Tim Cook

24 08 2014

“The only thing that Steve cared about was creating great products. The company, the employees were only there to facilitate that goal,” said a former Apple employee. “Tim is much more worried about everything at the company.”

Four years after the iPad – the most recent of Jobs’s great trilogy of mobile products that began with the iPod in 2001, followed by the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010 – Apple’s product lineup has changed little. But meanwhile, the competition is much more challenging. Time goes by and the growth in smartphone sales is slowing, the iPhone is losing market share to competitors running Google’s Android operating system, and a new product category was initiated by Nike (btw, Tim wears a Nike fuelband), Google and others, the wearables. The iPad remains the dominant brand of tablet computers, but the overall surge in tablet sales is a waning moon in the Milky Way of mobile technology.

The arrival …

After graduating from Auburn University, Cook spent 12 years in IBM’s personal computer business, ultimately serving as the director of North American Fulfillment. Later, he served as chief operating officer (COO) of the computer reseller division of Intelligent Electronics and was Vice President (VP) for Corporate Materials at Compaq for six months.

Cook was asked by Steve Jobs to join Apple in 1998. In a commencement speech at his alma mater Auburn University, Cook said he decided to join Apple after meeting Jobs for the first time:

Any purely rational consideration of cost and benefits lined up in Compaq’s favor, and the people who knew me best advised me to stay at Compaq…
On that day in early 1998 I listened to my intuition, not the left side of my brain or for that matter even the people who knew me best… no more than five minutes into my initial interview with Steve, I wanted to throw caution and logic to the wind and join Apple. My intuition already knew that joining Apple was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work for the creative genius, and to be on the executive team that could resurrect a great American company.

His first assignment was Senior Vice President (SVP) for worldwide operations. Cook closed factories and warehouses, replacing them with contract manufacturers, causing the company’s inventory to fall from months to days, following the ‘Just in time’ philosophy.

This was the key to Apple’s recovery.

Predicting demand and delivering product on time is crucial in the technology industry where new products could cannibalize existing offerings, yet Apple “routinely pulls off the miraculous: unveiling revolutionary products that have been kept completely secret until they magically appear on stage and in stores all over the world.”

Cook was credited with keeping costs under control, and combined with the company’s design and marketing savvy that allows them to charge premiums generating huge profits.

In January 2011, Apple’s Board of Directors approved a third medical leave of absence requested by Jobs. During that time, Cook was responsible for most of Apple’s day-to-day operations while Jobs still made the major decisions.

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After Jobs resigned as CEO and became chairman of the board, Cook was named CEO of Apple on August 24, 2011. On October 5, 2011 Steve Jobs died, one day after Apple’s Keynote on October 4. On that keynote iOS 5, iPhone 4S, Siri, and iCloud were announced.

Apple’s DNA …

People on stage are always seen as the one who impersonate Apple’s DNA, Steve Jobs, Sir Jonathan Ive, Craig Federighi, and others. But since 1998 another top influencer and friend of Steve built his career as a behind-the-scenes expert of operations. Subtle changes were stringently required and Tim now is pushing Apple to be more collaborative as it faces new challenges, particularly from Google and its Android mobile operating system. At the same time, he appears to be broadening the company’s legendary laser-like focus.

In a fascinating interview with Calcalist radio, the largest economic newspaper in Israel, Horace Dediu gives us a scintillating insight into how Apple works. Horace Dediu is a well-respected analyst who knows a thing or two about Apple.

“I studied their DNA,” Dediu explains. “But Apple cannot possibly be perceived as normal or average, but is analyzed as such. This is a company that breaks all categories, as based on the growth front and on the value or dynamic versus static. It just works differently. ”

Dediu posits that Apple uses the same strategy as an army. ”You have to look at Apple as adopted by the pattern of military activity,” said Dediu. ”The army has no obligation to produce profits, but it has a deep commitment to achieving goals. Everyone focused and training for a specific task, and then another mission.”

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Apple is no longer the underdog that Jobs rescued from the brink of bankruptcy. The company is the most valuable brand in the world, and the most profitable in the technology industry. Its profit for the fiscal year ended September 28 2013 was triple Google’s 2013 earnings and $9 billion more than its nearest competitor, Samsung Electronics. Disruptive technology initiated by a genius is just one side of a coin, the other side is an optimized worldwide operating infrastructure. So the credit belongs to both, the visionary and the businessman.

Tim Cook plays an essential role when looking at the company’s DNA. Here are his essential beliefs fully consistent with those of Steve Jobs and with an overall impact on the development of products and their advertisment.

Let Tim Cook talk …

Innovation
Some people see innovation as change, but we have never really seen it like that. It’s making things better. iOS 7 is a great example of that. It’s significantly better than 6 or any of those that came before it, and obviously significantly better than the other OS out there.

Mobile market
For smartphones, I think it’s even more a two-operating-system world today than it was before. Maybe that changes. Maybe it doesn’t, but that is the state of things today. I think that Android is more fragmented than ever and, as a result, when you look at things like customer satisfaction and usage, you see the gap between Android and iOS being huge.

There is a huge difference between market share of units and usage share. And it shouldn’t surprise anybody that it’s like that. Anybody that’s used both should not be surprised that that is the natural result. And that’s really important to us because we have never been about selling the most. We’re about selling the best and having the best experience and having the happiest customers.

Android’s market share
I don’t think of Android as one thing. Most people do. I mean, from a consumer point of view, if you look at what Amazon does with Android, forget the name Android for a minute. If you’re coming down from a different planet and you were going to name it, you wouldn’t name it the same thing as what another company does. If you compared that to what Samsung does, I’m not sure you would name that the same thing either.

The fragmentation
It’s a growing problem. It’s a compounding problem. And think about all these people that they’re leaving behind from a customer point of view. People do hold on. Most people hold on to their phones a couple of years. They enter a contract and honor that contract and then upgrade after that two-year period. So in essence, by the time they buy the phone, many of these operating systems are old. They’re not the latest ones by the time people buy. And so by the time they exit, they’re using an operating system that’s three or four years old. That would be like me right now having in my pocket iOS 3. I can’t imagine it.

Software and Hardware
We’re not looking for external validation of our strategy, but I think it does suggest that there’s a lot of copying, kind of, on the strategy, and that people have recognized that importance.

Now, we’re well beyond just the surface level of design of hardware and software. We’re deep in the guts. This week you saw the A7. You saw our new M chip. Well, these are only possible because many years ago we elected to start building our own silicon team, and now we have many, many people designing silicon.

And you saw us go to 64-bit. Well, why are we able to do that first? It’s because we’re at that level of being vertical. Does anybody—do these other three companies have silicon expertise? You can answer that. Maybe they have something that I’m not aware of, but in terms of the depth of it ….

You look at innovation like the iPhone’s camera and the detail that went into the camera. Most people hear the word camera, and they think of hardware. And hardware is really important to it, you know? With the stuff we did with the flash on this. But it’s software, and it’s the silicon—I mean, it’s everything.

So the way I think about Apple is that the magic of this place really comes up at its best when hardware, software, and services come together.

And it’s sort of the intersection of those things is where things get incredibly magical. So facilitating that to happen and getting the collaboration level for that to happen is the magic here.

