Bloomberg: Jeff Williams is Second-Most Important Person at Apple, Operates Similar to Tim Cook

Baymowe335

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Oct 6, 2017
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As someone who watched this show before when Jobs left, I wonder how the ending is different this time? Scully at least tried to do tech; the Newton was created under his watch and while not perfect, was pretty amazing technology (and Apple's first use of ARM technology). Jobs killed Newton on his return so we'll never know what a few more iterations could have looked like (although some bits live on in the iPhone).

This current crop of execs (minus maybe Federighi) seems to not understand products or care about them. Eddie Cue is off in music and tv la la land. Phil is increasingly MIA. The best tech designer of maybe all time just left because "leadership doesn't care about design." Ahrendts (left recently) just made the Apple store experience worse, not understanding it is not Burberry. Tim seems to think "sell half as many, then double the price" is just fine. But this time Jobs is not waiting in the wings to save the company again.

With an operations guy, we'll get a long, comfortable slide into overpriced mediocrity. Bump out the case 0.01 more to save $2 per machine on memory. Don't go all in on 3D Touch (too expensive) and then in the future cut it as needed (happening). Let the phones go 3 generations in the same shell to make manufacturing and supply chain easier (6, 6s, 7, X, XS, 11). Take 5+ years to update a Mac Pro because nobody understands or cares about high end creatives when the exec team is using e-mail and PowerPoints and can probably do that from an iPad. Release a smart speaker years late because everyone else is, charge too much for it, and then neglect it because its not selling in high volumes so why keep investing? Have a Mac, an iPad Pro, and an iPhone? Use 3 different wired headsets. Buy a Beats headset? Charge with MicroUSB.

Don't have any product passion what to do? Don't buy Sonos (clearly aligned). Don't buy Nest (clearly aligned). Don't buy Tesla. Instead let Eddie run off and start making TV shows because he at least seems passionate about something and Netflix seems to be onto something. Oh, and don't buy Netflix either. instead, listen to investors and hand that money back as share repurchases and dividends. Huh?

What's next? Cut fan slots underneath to help with cooling instead of engineering air channels in the sides and save $5 per machine? Put an Intel Inside sticker on the palmrest to get $3 per machine in Intel marketing money (hey, customers can peel it off later if they don't like it)? Pretty soon we all get 'me too' devices. I just hope that the ecosystem integration keeps holding strong for another decade.

The only thing keeping beige boxes from returning is that Apple will have Huawei, Microsoft, and Google to copy. Ironically, those companies were all inspired by Apple's past. I think the current CEO of Huawei understands Apple better than Tim Cook does.
Gotta love posts like this that ignore all the value created by Cook's team.
  • 1.4B devices (record)
  • Apple Music now more paid subscribers than Spotfiy
  • Services at $50B
  • Wearables (Watch, AirPods) best in industry
  • Industry leading silicon
  • THE best tablet, by a mile
  • Ultra competitive phone market and still selling 200M units/yr
  • Innovations like FaceID are still trying to be matched by competitors
  • $700B in shareholder value since Jobs passing away
  • Record earnings
  • Biggest buyback in the world
The only real bump in the road recently has been China, which is an issue for pretty much every company doing business there. It's also gotten better according to reports.

I don't know what you want Apple to do. They have executed the iPhone strategy better than any single device by a mile. All of your 3 year shell talk as if it's a misstep is precisely wrong. The iPhone has been managed so well, it's unbelievable. They are FINALLY seeing some dropoff, but it's expected after a product has penetrated most of its market, lasts so well, and has little else to offer. They are still selling 200M units/yr.

Making fun of their push to services ignores reality. That's what Apple should be focused on now that they've built the device count. People want services.

Trying to understand why Apple hasn't bought companies like Tesla, Nest, or Sonos is just an exercise in futility. Pretending you understand all the details like integrating cultures, financials, and synergies is disingenuous.

High level, Tesla is run by an eccentric maniac that lies to his investors constantly, doesn't deliver what he says, and is losing billions of dollars every year. Why would Apple really want to buy that? Nest and Sonos are likely complete non-needle movers and Apple believes they can play the long game to take those industries.

If you're going to be so negative, you at least have to acknowledge some of the positives.
 
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smulji

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2011
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I mean, I've seen no evidence of Williams being a "product guy." This is based on his appearances during Apple events, so small size and probably not fair. BUT...

Go back and watch some of the old Jobs' product announcements. You can tell he just loves the stuff. He thinks what he's talking about is just the coolest stuff in the world. He's following a script, but he clearly doesn't need it. This is a guy who can talk all day about how cover flow is probably the greatest thing ever invented and how Apple Greeting Cards (remember those) are going to revolutionize communication. Neither of those things were accurate (although I personally miss coverflow), but it was nice to see genuine enthusiasm. Such joy.

