rendering, which means that for latency sensitive games you will not be as competitive as a PC.

Ports aren't really an issue to me...in a couple of years everything will be USB-C and/or wireless charging/headphones anyway.

Big issue is Apple has no new innovative products. Apple Watch isn't really enough of new product to drive iphone like sales at least not yet and there is nothing else on the horizon.

> Ports aren't really an issue to me...in a couple of years everything will be USB-C and/or wireless charging/headphones anyway.

Everything new maybe, but old audio gear, monitors/tvs/keyboards/drives, et c stick around a hell of a long time. I'll be surprised if my family's at more than 20% of peripherals, displays, and audio equipment on bluetooth/USBC in 5 years, personally. Probably more like 5-10%. 10 years? That's another story. Assuming the standard hasn't shifted again.

>Everything new maybe, but old audio gear, monitors/tvs/keyboards/drives, et c stick around a hell of a long time.

That's not much of an issue to the kind of customers that can afford a new expensive Apple laptop.

Am I to understand that most people in the market for a $1700 laptop are also going to be OK with replacing $3-10k of perfectly good other equipment at or around the same time?

Yes. They not be "OK" in principle, but they are the demographic most likely to do it (and to be able to do it) anyway.

You mention: "monitors/tvs/keyboards/drives". Well, keyboards and drives are trivial, as they use USB. So those people can just buy a USB-A to USB-C cable for $10 and be done with it (no dongle required if the keyboard doesn't have a fixed cable, and hard disks don't have fixed cables in the first place).

As for tvs and monitors, not sure how hey wont be able to use them with the new Apple devices, but they can afford a new one if they are so inconvenienced to use an adaptor.

I've had a couple dozen keyboards dating back to the AT over the years, and I can't recall any with a non-fixed cable. That'd be pretty cool. :-/

It's more that I can carry my 2014 macbook anywhere in my house or office or anyone else's and probably connect it to anything I want or need to, without an adapter. Works, say, 99% of the time. With the 2016 it would work 0% of the time today (well, audio equipment excepted I guess, since they weren't courageous enough to remove the headphone jack on the MBP, fortunately), and it would take a half-dozen dongles to come even close to that 99%. I don't expect the success percentage for a dongle-less 2016 MBP to go up much in the next 2 years. That makes stretching my 2014 for another year or two, or switching to another vendor, way more appealing than it might be otherwise, especially with the non-trivial price hike adding insult to injury.

[EDIT] OK, half-dozen was a slight overstatement. At least 4, maybe 5.

>I've had a couple dozen keyboards dating back to the AT over the years, and I can't recall any with a non-fixed cable. That'd be pretty cool. :-/

High end keyboards sometimes feature one. E.g:


Are you telling me that dongles aren't adequate? You must have native connectors? Then by all means replace that $3-10k worth of equipment.

That's what the forward march of progressing standards is about - you upgrade some, with adapters for legacy interfaces.

I think Apple considered TouchBar innovative, but it's not a product. I keep having the vision of Tom Cruise in Minority Report, while navigating the screen with his fingers, keep looking down at his keyboard/TouchBar for emojis.

I have thought about Tim Cook being fired / stepping down as well. Myself and other close friends and family are all pulling away from Apple at the current moment. As I've mentioned on HN before, after the last MacBook launch I saw self-described Apple fan-boys loudly complaining about Apple's current path. The function bar is absolutely useless for me and I think the machine itself is only 20% better than my 2012 model. Microsoft out-Appled Apple with their Surface release set to Pure Imagination. I can't fathom how a new MacBook got greenlit with such mismatched ports with their latest phone. The dongle jokes are everywhere.

All that said, I feel bad for Tim—Does he even have time to read/focus on these products in any meaningful way right now? He is bombarded by the FBI, has to sit awkwardly with Trump (http://static3.businessinsider.com/image/58586bf5ca7f0c24018...), is working on the mothership with Ives, etc.

>I have thought about Tim Cook being fired / stepping down as well. Myself and other close friends and family are all pulling away from Apple at the current moment.

Not sure about the impact that will have, but my family and friends are doubling down on Apple purchases, so our anecdotes probably cancel each other out.

Anecdote fight - my extended family are moving towards Apple products - mostly to interact with other family members.

I have several inlaws who <3 Samsung but have iPads, others who do everything on their iPhones - in all of these cases they were running Archos, Blackberry or Windows exclusively.

Macs aren't growing, but iCloud/iMessage (mainly through iOS) is entrenched and extending.

> working on the mothership with Ives, etc.

Generally investing in your "headquarters" like this is a sign the company is in trouble.

It means that you don't have a better place to put all that money in the business itself.

> $300 books, headphone jacks, unreliable cloud services, missed product launches.

Don't forget all the criticism towards MBP 2016.

> So I ask again? Why benefit is Apple gaining keeping him on?

Who says they aren't, or won't? This is what is publicly seen as a slap on the wrist.

It is a smart way to perform damage control. It is basically saying to the criticism towards Apple [from both shareholders as well as users]: "we know, we screwed up, you are right" without going into detail on who or what is exactly right.

I think Ive is a real driving force behind some of these decisions too. He's always trying to push design over function.

I am waiting for a Windows phone to make the jump. I still have an iPhone 4S and have exactly zero interest in upgrading.

I keep thinking that it's a good time for Microsoft to make another push in that space—a decent Surface Phone might at the very least re-capture a small foothold. There appear to be a lot of people disillusioned with iOS and Android these days.

I think its coming this year. Few signs: 1. Surface range of notebook is doing well. 2. Latest Snapdragon 835 is compatible with Windows 10. 3. I've seen somewhere MS said or demoed plugging in Windows Phone to an LCD and run the full desktop version of MS Office apps.

Who would be the alternative?

Scott Forstall was probably the next best bet, and he was ousted long ago.

Tim Cook is to Apple as Melissa Mayer was to Yahoo. An underdog and perceived as a business maverick that cares about the environment and philanthropy. We love them in movies, literature, and politics - because they give us a sense that we can do anything if we rise above.

But what we have now is a fragmented ecosystem of Apple Products that no longer "just work" and even worse, fit together like square pegs in a round hole. They call it "courage" but really it's lack of a cohesive vision and borderline greed to pull as much money from customers.

That Tim Cook / Melissa Mayer comparison doesn't really fly. Tim Cook isn't an 'underdog' at all. He's worked for Apple since 1998. He's risen to CEO by ruthlessly optimizing Apple's supply chain over time and making them into the profit powerhouse they are today.

He's an underdog to the public. A minority and perceived as a business maverick that also cares about the environment. You would group Cook with Musk and Mayer long before you would group him with the CEO of Exxon Mobil.

Apple's philanthropic and environmental toting has largely surpassed their hardware innovation under Cook's direction. Yet one has to wonder - if these environmental footprint reductions costed more money than they saved - would Apple risk their profits to save the environment?

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