And one of my proudest moments is when other people see that. They don’t know that they’re seeing that, and that’s also the beauty. They don’t have to do it. But look at these (gesturing to iPhones). These are perfect examples where the hardware and the software and the service begin to blend.
Excerpts (Businessweek, 2013-08-20)

See this mind map summarizing some essentials of Tim’s beliefs revealing Apple’s DNA.

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Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts for iOS (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

Steve and Tim …

Tim Cook says he doesn’t ask What Would Jobs Do. He says that Steve told him before he died to never ask this question. Can there be more evidence that Steve totally trusted in Tim and his beliefs?

As time goes by …

Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook spent a lot of time answering questions about how Apple would be different from what it was under Steve Jobs, and just how he would continue Jobs’s incredible legacy.

There are a lot of questions to answer. The Apple CEO finds himself defending the company’s tax policy, fighting a declining stock price, dealing with a number of antitrust issues and facing questions about just how Apple will stay ahead of always-intense competition.
And, of course, one thing hasn’t changed. Tech watchers still hang on Cook’s every word, and scrounge for any tidbits that might indicate just what phone, computer, TV or watch might be coming next from Cupertino.

The changes are larger than the numbers. For more than a decade, the company revolved around Jobs’s unique and mercurial talents. Cook, who is as measured and accessible as Jobs was volatile and intimidating, is more a manager than a visionary, and won’t be forgiven in the same way for ignoring shareholders or belittling subordinates. In short, he runs Apple more like most other companies.

One challenge facing Tim Cook is what Wall Street calls the law of large numbers: even a successful new product may barely move the needle for Apple, which generated $171 billion in revenue in the fiscal year ended last September. A flop could underscore that Apple’s product heydays are tied to the late Steve Jobs.

It was Steve’s job to say no. In many ways Tim is not as comfortable doing that.

I think Steve would have been saying yes to more things if he were still running the company. Steve was an intuitive decision maker, knowing what he liked and didn’t like immediately, his snap decisions sometimes led to errors in judgment.

Tim Cook seems to be more thoughtful and will take extra time to minimize mistakes.

Tim is also more willing to delegate to deputies. He has given greater control over product development to Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief. Sir Jonathan Ive, who oversaw Apple’s hardware designs under Steve Jobs, also is responsible for the look and feel of its software. Other executives gaining authority include Craig Federighi, the software engineering boss; Phil Schiller, the company’s marketing head; and Eddy Cue, its Internet services lead, current and former employees said. He has turned over Apple’s executive leadership team. Five of the nine members were promoted or hired by Tim Cook.

While Steve Jobs dominated the spotlight, Tim Cook has shown a willingness to let others share the attention.

At the developer conference, for example, Craig Federighi dominated the stage. Cook also hasn’t shied away from bringing in high-profile outsiders, such as Angela Ahrendts and Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

We’re not going to go out and buy something for the purposes of just being big. Something that makes more fantastic products, something that’s very strategic, all these things are of interest and we’re always looking regardless of size.

Tim about innovation …

Tim said

Some people see innovation as change, but we have never really seen it like that. It’s making things better.

Ken Segall, author of the bestselling book – Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success, suggests that Apple and Samsung have differing philosophies when it comes to innovation.

“Innovation comes in many flavors,” Ken Segall said. “Sometimes it’s about creating revolutions, other times it’s about adding features. Sometimes it’s about creating things that people fall in love with, other times it’s simply about creating things.”

According to Segall, Samsung’s approach to innovation is more about adding features and in most cases, at the expense of customers’ satisfaction:

Less than six months after launching the Galaxy Gear watch, Samsung replaced that device in February 2014 with two models, the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo. These aren’t just upgrades — they’re new watches, running a completely different OS. Android has been replaced by Samsung’s home-grown Tizen OS.

So what happens to the people who just months ago bought into Samsung’s last “next big thing”? Well, they get stuck with a Galaxy Gear, which will be quickly forgotten. They also become living proof that Samsung values innovation over customers.

On the other hand, Segall posits that

“Apple’s innovation philosophy is quite different. Its highest priority is creating a product that people can fall in love with – a product that will improve customers’ lives without frustrating them in the process.”

“Of course, Apple loves features too.. The difference is, when Apple innovates, it’s innovating in the most user-centric way. That’s consistent with one thing I heard Steve Jobs say often: Apple’s highest priority is earning the love of its customers,” he explains.

In concluding, Ken Segall emphasizes that it is impossible to judge who’s leading in innovation by tallying products and features.

Meaningful innovation will forever be about quality, not quantity.

Publishing/Punishing media all over the world call for innovation and unsurprisingly it’s always Apple standing in the focus and criticized for not being innovative since Jobs trilogy of disruptive technology. Innovation takes time and to be fair some newspapers and websites should take a close look at the innovative power of Apple’s competitors.

Tim Cook’s message …

In August 2014 Tim Cook published a letter picturing his basic beliefs about Apple’s future philosophy.

A Message from Tim Cook.

At Apple, our 98,000 employees share a passion for products that change people’s lives, and from the very earliest days we have known that diversity is critical to our success. We believe deeply that inclusion inspires innovation.

Our definition of diversity goes far beyond the traditional categories of race, gender, and ethnicity. It includes personal qualities that usually go unmeasured, like sexual orientation, veteran status, and disabilities. Who we are, where we come from, and what we’ve experienced influence the way we perceive issues and solve problems. We believe in celebrating that diversity and investing in it.

Apple is committed to transparency, which is why we are publishing statistics about the race and gender makeup of our company. Let me say up front:

As CEO, I’m not satisfied with the numbers on this page. They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard for quite some time to improve them. We are making progress, and we’re committed to being as innovative in advancing diversity as we are in developing our products.

Inclusion and diversity have been a focus for me throughout my time at Apple, and they’re among my top priorities as CEO.

I’m proud to work alongside the many senior executives we’ve hired and promoted in the past few years, including Eddy Cue and Angela Ahrendts, Lisa Jackson and Denise Young-Smith. The talented leaders on my staff come from around the world, and they each bring a unique point of view based on their experience and heritage. And our board of directors is stronger than ever with the addition of Sue Wagner, who was elected in July.

I receive emails from customers around the world, and a name that comes up often is Kim Paulk. She’s a Specialist at the Apple Store on West 14th Street in Manhattan. Kim has a medical condition that has impaired her vision and hearing since she was a child. Our customers rave about Kim’s service, and they say she embodies the best characteristics of Apple. Her guide dog, Gemma, is affectionately known around the store as the “seeing iDog.”

When we think of diversity, we think of individuals like Kim. She inspires her coworkers and her customers as well.
We also think of Walter Freeman, who leads a procurement team here in Cupertino and was recently recognized by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Last year, Walter’s team provided over $3 billion in business opportunities with Apple to more than 7,000 small businesses in the western United States.
Both Walter and Kim exemplify what we value in diversity. Not only do they enrich the experience of their coworkers and make our business stronger, but they extend the benefits of Apple’s diversity to our customers, into our supply chain and the broader economy. And there are many more people at Apple doing the same.

Above all, when we think of the diversity of our team, we think of the values and ideas they bring with them as individuals. Ideas drive the innovation that makes Apple unique, and they deliver the level of excellence our customers have come to expect.