Contrast that to the people today, including Williams. They are rushing on stage with a script, glassy eyed and there is zero evidence they love the stuff. Any excitement is manufactured and built into the script (e.g., "I can be the first to show you the amazing new TouchBar." Lol--get the **** out).

They're all terrible. Even Craig, although fun, doesn't really show that adoration for the things he's talking about. Phil neither. Cook is just a robot.
I agree with pretty much everything except the part about Schiller & Federighi. I actually think those are the two senior execs left at Apple that show genuine enthusiasm for the products / topics that they present.
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If I was an editor at Bloomberg I would’ve said you don’t have a story here there’s nothing to publish. The only thing we learned in this piece is that Jeff Williams is married. Everything else is stuff we already knew with quotes from anonymous sources sprinkled in. Also if these people are willing to go on the record then I question whether they have an agenda that they’re trying to push.
You can't have NO anonymous sources otherwise you will end up having no sources at all. There's a reason anonymous sources exist.
 

DevNull0

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2015
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“One doesn't necessarily need a visionary as CEO of Apple as long as there's a visionary in the company that the CEO can work with”

That quote scare me.
It makes one wonder what one would even need the CEO for in that case. Just to get in the way?
 

avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
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I've thought ever since I saw Jeff Williams present for the first time several years ago that he seemed like he was related to Tim Cook. Similar hairstyle, similar speaking style, etc.
 

austinmcguire

macrumors newbie
Apr 30, 2006
26
32
It was three years of the same style iPod under Steve before we got the Mini - which was just the same iPod shrunk. We had to wait four years for the Nano, which was an innovation on the design. It was three years of the same iPad before Steve innovated with the iPad Air. It was three years of the same iPhone before Steve innovated with the iPhone 4. And let's not get started on how the Mac design didn't innovate for long stretches under his watch.
I believe most of the animosity against Cook is that the trend to soldered parts on the Macs started right after he took over. There was also a general form over function perception, that the "email and web surfing" crowd would not notice, the power users that stayed with Apple over the lean years did. (And we tend to be the most vocal on forums like this). When it was in the MacBook Air only (which was under Jobs), it was oh, that is a consumer device so I understand, but when Cook started doing the same to the Pro lines is when you started hearing the grumblings. Was this Cook pushing for cheaper / more efficient or Ive pushing for thinner for the sake of thin and Cook not knowing to say no, we will never know.

The keyboard fiasco is a perfect example of this. A radical design change that saved 1-2mm but decreased the usability of the device. On top of that, by making the keyboard a component of the upper case, what used to be a $100-$200 repair out of warranty became a $300-$700 repair. While there have been a number of "studies" that show the new MacBooks are more reliable than ever, those same studies show that when they do fail the keyboard is the cause more often (11.8% (BF Gen 1), 8.1 (BF Gen 2) vs 5.6-6.0 (before BF)). In addition the "re-repair" rate also increased (31% / 6% (BF Gen 1 2/3 visits), 18% / 3% (BF Gen 2 2/3 Visits) vs 7%/0% (before BF 2/3 visits)). Higher re-repair rates tend to indicate a design issue rather than a production issue.

Also look at the Mac Pro. What should be the flagship model has not been updated in over 5 years (Yes the replacement has been announced, but with a general "September" release date). Apple finally admitted that they backed themselves into a corner with the design, another Form over Function.

There have been some recent indicators of Apple realizing their errors. (New MacMini, Macbook Air, rumors of truly redesigned keyboards, new MacPro). Is this Williams taking over or Cook finally realizing that you need the Mac to support the iPhone/iPad/AppleTV/AppleWatch? (XCode only runs on Mac). Time will tell.
 
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McScooby

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Oct 15, 2005
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The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
JW seems to come across with the same false enthusiasm that TC has when presenting. I'm sure he runs a steady ship and knows his stuff inside out but it's not portrayed that he loves the products in the same way that SJ came across.

Whatever product SJ was selling, he made a point about why it was indispensable to your life and more importantly what it could do for you, none of which happens with keynotes anymore.

Enthusiasm is contagious when presenting, unless it's Bozoma Saint John or Eddie who came/come across slightly cringeworthy to me, it's a fine line I guess!:cool:
 

peletrane

macrumors member
Jan 19, 2007
71
3
Chicago, IL
If Apple ever gets Google Glass right, where we can take pictures-photos-videos of what we see, I will be very happy.

