60 Minutes: What’s next for Apple?

The technology giant’s CEO, Tim Cook, addresses issues concerning his company — including encryption technology, corporate taxes, and manufacturing products in China

What’s next for Apple?

Inside Apple, part two

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The anatomy of an iPhone camera

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  1. RC commented on Dec 21

    With all due respect, Apple is a “fashion” company, and less of a tech company.
    Better cameras than the iPhone cameras were being used in consumer products almost 4 to 5 years back.
    Apple’s software generally sucks because the company is only focused on the physical aspects of the product – and hence its a fashion company.
    For those of us in tech, the amazement Charlie feels (or fakes) at the technical aspects look downright mundane.

    Not taking anything away from Apple. Has there ever been a company that went from being almost bankrupt to the biggest company in the world ever?

    • kaleberg commented on Dec 21

      Apple is an old fashioned computer company. Computer companies used to manufacture both the hardware and software for their machines which meant they could balance the two, for example, using better software to overcome deficiencies in hardware and vice versa. Apple still does that. That’s why other hardware manufacturers might have better specifications on their camera, but even Android review sites concede that the iPhone takes very good looking pictures, usually better than any Android phone. (The comments on one such article were hilarious.)

      It isn’t that Apple is a fashion company, though it seems that they are the only computer manufacturer which actually considers how the product looks and works. The others just try to sell based on technical specs or they copy Apple, often poorly. In some ways it seems strange that only Apple even cares if all the buttons and connectors line up. It really isn’t that hard. A company just has to care.

      The trick is that Apple is a software driven company that sells hardware. For example, people want better battery life. Since Apple isn’t at the forefront of battery design, they choose a good enough battery, sacrifice easy battery replacement and then tweak the battery’s firmware. They rewrite the kernel of their operating system to bunch up processor activity and minimize the number of power burning speed ups and slow downs. They offload as much “attention” software to the firmware in lower power auxiliary processors such as those in sensors and software radios. There are phones with bigger batteries and better battery technology, but Apple does pretty well in every battery benchmark in a given sized package.

      There seem to be two problems people have with Apple. One is that they are software driven, and no one really understands computer software. I’ve worked in the field, and people just don’t get it. The other is that they recognize that customers care about how something looks. Some of this is just fashion, but some of it is signaling. If Apple appears to care that their bezels line up properly, there is a good chance that they soldered the processor to the mother board properly as well. For some reason these drive some people nuts.

      I often see pictures of pretty, high performance cars on this website. If they were judged the same way people judge Apple, I’d see some comments about those cars being fashion statements, overpriced, overhyped toys and so on. Someone would point out that you could get better performance if you dropped a V12 in a converted rickshaw, but no one cares about quality cars because a V12 in a rickshaw looks like a donkey dropped something.

      P.S. I agree that Apple isn’t a great corporate citizen from an old fashioned point of view, but the US no longer has an industrial policy while China does. There’s a reason we can’t compete, and the places we can compete – military, pharma, energy – are the areas with the largest government meddling, protections and subsidies. We also succumbed to a taker’s ideology with regards to giving the government its due. Everyone wants new technologies like computers, but no one wants to pay for them. Remember, the government was customer one for computers in the 1880s and has been driving the field since.

  2. BennyProfane commented on Dec 21

    His comments about Apple stuff being made in China is just something. We don’t have the skills or capabilities at home? Really? Well, I guess we should build some factories with zero regulations put upon them on some land stolen from the poor farmers, funded with, essentially, cheap government “loans”, herd all of the kids who can’t get jobs into “dormitories” on site, and treat them like slaves. You know, wake them all up at three in the morning for a new production run when Tim Cook or one of his operations people decide it’s time for a new gadget for the world to bide it’s time with. Our media might not look the other way when those kids start jumping out of windows, though. But they’ll figure out a way to spin it so that the kids get blamed. Can’t risk losing those Apple ads.

  3. sooperedd commented on Dec 21

    Over-hyped, over-priced trinkets.

  4. Jojo commented on Dec 21

    Watched it Sunday night. Felt like more of an advertorial than anything newsworthy.

    Cook’s reply to the question as to why he wasn’t bringing Apple’s cash back to the USA was that he would have to pay 40% taxes is apparently wrong. Per the article below, Apple’s effective tax rate has been in the range of 24-25% over the 2010, 2011 & 2012 tax years, not much different than what many people pay individually. Cook appears to be a good BS artist, which I guess is why he made it to CEO.
    ==================
    APPLE IS A BAD APPLE WHEN IT COMES TO PAYING ITS TAXES

    The Apple Corporation wants lawmakers in Washington to once again grant a repatriation tax holiday – this time for up to $1.7 trillion in profits that multinational corporations are holding offshore. Federal law allows corporations to “defer” paying U.S. income taxes on these foreign profits until they are brought back or “repatriated” to the United States.

    http://www.americansfortaxfairness.org/badapple/

    • willid3 commented on Dec 21

      well they feel they pay to much in taxes because they havent been able to keep up with GE?

    • Jojo commented on Dec 21

      As I rethink my comment above, I have to wonder why Charlie Rose was so unprepared for the interview? WHY didn’t he have Apple’s effective tax rate payments over the past 5 years at hand? If he did, he would have been able to have a more informed interview with Cook in the old Mike Wallace 60 Minutes style.

      60 Minutes is a shell of what it is was in its heyday. These days much of its reporting consists of softball interviews (like this one) or yet another Lara Logan pretty face front line report from whatever war zone we are currently mired in.

      They need to start doing better or I am not going to waste time tuning in.

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