Beyond the work we do creating innovative tools for our customers, improving education is one of the best ways in which Apple can have a meaningful impact on society. We recently pledged $100 million to President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to bring cutting-edge technologies to economically disadvantaged schools. Eighty percent of the student population in the schools we will equip and support are from groups currently underrepresented in our industry.

Apple is also a sponsor of the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBT rights organization, as well as the National Center for Women + Information Technology, which is encouraging young women to get involved in technology and the sciences. The work we do with these groups is meaningful and inspiring. We know we can do more, and we will.
This summer marks the anniversary of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 — an opportunity to reflect on the progress of the past half-century and acknowledge the work that remains to be done. When he introduced the bill in June 1963, President Kennedy urged Congress to pass it “for the one plain, proud and priceless quality that unites us all as Americans: a sense of justice.”

All around the world, our team at Apple is united in the belief that being different makes us better. We know that each generation has a responsibility to build upon the gains of the past, expanding the rights and freedoms we enjoy to the many who are still striving for justice.

Together, we are committed to diversity within our company and the advancement of equality and human rights everywhere.

Tim

(Source Apple on Diversity)

Apple’s strong efforts regarding environment, supplier responsibility and inclusion simply can be summarized by a maxim published on the company’s website

We want to leave the world better than we found it.

This reminds me of a newspaper advertisement where Apple indirectly mocks its rival Samsung. It was published after launching a website and video detailing the environmental efforts.

At the top of the page, the company has placed a huge headline that reads:

There are some ideas we want every company to copy.

Sad to say that there are vanishingly low chances that Asian companies will start their photocopiers.

Summary …

Tim Cook is opening Apple, optimizing the infrastructure, forcing internal and external collaboration, and trying to develop the responsibilities of the company regarding fair labor, environment, and inclusion.

So there is one question left.

Is Tim the better CEO?

In some way we must say YES although it remains untold which way Steve would have gone in times of massive changes in the mobile market which is still the most important market and area of innovation and disruptive technology for Apple.

Related links …

Apple’s Strategy and Ad

Apple’s Key Events

About Innovation

Going Apple

The Hidden Price

Apple’s Supplier Responsibility

Tim Cook about tax loophole

Thanks for surfing by.





About the iPhone

17 08 2014

After years of hard work on January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs let the lion out of the basket. Let’s say it with William Shakepeare: Well roar’d Lion.

(14:00 min, January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone)

This All-In-One is still the basis of Apple’s success making 53% of the total sales as reported in the SEC filing for the fiscal year 2012/2013. Within the company it takes the lion’s share when it comes to revenues, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty.

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Today it’s much more than just ‘the internet in your pocket’. It’s seamlessly integrated in Apple’s product line-up and services. Hundreds of thousands of apps let users do everything they want to do.

The device …

It’s a fact that Apple’s iPhone is the smartphone with the highest build-quality as compared to all competitors.

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High quality makes a device attractive for people with substantial income and goes along with weakness in demand in emerging markets.

But it’s not only the hardware which makes a device successful. The environment is an essential part of product acceptance and success. It’s the All-In-One idea represented by the Apple ID the company offers its customers.

Think of it like this …

You order the latest Porsche 911 GT 3, for sure the company’s flagship. It’s delivered to an place about 250 miles south-west of India. I’m talking about a small part of the 1192 islands of the Republic of the Maldives. Your GT 3 is powered by a 475 hp engine and runs about 195 mph. Unfortunately the island is just about 500 ft in diameter and so I’m sure you won’t need one of the implemented airbags, the anti-skid breaking system, or any other innovative feature.

It’s the environment, the ecosystem, which makes a device as powerful as it is seen today pulling millions of people into it. Beside the internet, not provided by Apple, it’s the App Store, iTunes, iCloud, and more wherein an iPhone feels well and with it Apple’s customers.

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Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

From 2007 on Apple released phones to beat the iPhone every year. The company breathed life into the device with a seamless to use operating system, iOS, which got a completely new design in October 2013. The credit belongs to Sir Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Apple’s Industrial Design.

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Compared to a human being the iPhone has it all, admittedly with some limitations regarding the brain, sorry, the processor and the memory which still cannot beat the human specs.

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Fanboys, following competing platforms always refer to the design of iOS, the missing features for customization, and a liaison with Apple’s ecosystem, aka vendor lock-in. They ignore the fact that there is a OS-DNA, a well-considered design strategy, not shown on the touch screen but in the depths of its code.

According to malware researchers at F-Secure Labs, the number of active mobile threat families and variants initially spiked in Q4 2012, with Android’s share jumping from 49 out of 74 known threats to 96 out of 100, with the balance being related to Nokia’s essentially mothballed Symbian platform.

That was enough to rouse a tweet from the rarely used account of Apple’s head of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller, who linked to the report with the brief admonition “be safe out there”.

However, F-Secure’s new report for Q1 2013 shows Android now accounts for 136 out of 149 known threats, or 91.3 percent of all malware activity (up from 79 percent in 2012).

The other threats remained related to Symbian, with zero discovered for Blackberry, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile/Phone or Apple’s iOS. The research noted that mobile threats are overwhelmingly motivated by profits, with 76.5 percent designed specifically to con users out of money, rather than seeking to just cause damage.

If you like customization you are welcome in Android’s monopoly on malware.

Supplier responsibility …

Manufacturing an iPhone is done by 777 companies all over the world.
The Chinese company Foxconn, assembling devices, is able to employ 230,000 assembly line workers producing 72,000 back plates for the iPhone per day. 40% of consumer electronics worldwide are made by Foxconn in a large number of production lines. The company is a contracting party of Apple, Dell, Nintendo, Motorola, Amazon, Nokia, Sony, Samsung and others.

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Since years international organizations like the UN or Transparency International are monitoring human rights. What does Apple do?
In contrast to the RMG industry Apple takes care of labor conditions. The company undertook many steps and is taking towards all issues regarding infringements of human rights (unlike other tech companies).

Ending the industrywide practice of excessive overtime is a top priority for Apple. They tracked work hours weekly at a handful of suppliers, and when they found excessive hours, they were able to address the problems quickly with the supplier.

In 2012, Apple expanded that program and tracked work hours weekly for over 1 million employees, publishing the data every month. As a result of this effort, the suppliers have achieved an average of 92 percent compliance across all work weeks, and the average hours worked per week was under 50.

Many large companies are members of the Fair Labor Association (FLA). Activities of the FLA are targeted to audits of the company’s suppliers, mainly located in foreign countries. Reports are published on the FLA website.

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Members of the FLA are e.g. Apple (as the first technology company), adidas, asics, Fruit of the Loom, H+M, Nestle, Nike, Puma, S.Oliver, etc. Apple’s main competitor Samsung is not an affiliate of the FLA. The list shows that most of the members are companies active in the garment industry.

The FLA regularly reports about audits (announced and unannounced) and everyone can download the reports in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Excel file format.
Apple’s membership in the FLA shows the companies efforts to take care of the environment in which it’s products are manufactured.

Manufacturing …

Beside Apple’s ecosystem there is a much greater and more important one, our planet. In April 2014 scientists elaborated that parts of China are no longer suitable as a habitat for human beings, animals, and plants because of a tremendous pollution load in the air, the water, and the soil.

