Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

Summary: Tim Cook's first outing as Apple's CEO went over well, but he prefers to let the team and products do the talking.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook's first product launch performance started with a quip as he called the gig a "privilege of a lifetime" and delivered a homey feeling by inviting reporters to headquarters and a town hall rich with history.

But there wasn't a "one more thing" at the end of the talk as Cook era officially began. Where Steve Jobs commanded the stage in his glory keynotes, Cook used Apple's most recent playbook: The CEO recaps success, introduces the team and then let's the products do the talking.

Cook ended his talk by noting that Apple was a team. "I am so incredibly proud of this company and all of the teams that work so hard to bring the innovations to reality," said Cook.

Overall, Cook did what he had to: Roll out products that will keep Apple dominant. Indeed, the iPhone 4S with its voice features, pricing and faster chip will do enough to keep an upgrade cycle humming. The overall theme is that Apple has continuity and that this is Cook's company now.

ZDNet's James Kendrick noted the end of the Jobs era:

The big Apple iPhone event went down in a lower key than usual, with new iPhones announced and Tim Cook taking over as Apple’s public front man. The presentation, which by all accounts was rather low-key, went off without a hitch as Cook ushered in both the next iPhone and a new era at Apple.

While the new iPhone line will surely set new sales records, the event was clearly the end of the era of exciting product launches at Apple.

Is that so bad? Cook has historically stayed in the background as the supply chain genius and the one person in Apple that frequently mentions the enterprise. He even got in a line about Fortune 500 companies implementing the iPhone. Jobs tolerated a little enterprise focus, but that's only because he looked the other way.

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Some critics may determine that Cook's lack of time on stage was a miscalculation. I'd go the opposite way. Plenty of strong CEOs have preferred to work in the background. For instance, you may catch IBM CEO Sam Palmisano once a year in a public forum or earnings conference call. Palmisano is at home on stage, but also seems well aware about the overexposure issue.

I'd argue there's an inverse relationship between company market cap and the time a CEO spends yapping to the masses. In other words, I don't need a CEO out front all the time. Stick with meeting customers and doing strategic things.

On scene at Apple's event, CNET News' Josh Lowensohn relayed is first take to me:

Cook was out of the spotlight for most of the presentation. SVP lieutenants (Scott) Forstall and (Phil) Schiller carried the show. That's kind of a letdown for people hoping to see Cook strike out on his own as the company's leader. Schiller is just fine talking up features, but he's a marketing guy. Somehow it seems more genuine coming from the CEO.

In the end, Cook may need some more stage prep, but will do just fine. You could do worse with a first product launch performance. Cook talked ecosystem, team and how all the moving parts of Apple work together. As noted previously, the Cook era doesn't officially begin until he owns the product roadmap in a few years. Cook had a good first outing and given the CEO turmoil in the technology industry---just ask HP---it's clear that Apple has had a winning handoff in the corner office.

Topics: Apple, CXO, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones, IT Employment

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40 comments
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  • I like Cook so much more than Jobs

    Jobs was on stage so much because he is a megalomaniac. He wanted to take credit for everything, even things he couldn't possibly have done himself. He has his name on an absolutely unbelievable number of patents. The man is a thief. He even said as much by praising thieves in his now famous "good artists copy, great artists steal" speech (which he stole from Picasso).<br><br>Cook is far more likeable. We all know that Cook didn't build the iPhone 4S himself just like Jobs didn't build any of the previous iPhones himself. Cook gave credit to the people who deserved the credit. Jobs took all the credit for himself. I have absolutely no respect for the "man".
    toddybottom
    • And how Cook showed OSX beating Windows 7

      @toddybottom

      And how Cook showed OSX beating Windows 7 was enough to kill their credibility. Sorry but Cook is (also) a Crook
      magallanes
  • Apple is a team?

    Gee, I would never have known. I thought it was only Jobs. No, seriously, I thought Apple <I>was</I> Jobs.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

      @Cylon Centurion I thought I saw a turnip truck drive by, followed by a thump.
      thetwonkey
  • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

    Tim Cook didn't do much of anything. At least Steve Jobs would be on stage displaying products and telling us how magical and revolutionary it was, Tim Cook just said welcome then he got off the stage. This whole event was boring and lacked a special feeling.
    LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
    • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

      @LoverockDavidson_
      Yep, we missed Jobs "Punch"
      Ram U
    • Your words ring true but ---

      @LoverockDavidson_

      At least Tim Cook didn't do a Monkey Dance! Grin.
      kenosha77a
    • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

      @LoverockDavidson_ For once I have to agree with LoverockDavidson. Beware flying pigs!
      mylestonnies
    • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

      @LoverockDavidson_

      I couldn't agree more. Yesterday was a ho hum bore.
      dvoros
    • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

      @LoverockDavidson_ and then you caught some in the eye. LOL
      alphaxi3
  • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

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    dominikbjegovic
  • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

    Pity iPhone 4s talked same old same old.