Is that serious product ingenuity and development or just staying the course?
 

ksec

macrumors 6502a
Dec 23, 2015
943
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If Apple Watch was all under Jeff, ( apart from the Gold version from Ive ), then I think Apple's product will be fine. It is the only product in the Apple Line up which I actually think it decently priced.

My only problem is Jeff is actually only a few more years before Retirement age. Apple will need to find a few who are in their 40s now and get them ready for their replacement.
[doublepost=1563812779][/doublepost]
Said nobody at Apple that ever had to work with him.
Um... No.
 
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svenning

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Mar 13, 2015
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Just because Apple doubles its market value it doesn’t mean that the products have been great during that period or that Apple has not fallen behind.

I believe Tim Cook especially in the last few years with the price hikes has really ridden his luck with the Apple faithful and how much they are willing to be taken for a ride. In my case I have loved Apple for many years and each purchase was an emotional purchase partly based on my love of the history of the company and how great Steve Jobs was in showing his genuine passion for a product he believed in. Given so much passion some misgivings have been forgiven, like the iPhone 4 antenna for example. I have continued purchasing the products through the price hikes in the Tim Cook era in hope that eventually prices would come down to a reasonable level again and that products would improve.

However I have come to realise my emotional attachment to the company and its products are waning, with Tim Cook sticking two fingers up to the consumer with absurd price hikes every year. I mean an iPhone price jump of £400 in one year (iPhone 7 to X) is absolutely absurd. The whole product line up is stale and loaded with proprietary upgrades which they also charge obscene amounts for. Jony Ive is leaving and an operations guy is being placed in charge of design, people should be worried the direction Apple is heading.

There is nobody on the leadership team at Apple that has any charisma about them, bar Craig Federighi perhaps. They are just a bunch of boring suits and I hope it doesn’t happen but eventually I believe that Apple will just be another boring company churning out run of the mill products.

The cult of Apple is officially dying.
Exactly how I feel and felt(down to the iPhone 4 forgiveness haha) So well put
 

polbit

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2002
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Just because Apple doubles its market value it doesn’t mean that the products have been great during that period or that Apple has not fallen behind.

I believe Tim Cook especially in the last few years with the price hikes has really ridden his luck with the Apple faithful and how much they are willing to be taken for a ride. In my case I have loved Apple for many years and each purchase was an emotional purchase partly based on my love of the history of the company and how great Steve Jobs was in showing his genuine passion for a product he believed in. Given so much passion some misgivings have been forgiven, like the iPhone 4 antenna for example. I have continued purchasing the products through the price hikes in the Tim Cook era in hope that eventually prices would come down to a reasonable level again and that products would improve.

However I have come to realise my emotional attachment to the company and its products are waning, with Tim Cook sticking two fingers up to the consumer with absurd price hikes every year. I mean an iPhone price jump of £400 in one year (iPhone 7 to X) is absolutely absurd. The whole product line up is stale and loaded with proprietary upgrades which they also charge obscene amounts for. Jony Ive is leaving and an operations guy is being placed in charge of design, people should be worried the direction Apple is heading.

There is nobody on the leadership team at Apple that has any charisma about them, bar Craig Federighi perhaps. They are just a bunch of boring suits and I hope it doesn’t happen but eventually I believe that Apple will just be another boring company churning out run of the mill products.

The cult of Apple is officially dying.
Very well said. As an investor, I'm happy with the stock performance. As a heavily-invested technology user and an Apple fan since the 90s, Apple is a foreign company to me. When I'm overspending for a product, I need to be excited, engaged. Not unscrupulously taken advantage of because I'm locked into the ecosystem. I wonder how long can the current Apple strategy of milking the last penny out of its consumer base using the long-gone image of a daring, "think different" corporation last.
 
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DevNull0

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Jan 6, 2015
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Gotta love posts like this that ignore all the value created by Cook's team.
  • Apple Music now more paid subscribers than Spotfiy
Only the US, Spotify isn't even an American company.

  • Services at $50B
Um, citation needed. Did you make it up? Q2 2019 was their best quarter ever at $11.5 billion. It's also a very low margin segment compared to iPhone and Mac.

  • Wearables (Watch, AirPods) best in industry
  • THE best tablet, by a mile
Super subjective. Some people love AirPods for their convenience, many hate them for their mediocre sound quality. Apple has 1/3rd of the tablet market. Not very good for a market they invented not that long ago.

  • Ultra competitive phone market and still selling 200M units/yr
I cannot wait to see the financials next week. Apple paid a $650 million penalty for not buying enough iPhone screens. $650 million will pay for 8.5 million screens. That's not a penalty Apple would pay if they're selling 200M units / year. 8 million screens would only be 2 weeks production. They'd warehouse it. Sales must have tanked horribly.