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What the company does to keep the environment healthy is published here:

http://www.apple.com/environment/reports

Cormorant energy eaters are the worldwide growing number of data centers which are necessary to offer all the services electronic devices are using. In contrast to others Apple accepts the climate change as a fact and wants “to leave the world better than we found it”. So here are some facts about Apple’s facilities providing iCloud, iMessage, Facetime, Stores, and administration services, published in April 2014.

  • Maiden, North Carolina
    We designed our Maiden, North Carolina, data center from the ground up for energy efficiency, and it has earned the LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council — the first data center of its size to be honored.
    On any given day, between 60 and 100 percent of the renewable energy it uses is generated onsite through biogas fuel cells and two 20-megawatt solar arrays — the nation’s largest privately owned renewable energy installation — and we purchase any remaining power we need from entirely clean sources. The Maiden center generates 167 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy onsite per year — enough to power the equivalent of 13,837 homes.
  • Prineville, Oregon
    Our data center in Prineville, Oregon, is every bit as environmentally responsible as the one in Maiden. We’re building a micro-hydro system that will harness the power of water that flows through local irrigation canals.
    When completed in 2014, it will serve most of the center’s energy needs, In the meantime, since Oregon allows the direct wholesale purchase of renewable energy, we’re able to directly access enough local wind energy to power the entire data center.
  • Reno, Nevada
    Our newest data center, in Reno, Nevada, follows in the footsteps of our 100 percent renewable energy centers in Maiden and Prineville. We’re working with the local utility to codevelop an 18- to 20-megawatt solar array using a new kind of photovoltaic panel with curved mirrors to concentrate sunlight.
    Expected to be operational in early 2015, the solar array will have an annual production capacity of over 43 million kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable energy. Until then, the center will be powered by renewable geothermal energy purchased from the local utility.
  • Newark, California
    Like our facilities in Maiden, Prineville, and Reno, our data center in Newark, California, is powered by 100 percent renewable energy. We hit this milestone in January 2013, when we began serving the data center with energy sourced primarily from California wind power. We’re acquiring this energy directly from the wholesale market through California’s Direct Access program.

Investments in low-pollution manufacturing are one of the reasons why Apple products are expensive. To manufacture smartphones with nearly the same features of an iPhone for half the price is only possible with a rigorous exploitation of the resources. Well, 330 suppliers of Apple are located in China but there are strong efforts to bring parts of the production back home. At the time this is only possible for some computer products but not for mobiles because of missing capacities of human resources. There is just one company able to assemble hundreds of thousands of mobile devices within a narrow timeframe. It’s the Chinese-based company Foxconn. ABC News’ Bill Weir was invited to take a look inside Foxconn.

(15:12 min, Apr 18, 2012, AlbaIM Social Network)

Outsourcing is the key to Apple’s supply chain success. Apple outsources manufacturing and assembly to suppliers. Many suppliers are “fabless” (no company-owned fabrication facilities) and, in turn, outsource fabrication. Companies headquartered in the US and Europe subcontract fabrication to Asian companies. Many of these Asian companies based in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea then outsource fabrication to places with cheaper labor or greater ability to scale up production.

That’s how everything ends up being Made in China. Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines get a lot of the adion, too, mostly as suppliers for back-end components.

Highlights in 2013 …

Apple events are always an exciting show viewed by millions of people.
It was the event in October 2013 with the most significant steps since iPhone’s birthday in 2007.

In 2012 Apple acquired Authentec, a Florida-based company specialized on biometric authentication. Authentec’s fingerprint sensor debuted on the iPhone 5S one year later.
With no production facilities of its own, all fabrication is outsourced to Taiwanese company TMSC, which does most of the manufacturing in its Shanghai facilities.

The Touch ID (Apple’s implementation of a fingerprint scanner), improves seamless usage and security and can be seen as a first step to payments using biometric authentication.

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Apple realizes the value of wearable tech through M7 – a mixed signal chip from NXP (Netherlands), which can make sense of the data from the motion detected by the iPhone accelerometer of Bosch (Germany), gyroscope of STMicroelectronic (Italy) and electromagnetic compass of AKM (France). Current and future apps that can take advantage of this data are poised for the jackpot.

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It’s the iPhone which is the carrier for new and innovative technologies or even disruptive technologies.

From SEC filings …

As the leading industrial nation the USA developed rules for financial reports which are basically overtaken by the majority of other countries. The responsible commission in the USA is the SEC (U.S. Security and Exchange Commission).

The laws and rules that govern the securities industry not only in the United States but also in all other industrialized countries derive from a simple and straightforward concept:

All investors, whether large institutions or private individuals, should have access to certain basic facts about an investment prior to buying it, and so long as they hold it.

If we look at Apple’s SEC filings of the fiscal year 2012/2013 which ended on September28, 2013 we can see that the company is dependent from iPhone sales.

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Total net sales were $170,910m with $91,279m generated by the iPhone which is about 53% of the companies sales. If we include the iPad as the 2nd important iOS device, 72% of the company’s sales are generated by mobile devices. So it’s quite clear that mobiles call the shots.

The cult …

“Apple’s brand is just overwhelming here,” said Eiji Mori, a Tokyo-based analyst at BCN Inc. “It’s not about specifications. It’s not about rationale. It’s about owning an iPhone.

Immediately after the launch of a new iPhone rumors about a successor start.

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Apple enjoys a cult-like following for its platforms, especially following the massive increase in popularity for the brand brought about by the huge increase in sales for all its products that started around the time the company introduced the original iPod in late 2001.
The mass usage of computing devices in everyday life, mixed with Apple’s vertical integration of its products, has helped to bring about this increase in popularity, and combined with a tight-lipped corporate policy about future products, helped foster an interest in the company’s activities.

No other company is in a daily focus of publishing media no matter authors like or hate what’s launched in Cupertino.

Summary …

The iPhone is Apple’s engine, the carrier of innovative technology. The credit belongs to Steve Jobs whose vision of the ‘Internet in your pocket’ initiated a fiercely competitive market in which all leading tech companies participate. Google, Samsung, and Microsoft force Apple to keep the innovative power in a transition phase from PC to mobiles.

Related links …

Fingerprint Technology

iOS Updates

iCloud, a paradigm shift

About Innovation

About Statistics

Designed by Apple in California

Apple’s Supplier Responsibility

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.





The Pareto Principle

5 08 2014

The Pareto principle, also known as 80-20 rule states that roughly only 20% of the causes affect 80% of the effects.

20140418-095204.jpg

I would like to give you some examples and an attempt to connect the rule with some aspects of Apple’s strategy to design hardware and software products although I didn’t find any hints published by Apple which explicitly refer to the 80-20 rule. But I’m sure it’s in the mind of Apple’s engineers and can be seen as a guideline for developing products.

Microsoft and the Pareto principle …

Paula Rooney published this noteworthy insight on October 3, 2002

Microsoft’s CEO: 80-20 Rule Applies To Bugs, Not Just Features

In recent months, Microsoft has learned that 80 percent of the errors and crashes in Windows and Office are caused by 20 percent of the entire pool of bugs detected, and that more than 50 percent of the headaches derive from a mere 1 percent of all flawed code.

