Tag Archives: tim cook

Apple unveils iPhone with high-res cameras, no headphone jack

airpods

Apple Inc. unveiled an iPhone 7 with high-resolution cameras and no headphone jack at its annual launch this week, though the biggest surprise was the debut of a three-decade-old Nintendo game franchise, Super Mario Bros, on the smartphone.

While shares of Apple barely budged, Nintendo’s U.S.-listed shares jumped 29 pct on investors’ hopes that Super Mario would be another mobile gaming hit for the Japanese company akin to the wildly popular Pokemon Go.

Much of the presentation headed by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook was devoted to technical details of photography, wireless earphones, games from Nintendo, and a new version of Apple watch – with fitness features.

The biggest iPhone technical improvements all had leaked, and Apple itself spoiled the surprise by sending out tweets of some details before Cook spoke. The company then deleted the messages.

Apple has reported declines in iPhone sales for the last two quarters, which raised the stakes for the iPhone 7. Some consumers and analysts are considering waiting until 2017.

“Just gonna wait on iPhone 8 cuz it’s the 10th anniversary of iPhone,” Tweeted @LewBruh near the end of the event. “Ya know they gonna do something big.”

But Mike Binger, senior portfolio manager at Gradient Investments LLC in Minneapolis, said the new phone encouraged him that Apple was in good shape for a new sales cycle.

“I think the iPhone 7, just from a replacement basis, will be a successful launch,” he said.

The world’s best-known technology company said the iPhone 7 would have one, zooming 12-megapixel camera. Starting at $649, it is the same price as the 6S predecessor. The larger 7 ‘Plus’ edition, starting at $769, would feature two cameras, including a telephoto lens.

Apple also removed the analog headphone jack from both new models, as was widely expected. The new headphones supplied by Apple with the phone will plug into the same port as the recharging cord, making it incompatible with most wired headphones without an adaptor. Apple includes the adapter.

The phones will also work with Apple’s new wireless headphones, called Air Pods, available in late October at a price of $159.

The disappearance of the headphone jack “will probably annoy a certain amount of people” but they would likely get over it, Binger said.

Apple described dropping the jack as an act of courage as it moved toward a wireless future with the optional Air Pods. Getting rid of the jack also increased room for stereo speakers, and Apple sharpened the technology on most features, from the camera to a pressure-sensitive home button to a boost in memory.

The new phone will start shipping in major markets, including the United States and China, on Sept. 16.

Bob O’Donnell of research firm TECHnalysis said Apple’s new glossy black finish could be more popular than any tech feature, reflecting the slowdown in major tech innovations for smartphones.

“While the camera improvements for the iPhone 7 Plus are nice, they are incremental for most and the lack of headphone jacks could offset that for others,” he said.

Apple typically gives its main product, which accounts for more than half of its revenue, a big makeover every other year and the last major redesign was the iPhone 6 in 2014. Many are expecting a three-year cycle this time, culminating in a major redesign for 2017 to be called iPhone 8.

Apple said its Apple Watch Series 2, with a swim-proof casing, will be available in more than 25 countries starting on Sept. 16.

“I predict Watch sales will improve dramatically,” said Tech analyst Patrick Moorhead. “Most of the current Watch owners are early adopters and the next wave could be 10 times the size of that market.”

Apple also launched a new version of the device called the Apple Watch Nike+, in partnership with the athletic goods manufacturer Nike Inc., featuring GPS so athletes can track their runs.

Shares of Fitbit Inc., which makes activity-tracking bands, closed down 2 percent on the emergence of such a high-profile competitor.

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U.S. businesses uniting to oppose anti-LGBT legislation in states

Major U.S. corporations this week launched a statement by businesses speaking out against an onslaught of anti-LGBT legislation being considered in states around the country, including measures to sanction discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs.

The statement, circulated by the Human Rights Campaign, calls on public officials to defeat or abandon efforts to enact anti-LGBT measures at the state level and offers business leaders an opportunity to join the campaign.

In a recent op-ed for The Washington Post, Apple CEO Tim Cook decried pro-discrimination laws as dangerous and called on business leaders to speak up.