    It's officially a STALE PHONE.

    Apple dropped the ball big time yesterday.

    Beginning of the end for them?

    No "new phone". Just a spec update. Doesn't excite. There is smart phones out there that have better screens, 3D menus, faster processors, better cameras. Sorry, Apple - this doesn't cut it.

    icloud. Nah have dropbox and other alternatives.

    Voice on phone? Even Nokia had that 10 years ago. Does apple know how STUPID people look talking to a inanimate object. It's a gimmick.

    APPLE is turning into the new Nokia. Conservative, slow and NOT innovative enough.
    speedo3D
    • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

      @speedo3D

      Sigh. "Spec update". Isn't that what a new phone release is? The iPhone still has a higher resolution then any other phone. There have also been comparisons of the A5 capabilities compared to all the other phones and it blows them out of the water. 3D Menus? Seriously? Better cameras? its a freaking phone for damn sake,

      I guess people want things to "look" different. Thus why people are falling all over the new metro crap in Windows 8 on the desktop. I bet if Apple left the insides of the phone exactly the same but radically changed what it looks like then people would be falling all over it as well. Oh wait.. It's an Apple device. If it printed money people would still call it crap. Forgot about that.
      tk_77
      • But retina display is pretty outdated.

        @tk_77
        And it could print money and still be called a crap.
        magallanes
    • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

      @speedo3D ...Sure, I was disappointed too at first, Where's my big flashy iPhone 5 I was promised?!? lol then I quickly realized the hype I'd fallen victim to, boy did I feel dumb... The 4S is a definate step-up & the quality of iPhone is unmatched. I don't ever have to fiddle with my iPhone 4, i don't have to disable it's features to bare bones to get it to work. it just works, all of it, 100% & flawlessly, I never have to rip out a battery pack to reset my phone & the functionality is rock solid. I like the bigger screen I see on Samsung GS2 but unfortunately Samsung could care less about the R&D it takes to build a quality product. A big flashy screen means nothing if it goes to black or has defective lines running through it or yellowish spots <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink"> ...I love the fact my phone the iPhone doesn't act like every other piece of trash mobile phone I've owned in the past... (aside from Nokia) Android is a nightmare built on a bed of dysfunction & code theft...
      Sebbie69
    • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

      @speedo3D

      1 - Better screens? Sorry but there are no phones out there with the PPI equivalent to the Apple. Some people prefer a 4.5 inch screen, but some like the 3.5 inch screen too.
      2 - 3D Menus. Are you kidding me? You describe Voice as a gimmick?
      3 - Faster Processors - this is simply untrue. There is no faster combination of CPU/GPU available in any phone out at the moment.
      4 - Better camera? I doubt you can take better quality pictures on any other equivalent smart phone. The IPhone also takes them faster than Android phones.
      5 - You forgot battery life - an area in which the Apple beats the other Android handsets hands down, and an extremely important area.
      6 - Dropbox and 'other alternatives' are not integrated.
      Informative
    • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

      @speedo3D

      Perfect summary of yesterdays fiasco.
      dvoros
    • RE: Apple CEO Cook lets team, iPhone 4S do the talking

      @speedo3D

      A stale phone that will still out sell anything on the market. Heck the iPhone 3GS still out sells many newer phones on AT&T

      Apple gave "consumers" exactly what they needed. The hype bloggers, tech peeps, and the likes is not where Apple makes their money.

      There aren't many screens bigger or smaller that look as good as the iPhone 4/4S.

      3D menus are you kidding? Faster processors and high resolution cameras I will give you that, but unless they are tuned right faster doesn't do much. And 12MP camera that doesn't have proper software still looks like crap.

      Dropbox is good, but Apple isn't looking to supersede it, just giving the Apple Eco-System its own cloud service.

      For sure I'd look STUPID to if I was barking commands to my phone, but it looks like (I haven't tested it yet) Siri is about having a conversation with your phone. Natural speech. Hey if people talk to their cars with SYNC, the STUPID metre has probably fallen a tad over the years.

      I think in Apple's case they know when they need to move forward and when they need to watch whats going on and add to it. Innovating at least in Apple's case is knowing when to say no. "It comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much." SJ
      myonlinelifenow
  • What's so good about this phone, can someone enlighten me?

    What's the deal with the TINY 3.5" screen by todays standards??? Still no WIMAX or LTE radio. But yet, people are falling all over themselves for this.. "OH I CAN'T WAIT TO GET ONE........." It's so sad..... There are so many other products that are better in many ways than an iphone4s is but yet most folk are blinded due to the Apple machine propaganda.
    mikroland2.0
    • It's called a phone that fits comfortably in the hand

      not one that gives men with p**is envy something to brag about.
      baggins_z