In an e-mail update sent out broadly to enterprise customers on Oct. 2, 2002, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer highlighted initial progress being made on the company’s Trustworthy Computing initiative, an effort rolled out by the vendor last January to improve its reputation in the reliability and security arenas. For one thing, there will be faster bug-fixing as a result of an error-reporting facility embedded in Office and Windows. And that error-reporting tool will be part of the forthcoming Windows.Net Server 2003.

The automated error-reporting tool enables customers to relay errors to Microsoft in a condensed “mini-dump” format, which simplifies the process, Ballmer said.

“One really exciting thing we learned is how, among all these software bugs involved in the report, a relatively small proportion causes most of the errors,” Ballmer wrote in his three-page memo. “About 20 percent of the bugs causes 80 percent of all errors, and – this is stunning to me – 1 percent of bugs caused half of all errors.”

But one analyst said that customers should not come to the conclusion that the 80-20 bug ratio will make it easier for Microsoft to clean up problems with its software.

“The 80-20 rule is often believed to be true in most things. Most often it is used by vendors to distract people from the problem of inadequate quality with the implication that they only need to work on a small number of issues to correct that problem,”

said Rob Enderle, research fellow at Giga Information Group.

“What’s forgotten is that 20 percent are often the most complex, most difficult issues to correct and the most likely to spawn new problems as part of the correction process.”

The tool and debugging method, however, did help Microsoft address 20 percent of all Windows XP bugs in Service Pack 1, more than half of all application errors fixed in Office XP Service Pack 2 and 74 percent bugs of fixed in the beta test version of Visual Studio.Net, Ballmer claimed.

A summary …

Ready for a summary of Pareto’s principle?

So here it is and as usual on iNotes4You it’s summarized with the help of a mind map.

20140531-061531.jpg

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

Apple and the Pareto principle …

Apple’s operating system for mobiles, the hardware, and software applications are as complex as other comparable systems. Only developers are deeply engaged in what’s going on in the code if a user e.g. taps on the touch screen of an iPhone or an iPad. Be sure, it’s a lot what has to be considered when designing the code and providing APIs (Application Programming Interface) to developers who then create their apps based on implemented functionalities of iOS.

20140418-105007.jpg

For us, as users of Apple’s mobile devices, there are only two but quite important things, the UX (user experience) and the UI (user interface).

One common adage in the IT industry is that 80 percent of all end users generally use only 20 percent of a software application’s features. Aside the concrete numbers this seems to hit the nail right on the head and I think nearly all of you can agree. Only a minority, the power users, get more mileage out of an application.

Basically there are two options to increase the UX of software products

  • two versions
    a standard and a professional version with extended features
  • one version
    with features limited to the commonly accepted needs of customers

Apple goes the latter way roughly according to the Pareto principle.
But there seems to be a problem.

What are the features if all the options are roughly reduced to the mentioned 20%?

Well, it depends on the application and necessary features can only be identified by constantly looking on the behavior of customers.

If you settled all the needs of customers the next problem comes up.

How can the features be packed in a clean and tidy user interface?

It was Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s top designer, who once said

Simplicity is often equated with minimalism. Yet true simplicity is so much more than just the absence of clutter or the removal of decoration. It’s about offering up the right things, in the right place, right when you need them. It’s about bringing order to complexity. And it’s about making something that always seems to “just work.” When you pick something up for the first time and already know how to do the things you want to do, that’s simplicity.

Regarding the UX and UI I found a noteworthy article by Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D., on uxmag.com about The Psychologist’s View of UX Design (please use the link under ‘Related link’ to read the full article). It can be seen as a validation of the Pareto principle in the sense of separate the vital few from the trivial many. And with this it also proofs Apple’s strategy of seamless usage of its mobile devices.

Here is a summarization of the main points visualized in a mind map.

20140419-205613.jpg

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

There’s a finite amount of resources to focus on finding and fixing issues or improving the user experience. It’s the task of designers and engineers to find out the small number of items account for a disproportionate amount of results. An effective strategy is to separate these vital few from the trivial many to improve the user experience.

If you use an Apple mobile device you already recognized that problems with the operating system can be solved with solely three methods

  • Reboot
  • Restore
  • Recover

This is a quite remarkable step to reduce the efforts of users to fix problems.

It’s definitely the wrong and most ineffective way to fill a knowledge base with thousands of articles, often not applicable for devices even if they run on the same version of an operating system. That’s my experience of working on Microsoft Windows based computers in the last 30 years. Problems with drivers, Dynamic Link Libraries, vulnerabilities, monthly published patches, etc. have been quite frustrating tasks, wasted your time, and, regarding the usage of Windows PCs in businesses, cost a lot of money. A reason could be the genes Microsoft put into the cradle of its operating system.

Summary …

Companies looking at the 80-20 rule have to identify the 20% in all areas which means find out the few vital from the many trivial.

Going along with this analysis more simple solutions for usability problems, feature requests, support calls, software bugs or revenues can be created.

If you recognize that reading just 20% of my blog post let you understand 100% of my intention than you have a further validation of Pareto’s principle.

Related links …

Apple’s Focusing

Apple’s Strategy and Ad

The Psychologist’s View of UX Design

Thanks for stopping by.





Apple Support

30 07 2014

Apple takes care and is well-known for seamless usage of it’s products, high build quality, and strong efforts regarding customer support.

Support options are …

  • Apple’s website
  • Apple Care Protection Plan
  • Genius Bar in Apple Stores
  • Apple Support Communities

Try to get help from Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, or other competitors and you will see the difference and it’s because Apple offers a complete ecosystem.

20140414-165911.jpg

Unlike Microsoft the company offers a powerful collection of support articles which are regularly updated.

Help yourself is poorly supported by Microsoft’s knowledge base because

1 articles are not highly ranked in Google searches, instead you get many results linking to uncountable forums usually presenting ‘trash content’ or personal conversations without any methodical approach

2 search results within Microsoft’s support site nearly never provide useful results; you also may find articles about products 10 years old or even older although their support is already suspended

3 articles are not translated by humans but translation software and the results are often a disaster

But there is also an advantage in Microsoft’s approach to organize the error messaging system. It’s the so-called MSID for errors, a unique, product related number which points to an error description.

Within iOS Apple doesn’t use error numbers. As a consequence your search is only successful if you enter main parts of the message displayed on your device in a search engine.

20140414-170148.jpg

If you enter ‘iPhone disabled’ as the search term in a browser you will immediately get a high ranked result pointing to an Apple support article.

Note
It would be an improvement if iOS lets you copy the message into the clipboard for later use as the search term in a browser.

A further step forward could be an optional control within an error message popup named ‘Support’. Tapping on it opens Safari with the error message as the search term.

Fortunately Apple sells high quality products so that error messages are rare.

Prepare for a support request …

If you need support you should have these data ready

  • Apple ID
    (password and answers to your security questions if you don’t use 2-Step Verification)
    to log into your profile, to contact the support by phone
  • Serial Number
    of the device
    Go to Settings – General – About to find it out. Tap and hold to copy the number to the clipboard.
  • OS version
    Go to Settings – General – Software Update to find it out.
  • IMEI and ICCID
    if there is a need to contact your provider
    Go to Settings – General – About to find it out.