Joining Apple and Cook in the statement for equality are American Airlines, Inc.; Levi Strauss & Co; Microsoft Corp.; Orbitz Worldwide; Replacements, Ltd; ​Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.; Symantec Corporation; and Wells Fargo & Company.

And the list continues to grow.

“Business leaders have made it abundantly clear that these anti-LGBT bills undermine their core values and set dangerous precedents that stifle investment and economic growth,” said HRC president Chad Griffin in a news release. “Anti-equality lawmakers who value corporate investments in their state should sit up, pay attention, and abandon these bills attacking LGBT people.”

The statement that businesses and business leaders are signing says:

“Corporate leaders are speaking out against bills that could allow individuals and businesses to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and other minorities — several versions of which are actively being considered in states across the country.

This proposed legislation is bad for business.

• Equality in the workplace is a business priority to foster talent and innovation, and these state laws undermine this core value.

• These state laws set a dangerous precedent that stifles investment and economic growth by jeopardizing a state’s status as a welcoming place for employees to live and thrive, undermining the success of a business at large.

• It is unreasonable for job creators to recruit a diverse workforce from states that encourage businesses to discriminate against our community of employees or consumers.

• While these bills won’t alter our commitment to equality in the workplace, this legislation sends the wrong message about the states in which we operate and threatens our core corporate commitment to respect all individuals. 

On the Web …

Businesses and business leaders wishing to sign on the statement can download a PDF at http://goo.gl/gKEic2.

Apple CEO Tim Cook pledges to leave his fortune to charities and non-profits

Apple CEO Tim Cook, 54, is joining a long list of magnates who plan on leaving their money to charities and non-profits when they die.

Cook, an out gay man, revealed his intentions during an interview with Fortune magazine. Cook said that after deducting the cost of a college education for his 10-year-old nephew, he’ll donate the rest of his money to philanthropic causes.

The charitable commitment echoes pledges made by other executives far richer than Cook. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison are among more than 120 wealthy people and families who have announced they will give away their fortunes. Gates, Buffett and Ellison each have a net worth of at least $54 billion and rank among the five richest people in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

Most of Cook’s wealth is tied up in an Apple grant that he received in 2011 when he succeeded Steve Jobs as Apple’s CEO. That grant is now worth about $860 million. Most of the restricted grant will vest in separate tranches next year and in 2021.

Apple can rescind some of the restricted grant if the company’s stock lags the performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 for an extended stretch. That hasn’t been an issue during the past year, with Apple’s stock surging by about 60 percent to lift the company’s market value above $700 billion. The S&P 500 has gained 11 percent over that period.

Since Cook became CEO, Apple’s stock has more than doubled to create about $370 billion in shareholder wealth. The Cupertino, California, company also has paid out about $27 billion in shareholder dividends.

Cook signaled his interest in philanthropy early in his tenure when he set up a program committing Apple to match each of its employees’ donations up to $10,000 annually.

A golden macbook, HBO on the iPhone, and, yes, the Apple Watch

All eyes were focused on the watch, but Apple CEO Tim Cook also unveiled a new MacBook and announced other deals at a company event Monday in San Francisco.

Here are five things you need to know.

THE WATCH

– Apple calls it “the most personal Apple device ever.” And potentially the most expensive.

– Starts at $349 with Apple Watch Sport, aimed at fitness enthusiasts, in anodized aluminum in silver or space gray, with colorful band choices. Apple Watch stainless steel starts at $549, in traditional and space black. And for those who eat cake: Apple Watch Edition, an 18-karat yellow or rose gold version with a starting price of $10,000.

– Includes: swipe-able “glances” that show you the information you use most; customizable faces for the dial of your choice, and lots of features for both fitness buffs and others who need a reminder to get out of their chairs.

– “Taptic feedback” (a subtle tap) notifies wearers of new emails and other messages. By tapping a finger on the watchface, wearers can control music, send Instagram photos, sketch and send a dynamic drawing to a friend, and see who’s calling. Return calls with voice or a voice-to-text messaging functionality.

