Customer Emails to Tim Cook Said to Have Helped Shape Apple Watch Development

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    During his time as Apple CEO, Steve Jobs was well known for personally responding to some of the customer emails he received, which has even led to some of his best replies being collected in a book.

    Customers who email current Apple CEO Tim Cook also occasionally receive responses, and a CNBC report over the weekend reveals how these emails are processed and often shared with other executives within Apple.
    In an example of how customer emails can influence product decisions, the report highlights how some of these messages played a particularly influential role in the development of the Apple Watch.
    One former Apple employee reportedly described the emails as a "surprise," given that the Apple Watch wasn't developed to pick up heart-rate irregularities at the time. Another former employee said similar emails showed Apple that the device could have a more positive impact on health than anyone at the company had previously realized.

    The report also goes on to note how the emails often help to maintain staff morale, especially for those employees who don't have an external-facing role and can't talk about the products they're working on. You can read the full full article here.

    Article Link: Customer Emails to Tim Cook Said to Have Helped Shape Apple Watch Development
     
  2. papacuppa macrumors newbie

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  3. levitynyc macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Cool.

    I guess he just ignored my emails that told him that iPhones, Macbooks, and the Homepod are way overpriced.
     
  4. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #4
    Article quote:

    But then the missives started pouring in from users, describing how the device alerted them to potentially serious medical conditions and even saved lives. After this, Apple began shifting the emphasis of the watch more toward health features.”

    I think Apple themselves didn’t realize how the Apple Watch would initially impact lives, and once they realized that the future is more health oriented than it is just a ‘communication device’, it really opened the door for new possibilities like fall detection, EKG, and eventually/hopefully glucose monitoring.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 25, 2019 ---
    That’s not constructive criticism in which the article is indicating, it’s you just don’t agree with the price points, then simply don’t support Apple or find another product that meets your budget concerns. If you have Feedback that you can provide to make the product line a better experience for the user, that would be totally different than emailing Apple on your opinions on that matter, not the prices.
     
  5. Scooz, Feb 25, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019

    Scooz macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Meh, the idea that they wouldn‘t think of that themselves is bringing the company to a Samsung level for me, innovation-wise, if that’s not just some customer back-pattting PR.

    Steve‘s spirit seems to have left the building long ago. (I still try to deny that)
     
  6. Kangaroos macrumors newbie

    Kangaroos

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    #6
    I am just still waiting for split screen mode on iPhones :/
     
  7. Romeo_Nightfall macrumors 6502

    Romeo_Nightfall

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    #7
    They put me Oma block list when mailing about their greed with low wattage power supplies
     
  8. Lone Deranger macrumors 68000

    Lone Deranger

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    #8
    So basically this anecdote confirms that Cook doesn't have the innovative product foresight that Jobs had.
     
  9. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #9
    So basically the Apple Watch and AirPods under Cooks leader ship was exactly what then? Not ‘innovative’ you’re saying. One could easily make the counter argument to your post.
     
  10. makr macrumors regular

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    #10
    Apple has no obligation to sell their stuff cheap, also you wouldn’t be the first person talk about their pricing, so there is no point they forward your emails to an executive.
     
  11. Lone Deranger macrumors 68000

    Lone Deranger

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    #11
    I'm saying that according to this article, one of the things Cook fan boys often accredit him with, turns out to actually be something Apple didn't even think of themselves. Not an innovative observation? I'm glad you agree.
     
  12. jimothyGator, Feb 25, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019

    jimothyGator macrumors 6502

    jimothyGator

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    #12
    Every time there's an article like this, we get three types of comments:

    • "Cue barrage" type comments—predictions that, gasp, there will be comments on an article. These comments are both more predictable and annoying than the "barrage" that follows. This type of comment is an attempt to preemptively dismiss any complaints that follow as illegitimate.
    • Legitimate complaints about recent Apple products, their features, quality, gimmicks, and prices.
    • Dismissal of those complaints. "If you don't like it, don't buy it!" As if Apple customers, or would-be customers, hadn't already thought about that, not to mention been told a hundred times.
    Just like any company, Apple is not perfect, but dismissing any and all criticism of Apple lately implies that they are perfect. You can like Apple, and still want to buy their products, while complaining about them, wishing they had more of a focus on their customers, and wishing that their products were more reasonably priced. There is a spectrum of possibilities between "Buy whatever Apple offers and whatever price they offer it at" and "Buy nothing from Apple never again."