If you want to have immediate access to all these data don’t keep it in an iWork document, instead use a password keeper like 1Password.

Support options …

If you visit Apple’s website you will find a comprehensive overview about support options. My mind map shows these options and an overview of essential FAQs. All topics come along with assigned links. If you use a mind mapping tool just tap on a topic to open the related website.

20140414-170355.jpg

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

If you download the map in the DOCX file format and open it with Apple’s iWork app PAGES it looks like this

20140414-170545.jpg

Just tap on a link within Pages to open the website in Safari.

Support documents …

Links to Apple’s support documents use structured web addresses using this pattern

support . apple . com / kb / HT

followed by a number (and a region identifier like ?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US)

Example for an article about Using Touch ID …

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5883

Apple repair services …

It rarely happens but if a recovery of your device (the most thorough way to solve problems) doesn’t solve the problem it might be the hardware which died. Apple offers the following options to reanimate your device.

In case of an iPhone you will find all support options on

Contact Apple Support

Tap on ‘Service Requests + Troubleshooting’ to see a list of possible problems.

If you already identified the problem as a hardware failure you must contact an authorized repair service which can be located here

Find Locations

Call the phone number for your country and a clerk will help you in any case, with or without an AppleCare Protection Plan.
I there is a nearby Apple Store it’s the best way to take your device there.

If not, use this link to see the options and contact an authorized dealer/repair service if you purchased anAppleCare Protection Plan.

Here is an example of the steps to do if an iPhone won’t power on any longer.

20140414-171742.jpg

20140414-171528.jpg

If there is an Apple Store nearby it’s always the easiest way to visit the store and take the device with you.

If you have to use the mailing route Apple will send you all the printed forms you need to pack the box and temporarily say Good Bye to your electronic assistant.

Apple Support Communities …

If you didn’t find an answer in one of Apple’s support documents you may ask for help in the Apple Support Community.

With your Apple ID your are granted to use this community if you agree to this

Use Agreement

Use this link to get started.

Apple Support Communities

Follow these steps …

  • Sign in with your Apple ID.
  • You can quickly ask a question from the home page or from within a specific community related to products and services. You can also click New > Discussion at the top of any page.
  • As you type your question, you’ll see a list of similar questions that other users have asked.
    You might find an answer in an earlier discussion.
  • Try to limit the question to one or two short sentences. You’ll be able to provide more details in the next few steps.
  • Choose the community that best relates to your question.
  • Type your question and describe the issue. It’s helpful to include details such as product specs, software version, actions that cause the issue, and any troubleshooting you’ve already done.
  • Select categories and add tags to help others find your question.
  • Click Post Message.

To help you track responses, you’re automatically subscribed to email notifications for any question you ask or respond to. To turn off email notifications, see Manage email notifications.

Encourage helpful community members by marking responses that help solve your question. This awards reputation points and increases the member’s status in the community. It also makes it easier for others to find helpful responses.

Summary …

If you have a question regarding an iOS device it’s likely that you find an answer or a workaround for fixing a problem within a few minutes. An iOS device usually just works. If not you fortunately have less options to solve the problem. Try a reboot, a restore or a recovery in this order. If nothing helps go to an Apple Store or send your device to Apple Repair. It’s that simple.

Related links …

Specific topics …

The Apple ID

Troubleshooting

Recovery

Emergency Guide

Security made by Apple

2-Step Verification

General topics …

Apple’s Customer Relationships

Apple’s Ecosystem

Thanks for contacting iNotes4You.





About Innovation

18 07 2014

Apple is an innovative company and discussions about its innovate power first need a close look on what innovation means for a tech company.

The term …

On Wikipedia we find …

Innovation is the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs. This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments and society. The term innovation can be defined as something original and, as consequence, new that “breaks into” the market or society. One usually associates to new phenomena that are important in some way. A definition of the term, in line with these aspects, would be the following: “An innovation is something original, new, and important – in whatever field – that breaks in to (or obtains a foothold in) a market or society”.
While something novel is often described as an innovation, in economics, management science, and other fields of practice and analysis it is generally considered a process that brings together various novel ideas in a way that they have an impact on society.

Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a better and, as a result, novel idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.

Innovation differs from improvement in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something different rather than doing the same thing better.

Regarding the major tech companies Apple, Samsung, and Google we can see an ongoing war between fanboys each claiming their beloved company is innovative.

In the organizational context, innovation may be linked to positive changes in efficiency, productivity, quality, competitiveness, market share, and others. However, recent research findings highlight the complementary role of organizational culture in enabling organizations to translate innovative activity into tangible performance improvements.

The measure of innovation at the organizational level relates to individuals, team-level assessments, and private companies from the smallest to the largest. Measure of innovation for organizations can be conducted by surveys, workshops, consultants, or internal benchmarking. There is today no established general way to measure organizational innovation. Corporate measurements are generally structured around balanced scorecards which cover several aspects of innovation such as business measures related to finances, innovation process efficiency, employees’ contribution and motivation, as well benefits for customers. Measured values will vary widely between businesses, covering for example new product revenue, spending in R+D, time to market, customer and employee perception and satisfaction, number of patents, additional sales resulting from past innovations.

So we are faced with a complex topic but what should be clear is that a final assessment whether a company is innovative can only be done by knowing all the facts and waiting until the society respectively the market shows any reaction.

In 2010 Apple released its first iPad and some years later we can definitely say that it was innovation born out of many preceding scientific results, above all the touch screen and the appropriate software to control apps.

20140717-211916-76756842.jpg

What we can see is that scientific results taken for its own are not enough to be innovative. It needs a vision, persistent efforts, and outstanding people motivating each other to bring an innovative product to the market. Steve jobs once said …

Customers don’t know what they want but are looking for something new and exciting

The iPad was a high level innovation, an ‘ocean boiling’ new kind of device whereas follow-ups could be described with the words of Tim Cook

Some people see innovation as change, but we have never really seen it like that. It’s making things better.

I would like to add an important point

An innovative product is only born if it provides space for essential improvements in the future. So in an essential first step the conditions for a long-term impact already must run in the blood.

It needs a close look on and into products to see innovative steps which, in some cases, are only laid out. If the basis already includes technically feasible visions, the new product usually will be successful.

20140403-084006.jpg

A more superficial view on the iPhone 5S, Apple’s flagship, could lead to an assessment like “same shape, same size, same everything”. But the truth is that there is a fingerprint scanner solving the dilemma of security in a much more convenient way than before and the M7 motion processor which could later be used in a new kind of device like an iWatch, possibly disrupting the health care system. And be sure, it will not be a shiny new gimmick like the Galaxy Gear watch.
And there is iOS 7 supporting a 64-Bit architecture, designed for future software capabilities. And there is much more only visible if colors and shapes are disregarded.

The process …

Here are the steps to innovative products.

Step 1

in any innovation process is to generate ideas. This includes gathering ideas both internally and externally, within the company and by looking at competitors.

Note
The ongoing war between fanboys e.g. of Samsung and Apple only reflects a psychological problem of the involved people because collecting information from everywhere is a normal process in which lastly lead to the many benefits we have in our modern society. No scientist would ever get a Nobel Prize if he wouldn’t refer to results of his colleagues.