– Substitutes for: A hotel room key, boarding pass, even your wallet – Apple Pay promises to enable grocery-store checkouts with a single tap of your wrist.

– “All-day” battery promises about 18 hours of life. Charge it by snapping a magnetic charger to the back of the watch.

– Advance orders begin April 10. In-store sales start April 24 in the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and Britain.

SHINY HAPPY MACBOOK

– Weighing in at just 2 pounds and with no fan or other moving parts, it’s the lightest, thinnest and quietest Apple laptop yet, with “all-day” battery life, which Apple defines as 9 hours of web browsing and 10 hours of iTunes movie playback.

– Comes in three colors: silver, “space gray” and – wait for it – gold.

– Control it with a new pressure-sensitive track pad. Screen has the 12-inch higher-resolution Retina display now available only in higher-end, heavier MacBook Pros.

– Charge it with a new kind of connector cable and port, “USB-C,” that combines power with functions now requiring HDMI, VGA or USB connections. Adapters will be available until more accessories have USB-C built-in.

– Feel good about it: Apple touts its environmental friendliness (no PVCs, mercury, or beryllium) and says it will be the most energy-efficient laptop on the market.

– Shipping April 10, it starts at $1,299 with 256 gigabytes of storage. A faster processor and double the storage can be had for $1,599.

– Apple will still make its MacBook Air and Pro models. Upgrades were released Monday.

AN APPLE A DAY

– To help sell a computer designed to be pressed to the flesh all day long Apple hinted that the Apple Watch and iPhone could become vital research tools that help turn users into volunteers for medical studies.

– ResearchKit, available next month, is Apple’s open source set of tools that researchers can use to build apps aimed at diseases. Users can sign up for studies, take tests, describe symptoms – and begin sending their data to researchers.

– The first five apps – for Parkinson’s, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and breast cancer – are available Monday in the App Store for iPhones. Apple says it won’t see any personal health information.

– For now, participants must have an Apple device, but outside developers will be able to adapt ResearchKit to work with Android and Windows.

HBO ON THE GO

– Apple will be the exclusive partner of HBO’s upcoming stand-alone subscription service, HBO Now. There will be a new HBO Now channel on Apple TV. It will be possible to get it on iPhones and iPads, too. No cable or satellite subscription necessary.

– Cost: $14.99 a month. Available in early April – just in time for the season premiere of “Game of Thrones.” No minimum period required.

– Apple’s exclusivity period will be three months, after which HBO Now will start appearing on other devices. Even during that time, you can watch on non-Apple devices over a Web browser – but you need an Apple TV, iPhone or iPad to sign up.

– And speaking of Apple TV, the price dropped by $30 to $69.

APPLE PAY

– Since its October launch, participating banks have grown from six to 2,500. You can now pay with your iPhone at nearly 700,000 locations nationwide, including more than 40,000 Coca-Cola vending machines.

– You’ll be able to make payments from the Apple Watch – even if you leave your phone home.

Apple CEO donating to $8.5 million LGBT equality campaign in the South

Apple chief executive Tim Cook, the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, is donating money to help fund a gay rights initiative in his native Alabama and two other Southern states, organizers said.

The amount of Cook’s contribution to the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign wasn’t disclosed, but the advocacy organization called it “substantial.” Organizers said it would help fund a three-year, $8.5 million campaign launched in April in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Called Project One America, the goal of the public relations effort is to build acceptance for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in the states. The campaign includes advertising on TV and elsewhere, direct-mail fliers and staff members hired in each state.

“We hope Tim Cook’s substantial personal investment inspires others to support this vital and historic project,” Jason Rahlan, a spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, said in an email.

Human Rights Campaign announced the contribution in a blog post by President Chad Griffin, and Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet confirmed the donation.

“It’s a personal donation from Tim,” she said.

Cook, who grew up in south Alabama near the Gulf Coast and attended Auburn University, made headlines by coming out as gay. His announcement came just days after Cook encouraged Alabama to be more accepting of gay rights during a speech in Montgomery.