Making fun of their push to services ignores reality. That's what Apple should be focused on now that they've built the device count. People want services.
If that were true, you wouldn't have to try so hard to convince people.
 

Spock

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2002
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Apple's margins were higher under Steve Jobs, and Tim Cook's job under Steve Jobs was efficiency.

So much for your theory.
[doublepost=1563807291][/doublepost]

Yeah because Steve Jobs didn't care AT ALL about profit. NO ONE ever complained about an Apple tax when Steve Jobs running the show.

Geez
[doublepost=1563807413][/doublepost]

It's been nearly 9 years since Tim Cook took over, and that has yet to happen. Let us know the date when that is supposed to begin.
When Ives leaves Apple?
 

FFR

Suspended
Nov 4, 2007
4,507
2,348
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So they’re becoming run by the sales and marketing people, like Jobs said would happen.
But they are not, they are run by operations, which jobs himself picked.

You do understand that operations, sales, and marketing are three separate departments. They are not interchangeable.


The talent is being driven out because the company has forgotten how to differentiate between a good product and a bad one.
If by talent you mean Ives?
What did you expect him to do. The man just spent the past 10 years on Apple Park, did you expect him to go back to consumer technology.

Don’t think you know what your talking about.

I must have missed that article, What’s the difference between a good product and a bad one?


“So what?” Well, nothing right now. The exodus will take time. You won’t be asking so what five-ten years from now if Apple doesn’t make a change, because the entire ecosystem and App Store will be deserted and people will have jumped to a better operating system.

That’s right nothing.

Your exaggerating, the only proof of exodus you have is 4,500 apple users switching to android last quarter, from bank my cell.

You can’t keep calling 4,500 iPhone users an exodus. Its rather silly, when you take into account apple sells 200 million iPhones a year.


I don’t think you understand the context of what your reading, perhaps that’s where your making your mistake.
 

Khedron

macrumors 68000
Sep 27, 2013
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Gotta love posts like this that ignore all the value created by Cook's team.
  • 1.4B devices (record)
  • Apple Music now more paid subscribers than Spotfiy
  • Services at $50B
  • Wearables (Watch, AirPods) best in industry
  • Industry leading silicon
  • THE best tablet, by a mile
  • Ultra competitive phone market and still selling 200M units/yr
  • Innovations like FaceID are still trying to be matched by competitors
  • $700B in shareholder value since Jobs passing away
  • Record earnings
  • Biggest buyback in the world
The ones crossed out mean nothing to customers.

Apple Music only has more subscribers than Spotify in the US, where Apple Music subscriptions are bundled with phone contracts.

AirPods are good. The Apple Watch is fine (zero interest personally because of iPhone requirement and proprietary lugs). This is the positive side of modern Apple.

Apple's best overall tablet is the mini, which is unchanged in design since 2012. The quality control and durability on the new Pros is a joke.

No competitors are trying to match FaceID. For the same reason no competitors are trying to match the Touch Bar. Just not worth having.
 

Spock

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2002
1,778
721
Vulcan
But they are not, they are run by operations, which jobs himself picked.

You do understand that operations, sales, and marketing are three separate departments. They are not interchangeable.




If by talent you mean Ives?
What did you expect him to do. The man just spent the past 10 years on Apple Park, did you expect him to go back to consumer technology.

Don’t think you know what your talking about.

I must have missed that article, What’s the difference between a good product and a bad one?





That’s right nothing.

Your exaggerating, the only proof of exodus you have is 4,500 apple users switching to android last quarter, from bank my cell.

You can’t keep calling 4,500 iPhone users an exodus. Its rather silly, when you take into account apple sells 200 million iPhones a year.


I don’t think you understand the context of what your reading, perhaps that’s where your making your mistake.
I think you are taking all of this way more personal than you should. Are you related to Williams or what?
 

Mactendo

macrumors 68000
Oct 3, 2012
1,912
1,930
One doesn't necessarily need a visionary as CEO of Apple as long as there's a visionary in the company that the CEO can work with. Tim Cook had Jony Ive.
Ive wasn’t a visionary, he was a designer. He didn’t invent new products.

Anyway Williams looks to be better than Cook. At least Jeff is interested in product development.
 

HJM.NL

macrumors 68020
Jul 25, 2016
2,085
3,671
Netherlands
Oh, Steve, nailed it.
Yet, handed-out the reigns to the equivalent, with an operations guy, who promoted on the hierarchy his siamese twin, Williams.