Then it’s inevitable to prioritize and make sense of these ideas. The goal must be to find a structured way to catergorise and prioritise your ideas, so that your long list becomes a shortlist.

Step 2

is to incubate the best ideas. Incubation could just be further theoretical development, or it could move into piloting or an initial roll-out of the idea. That’s what Samsung did with its Galaxy Gear Smartwatch. But also Apple with its M7 motion processor and the fingerprint scanner first introduced in the iPhone 5S in late 2013.

Step 3

needs excellent engineers and designers to focus on an issue, a solution and implement your idea fully.

Step 4

is an essential step for a business oriented company. It’s effective marketing. A product shouldn’t be called innovative if it doesn’t have an impact on society. This needs a significant number of customers, worldwide. It’s one if the strengths of Apple to push customers with sophisticated ad. The Motorola Atrix with its fingerprint scanner is an example for a good idea but poor marketing and the result is well-known, it was a product without significant impact.

20140403-061339.jpg

Step 5

in any innovation process is choosing to either exit or sustain the project. Innovation can’t go on for ever!

Even if the project becomes self-sustaining, at some point you will need to send it back through the innovation process to check that it is still relevant, delights people, is useful for their everyday lives and perhaps make plans to adapt or replace it altogether. In these circumstances, the innovation process is very much an iterative one. The iterations of the iPhone, and not to forget, of the environment (stores, iCloud, iOS 7, 64-Bit processor, etc) are a shining example of this last step a company is faced with.

Looking on more than 4 decades of Apple there is no doubt about a constant improvement of all hardware products, software and services. This long-term strategy made the company to the most valuable brand in the world.

About Apple …

Nearly nothing comes out of the box. So innovation is always combined with the ability to
connect the dots in a way that people are excited, benefit from a new technology, let them change the way to do things more efficiently or even with more fun and engagement, and inspire them to think different and force creativity.

And it’s not only the iPad initiating a paradigm shift there are also Apple’s desktops which have to be taken into account.

When the iMac appeared it made everyone look. It was meant to be a “look-at-me” product. It was meant to show Apple was not dead. Last year Apple showed off their new professional grade desktop machine and those who do serious computing and media production have been lining up to get them. Apple is still making the finest desktop machines in the field.

See what I found on Google+ in a comment section written by Dave Trautman who once again hit the nail right on the head …

For those in America, where is there a huge problem with respect to personalized health care? Like – everywhere! In other developed countries with public health care the emphasis on personal responsibility has been the best way to both reduce costs and make the system more efficient. In America you have to go through the gauntlet of health care providers and insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies to take charge of your own good health. If Apple’s iBeacon software is installed in the next ambulance to arrive at my home then my phone might light up with my emergency information automatically once I am inside the vehicle. I might not even be conscious. But my phone can give them what they need to know to start treating me. My phone might also tell them I have had high blood pressure for the past six weeks and rising. All this with a personal tracking iStrap and the M7 chip on my phone.

I am thinking Apple has been slowly and carefully putting the seeds into the ground for some years now which will later be sprouting a completely new category of personal device(s) which we cannot live without.

So let’s put all these considerations together. If you are a regular visitor of my blog you already recognized that I like to do it with a map, a mind map or a concept map.

Innovation targets …

It needs a close look on all the activities of Apple, it’s leaders as well as it’s excellent engineers, to screen a picture on what the targets of innovation are. I added some quotes of Steve Jobs and Apple’s Industrial Design Group (IDg) to point to some basics of the company’s philosophy which is primarily influenced by Steve Jobs and Sir Jonathan Ive.

It needs a company DNA and blood flowing through the veins of responsible people to be innovative.
This DNA is followed by innovation not only brought into sold products but also into the corporate structure and the infrastructure customers are faced with.

This all is also a lesson for successful leadership which compels admiration and a cult-like status. If this happens over decades a company becomes a brand and in case of Apple the most valuable brand in the world. The worst case hampering innovation and customer satisfaction are early releases of unfinished products with less benefits for customers and follow-ups which manifest the lacks of predecessors.

So an essential part of innovation is simply time even if there is an increasing pressure from which side soever, market, shareholders or deliberately provoked by publishing (or in case of Apple one could often say ‘punishing’) media.

I purchased my first Apple device (an iPhone 3GS) in 2010 and started blogging in late 2012 with just one target, to learn more about the company and its mobile devices, an exciting journey through technologies of an amazing company.

So this concept map is based on what I learned and published on iNotes4You. See the different articles under ‘Related links’.

20140404-222136.jpg

I tried to connect each topic with an Apple product which, I think, is a meaningful example for what the content stands for.

Summary …

To decide whether a technical product is innovative or not is a quite difficult task and in many cases it’s also a very personal assessment. Innovative features of products might change the life of an individual and can be useless for others. And there are developments which can be seen as useful for all people like a smartphone automatically sending information to health care assistants in case of an accident.

Related links …

About the company …

Steve Jobs Timeline 2000-2011

Apple’s Focusing

Apple’s Ecosystem

Apple’s Strategy and Ad

The New Philosopher

Apple’s Intangible Assets

Apple, a unique company

About some products …

Sensitiveness

Fingerprint Technology

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.





iOS 8 Beta

9 06 2014

When introducing iCloud services on June 6, 2011, the roadmap for Apple’s vision about device connectivity was already quite clear.

  • Seamlessly connect all devices.
  • Use standardized data structures to support syncing between computers and mobile devices.
  • Assimilate the UIs of computers and mobile devices to seamlessly work on either of them.

Connectivity only makes sense if people use more than one device.

This is the case in businesses, families, and it’s also valid for many single users purchasing both kinds of mobile devices, smartphones and tablets.

iCloud is the global hub of Apple’s powerful services.

If you remove all iCloud related features Apple devices are demoted to phones and data processing machines for which the old-fashioned tasks of syncing, transferring files, and backing up have to be done manually.

The WWDC 2014 …

With the WWDC 2014 (June 2, San Francisco, Moscone Center) further essential steps to a unique user experience were made and Apple set the milestones for the future usage of their electronic devices.

20140606-165017.jpg

The device you use doesn’t matter, it’s just the task which matters.

WWDC 2014 is the 25th event which began in 1990 with 1,300 developers. Tim Cook presented some stats showing us that there are over 9 million registered Apple developers in 2014 – that’s up 47 percent since 2013 – and the youngest developer at WWDC was just 13 years old.

Apple’s developer conference again unveiled the power of the company in offering vertically integrated and seamless to use devices and services as well as a perfect infrastructure for partners, the developers.

iOS is one of the two most dominant platforms for mobile devices with Android in the pole position if you just look on market shares.

Regarding a product line-up which includes computers AND mobiles it can be said that

iOS and OSX together are the leading software technologies for processor-based devices regardless of any stats.

Apple’s sophisticated ecosystem including all the powerful apps will be massively improved by the new features announced for iOS 8. This all can be called a disruptive concept for using processor-based technology and device connectivity via cloud services.

Seoul, start your photocopiers

But copying won’t help because there never was a vision running like a golden thread through all the activities and technological developments of Apple’s competitors. Neither Google nor Samsung can compete with Apple because most of their services are based on stand-alone developments which require deep-sea diving into countless help articles to successfully administrate them all.