Speaking at the state Capitol during his induction into a state hall of fame, Cook said Alabama was too slow to change during the civil rights movement and was still dragging its feet on LGBT rights.

“Under the law, citizens of Alabama can still be fired based on their sexual orientation,” Cook said in October. “We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it and we can create a different future.”

In a written statement, the Human Rights Campaign president said Cook expressed support for the three-state campaign when he first learned about it.

“Thanks to his generous personal financial investment in the program, together we will move the needle forward at the local and state level, tearing down misperceptions and providing concrete protections for those who need it most,” Griffin wrote in a blog post.

IPhone statue removed in Russia after Apple CEO writes about being gay

Shortly after Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote about being a proud gay man, a statue of an iPhone was dismantled at a university in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The statue, which was about 6 feet tall, stood on an IT university campus.

A statement from a company that removed the statue, ZEFS —Western European Financial Union, which deals on construction, advertising and finance — said Cook’s writing was “a public call to sodomy,” according to reports from The AP and Washington Post.

The statement also referred to Russia’s law banning minors from “homosexual propaganda” and said the statue, which was a tribute to Steve Jobs, violated the statute.

“Russian legislation prohibits propaganda of homosexuality and other sexual perversions among minors,” ZEFS wrote in a statement, according to the Washington Post. “After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was dismantled pursuant to Russian federal law on the protection of children from information that promotes the denial of traditional family values.”

Some Russian news sources have said that there were plans to remove the statue before Cook’s essay was published in Bloomberg Businessweek in October.

Cook’s sexual orientation was not a secret when he took the helm of Apple and the statue was installed after Jobs’ death. However, the Bloomberg interview was the first in which Cook wrote about his homosexuality.

Cook wrote, “I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘I’m proud to be gay’

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he’s proud to be gay.

The public declaration, in an essay written for Bloomberg Businessweek, makes Cook the highest-profile business CEO to come out.

Cook said that while he never denied his sexuality, he never publicly acknowledged it, either. The executive said that for years he’s been open with many people about his sexual orientation and that plenty of his Apple colleagues know he is gay.

Cook wrote in the column published Thursday that it wasn’t an easy choice to publicly disclose that he is gay, but that he felt the acknowledgement could potentially help others.

“I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important,” he wrote.

Cook added that he considers “being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

The executive said he’s been lucky to work for a company that “loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences.”

Cook said that he will continue to focus on being the best CEO he can be and will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people.

Cook succeeds Jobs as Apple CEO

Tim Cook, ranked No. 1 on Out’s “Power 50” list, is the new CEO at Apple, successor to the company’s charismatic and creative founder Steve Jobs.

Jobs, who has long battled illness, advocated for Cook’s ascension in his resignation letter. “As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple,” wrote Jobs, who will chair Apple’s board of directors.

“I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role,” Jobs continued.

Cook had been chief operating officer, responsible for the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities and service and support in all markets and countries.

He also filled in for Jobs during prior medical leaves, headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.

Apple’s board of directors elected Cook to the board and appointed him CEO on Aug. 24, the same day Jobs resigned.

“The board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” said Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s board. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”

Cook, in a letter to employees, said joining the company was the best decision he ever made.

“I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that – it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.”

In May, Out published a ranking of the top 50 LGBT power-brokers in the United States, and Cook topped the magazine’s list. “While it is Jobs’ prescience that has kept the Cupertino, Calif., company at the cutting edge of technology, it’s Cook who made sure Apple could deliver as demand rocketed,” Out wrote. “Leader-in-waiting? Most definitely.”

Out was not the first to publicize rumors that Cook, typically described in press profiles as a very private man and a lifelong bachelor, is gay.

And it was not the last.

With Cook’s promotion, a number of blog reports circulated, some questioning why newspaper reports did not identify the new CEO as gay, some maintaining that Cook’s sexual orientation is irrelevant and some arguing that Cook has not come out.

In its coverage, The Atlantic wrote, “Cook is one of those at the high levels who is afraid to publicly confirm his homosexuality. And he won’t be a role model for the LGBT community until he confirms the rumors and comes out of the glass closet he is assumed to be living in.”