It saddens me, and some in here, but it is fait accompli.
It is what it is, now.
The Xerox interview with jobs reminds me how far Apple has fallen. When Cook took over I trusted him and my hopes were high. But years of neglect in hard- and software have proved I was wrong. It seems like everyone in the phone business has leapfrogged Apple in design and in most cases even hardware while in the meantime Cook was relying on the strong brandname and higher prices. The Apple of today has gotten lazy, expensive and uninspiring.

If the new iPhone X is what the rumors say it is, I might switch to another brand as well. It doesn’t give you the value for money anymore compared to the much cheaper competitors.
 

Baymowe335

macrumors 603
Oct 6, 2017
5,154
9,018
Only the US, Spotify isn't even an American company.


Um, citation needed. Did you make it up? Q2 2019 was their best quarter ever at $11.5 billion. It's also a very low margin segment compared to iPhone and Mac.


Super subjective. Some people love AirPods for their convenience, many hate them for their mediocre sound quality. Apple has 1/3rd of the tablet market. Not very good for a market they invented not that long ago.


I cannot wait to see the financials next week. Apple paid a $650 million penalty for not buying enough iPhone screens. $650 million will pay for 8.5 million screens. That's not a penalty Apple would pay if they're selling 200M units / year. 8 million screens would only be 2 weeks production. They'd warehouse it. Sales must have tanked horribly.



If that were true, you wouldn't have to try so hard to convince people.
Ummm...no. Services have 62% margins versus low 30s for hardware. This is public information.

The services business of $50B is annual and sure, I projected some. Services are growing at high teens and are projected to be $50B in FY2020. The nearly $12B quarterly services revenue times 4 with no growth is $46B.

We will see the rest of the financials next week, but trying to understand the supply chain and how it relates to a fine is an exercise in futility. People have consistently failed at trying.

There is nothing subjective about the AirPods being the worlds most popular wireless headphones and the watch being the most popular watch.

Apple makes almost all the money in tablets and even smartphones. That is a fact. Their goal isn’t market share. Their goal is making the best products, profitably.

I’m not trying to convince anyone. The stuff I posted is there to accept or not.
 

atomic.flip

macrumors regular
Dec 7, 2008
233
404
Orange County, CA
Well said. I keep wondering: what's the next "big thing?" I have friends who have bought into the rhetoric that Apple no longer innovates, and my response is, "How many times can you reinvent the phone, tablet, watch? I mean, what else IS there?" No seriously, what else is there to reinvent? Or invent? I can see them getting into the gaming market when internet speeds are ubiquitously crazy fast (in like, 10 years; Stadia is, I submit, too early for the masses to adopt it). Or the car, or wearables...? Who the heck knows. I just see the perception of Apple losing their ability to innovate with the death of Steve Jobs (and now the departure of Ive), and I see it more as a lack of technological products that currently exist that need improving and that they're ready to tackle. Could be wrong. But when I worked at Apple Retail (left in '11), their hiring mantra was to hire the most creative people they could find. They'd skip the computer wiz for a guy/gal who was an excellent filmmaker, music producer, etc., and I have no reason to believe that mode of operation has shifted. Those are the people you want creating things, but someone like Jeff (an operations guy) has to steer the ship. Put a bunch of artists in the room, and we won't get anything done. Put a guy like Jeff over us who says, "Go make something cool; I'll make sure it appeals to regular people and actually gets manufactured." That scene has potential. Okay, enough morning coffee rambling. :)
Wow... I am really sorry to say this but your post does not make any sort of compelling argument.

I worked in mobile product development for years before the iPhone ever came out. And guess who else said things exactly like you’ve phrased them? Everyone (except apple). They were wrong.... and clearly so are you.
 

apolloa

macrumors G5
Oct 21, 2008
12,226
7,675
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Oh God... works similar to Cook... well that’s the end of that then.
[doublepost=1563816145][/doublepost]I think the closest person fronting a consumer electronics company we have to Job’s today is Microsoft’s Xbox head Phil Spencer, he talks with the same passion and interest in their products as Steve did with Apple.

The closest Apple has to that currently is Craig Federighi.
 
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Glockworkorange

macrumors 68000
Feb 10, 2015
1,983
3,136
Chicago, Illinois
There is nobody on the leadership team at Apple that has any charisma about them...eventually I believe that Apple will just be another boring company churning out run of the mill products.
Yes, totally agree. Really disappointing. Apple products are....soulless. The marketing is anodyne and sterile in the way a hospital room is, although more colorful to be sure. The executives are glass eyed automatons during presentations, with the exception of the lady who presented the XDR display. They should use her more often, perhaps replace John Ternus. That guy is clearly just walking through a memorized script.
 
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