    It's perfectly legitimate and reasonable to want Apple to do a better job, and to complain when they don't. What's unreasonable is to act as if complaining about, for instance, the markup on SSD and RAM upgrades is not legitimate.

    Apple's direction lately—and they've almost made this explicit—has been, there's not much more room for additional marketshare, so let's get more money out of our existing customers by charging more for our products. That's a reasonable business approach, at least in the short term. If they're capable of pulling this off, why not?

    But there's a few problems with this approach. One, it's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy: If part of the reason for selling more more expensive iPhones, for instance, is because customers replace them less often, customers will replace them less often because they are more expensive. Also, high prices will discourage first time Apple customers, and send prior customers elsewhere. The long term effects could be detrimental to both Apple customers and shareholders.

    You can't blame people for wishing Apple had better quality products at more reasonable prices, and especially not for longing for the days when Apple focused on "insanely great" products. That focus is what created a loyal fanbase for Apple, as well as enormous profits. Disappoint the customer base too much and too long, and the profits will disappoint, as well.

    Giving feedback to Apple about prices is just as legitimate about giving feedback on the Apple Watch. Hopefully Apple will listen.
     
  13. Radon87000 macrumors 604

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    #13
    Tim Cook isn’t even in the same league as Steve Jobs. One is an innovator. The other is a bean counter riding on his coat tails.
     
  14. bbednarz macrumors 65816

    bbednarz

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    #14
    I just want to confirm I am understanding you correctly...

    Apple in this case listened to their customers and shifted the product towards what they wanted.

    You are saying this is a bad thing, yes?
     
  15. Radon87000 macrumors 604

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    #15
    Steve Jobs-
     
  16. willmtaylor, Feb 25, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019

    willmtaylor macrumors G4

    willmtaylor

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    #16
    “No focus groups” used to be one of Steve’s core mantras.

    I suppose that leaking that Apple takes users’ opinions into account on products is one way to drum up more input without formal focus groups.
     
  17. Lone Deranger macrumors 68000

    Lone Deranger

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    #17
    Not at all. It is nice to see they do listen occasionally (although it's a little late in the coming for Power users). It is sad to see further indications of Cook's (et. al) lack of creative leadership.
     
  18. bbednarz macrumors 65816

    bbednarz

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    #18
    And yet Tim Cook brought us Apple Watch and AirPods. They pivoted their vision for the device with the feedback they received.
     
  19. now i see it macrumors 68040

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    #19
    astonishing that a company takes into consideration customer feedback. Absolutely astonishing
     
  20. djcerla macrumors 68000

    djcerla

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    #20
    Yet, Steve Jobs was the guy behind the Moto ROKR failure and the G4 Cube flop, whereas Cook kickstarted the true wireless earbuds revolution and made the Apple Watch a behemoth.

    Just some examples to make you understand that you are wrong. Reality is not always black and white.
     
  21. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

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    #21
    You are trying to say or imply that all the things Steve Jobs did were because they simply came to him and none were connected to anything that consumers would actually want or need in any way?
     
  22. jimothyGator macrumors 6502

    jimothyGator

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    #22
    Sure, by cherry picking examples, you can make Jobs seem like a flop. But he is also the one who oversaw the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, not to mention rescuing Apple from the brink. He didn't bat a thousand, but let's not pretend he struck out every time.
     
  23. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

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    #23
    Seems like the rest of that quoted post more or less addresses that aspect of it:
     
  24. djcerla macrumors 68000

    djcerla

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    #24
    And I completely agree with this.

    Likewise, we can say at least two brand new products from the Cook era are already big, genuine hits that are redefining people's habits. Not to mention the saved lives.
     
  25. jimothyGator macrumors 6502

    jimothyGator

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    #25
    Yes, the rest of that comment implies that Steve Jobs was not an innovator, a point made by cherry picking two flops and ignoring all the other successes. The examples don't show that Radon was wrong about Jobs being an innovator. You could argue that Cook is also an innovator, but then the Cube and ROKR are irrelevant to that point.

    (Let's also not forget that the ROKR was a Motorola product, not an Apple product, and Jobs clearly was not impressed with it when he presented it on stage. He recognized it as garbage—Motorola's garbage.)
     

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