As an Apple user just go to Settings and turn on iCloud.
That’s it.

Fandroids again may argue: It’s all copied.

Let me tell you the truth about just one example which could be brought forward from people just looking on the screen layout:

Desktop widgets (commonly just called widgets) are interactive virtual tools that provide single-purpose services such as showing the user the latest news, the current weather, the time, a calendar, a dictionary, a map program, a calculator, desktop notes, photo viewers, or even a language translator, among other things.

Everybody should know that these tools were already introduced decades ago on Apple’s Macintosh computers, are available in the notification center of iOS 7 and iOS 8 now provides APIs for third-party widgets.

iOS 8 features …

I summarized what Apple published on its websites shortly after the event in San Francisco.

20140606-165200.jpg

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts for iOS (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

See this magnified part of map and a preview of what you get when you download the DOCX file format.

Note

If you don’t use a mind mapping tool it’s recommended to download the DOCx file format which immediately can be opened with Apple’s Pages. The document contains the map as an image, textual information, and referred hyperlinks. Just tap on a link from within Pages to open the article.

iCloud …

iCloud already got a significant improvement in October 2013 when Apple introduced iWork for iCloud.

The new iCloud Drive will be a unified file system bridging iOS and OSX.

20140606-165941.jpg

At the time Apple gives you 5GB free storage and this will not be changed. It’s for storing documents, photos, device backups, and application data. 5 GB is a little on the paltry side if you extensively use iCloud e.g. on an iPhone and an iPad. I use an iPhone (23.8 GB used) and an iPad (30.9 GB used) and had to update my storage plan with additional 10 GB to save device backups on iCloud.
Cormorant space eaters on my devices are photos (2.5 GB), Keynote presentations (2.3 GB; mainly collages for my blog), mind maps (1.5 GB), and PDFs stored in iBooks (2.8 GB).

How much will it cost if more storage is needed?

For just $1 a month, you’ll get additional 20GB and for $4 per month you’ll get 200GB. As a point of comparison, that $48 a year is just slightly more than the $40 a year you currently pay for 20GB. Apple says it will have tiers all the way up to 1TB of storage.

iCloud’s new pricing plans compete with …

Provider GB $/year
Dropbox 2 free
100 100
200 200
OneDrive 7 free
100 50
200 100
Google Drive 15 free
100 24
1000 120
iDriveSync 5 free
150 49.50
500 149.50
Box 10 free
100 60
unlimited 180

And here is the ranking …

20140607-071519.jpg

What should be mentioned is that costs are just one criterion. Please note that iDriveSync is the only provider offering client-side encryption during transit (sending and receiving data) and at rest (saved data on servers of the provider).

Swift for yield hedging …

iOS is still the preferred platform for developers offering mobile apps. Apple’s App Store is a heavy weight champion when it comes to quality and quantity of apps for mobile devices.

To keep the quality and acquire even more creative young developers Apple is apparently offering a much faster and more effective means of building software applications with an “interactive playground,” significantly improving on its own Objective-C.
The new programming language Swift will use the same LLVM (Low Level Virtual Machine) compiler and runtime as Apple’s Objective-C implementation, and its simplified syntax gives it an easier learning curve. The reason behind introducing Swift was to make it easier for developers to create apps for Apple’s mobile platform. Apple Developers write codes line after line and then compile those results to see output, but using Swift language they can see results in real time instantly while writing their codes.

My suggestion for the developers of the official Google+ app:

Try out Swift.
Maybe it helps to bring some stability into an app crashing daily since months.

Some tidbits …

  • Per App Battery Usage
    Another feature that has been part of Android since its inception and extremely useful at that, will finally make its way to iOS 8. Apple did not mention this during their keynote but it will be part of the iOS when it is released. Users will be able to see which app is draining the battery and take relevant action.
  • AirPlay
    won’t need Wi-Fi in iOS 8, it can use a form of peer-to-peer networking. This means an Apple TV should be able to connect to your iPhone even when both devices aren’t on the same wireless network.

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  • AirDrop
    will now work between iOS devices and Macs, meaning you can exchange files on an ad hoc basis between the two, without the need for an Internet connection or even being on the same local network. Need to get a photo to your Mac from your iPhone or want to send a PDF from your Mac to your iPad? Just fire up AirDrop.

Apple’s move …

Let’s dispense with the preliminaries. The WWDC 2014 confirmed a move in Apple’s strategy of controlling what’s going on if a device is in use.

I found this excellent article published by the well-known Apple evangelist Jonny Evans on Computerworld.com.

It’s not about ‘Made in Cupertino’ any more:
the new Apple is all about PARTNERSHIP.

… here’s a few ways in which today’s Apple conceded it doesn’t want to control every aspect of your experience – it just wants to ensure it secures the environment to make sure it’s platforms are platforms you can use:

  • CarPlay
  • Third party app support in iCloud Drive
  • Massively improved integration between iOS and OS X
  • Support for third party Widgets for Notification Center
  • Support for non-Apple apps in iCloud
  • DuckDuckGo support in Safari (OK, that just accentuates how much more secure Apple is than its troublesome mobile foe)
  • Third-party keyboard support
  • Health app, which works with third party devices
  • Support for third party devices for the smart home (HomeKit)
  • added by me
    API to access functionalities of Touch ID ( Apple’s implementation of a fingerprint scanner)

All of these moves are explicit moves that mean Apple is answering critics who call it “too controlling” by permitting users a hitherto unprecedented environment in which they can work with the devices they choose. It’s also a shot in the arm for developers, who can now work to develop their own solutions and have these underpinned by the secure power of Apple’s ecosystem.

Note
Jonny Evans is an independent journalist/blogger who first got online in 1993 and began writing about Apple in 1999. He’s author of Computerworld’s AppleHolic blog and writes on numerous tech topics here in the US and UK. Jonny has no shares in any technology company, enjoys new and disruptive technology and likes music almost as much as he likes his large and shiny dog.

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Stay tuned and join Jonny’s Appleholics Kool Aid Corner on Google+.

Summary …

Since WWDC 2014 Apple is turning over a new leaf when it comes to developer relationships. MacWorld’s headline ‘A love letter from Apple to developers’ hits the nail right on the head. It’s seems to be a win-win-win situation for Apple, developers, and customers. The WWDC 2014, iOS 8, and OSX were the biggest steps forward since the opening of the App Store on July 10, 2008. The gap to competing platforms – operating systems and stores – approximates to the depth of the Mariana Trench.

Related links …

iCloud, a paradigm shift

Apple’s Ecosystem

App Development + Marketing

WWDC 2014 Apple puts its fighting boots on

About my preferred mind mapping tool …

iThoughts, …

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.





Apple’s Key Events

2 06 2014

Every business has its ups and downs. Successful companies are always those who make the right decisions at the right time. It needs visions, personalities, and a philosophy which form the golden thread, the DNA of a company culture.

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We cannot say that the company was catapulted to the most valuable brand in the world (Forbes 2013).

More than 40 years of hard work and focusing on customer satisfaction made Apple to one of the mega brands of our times.

See what happened in 4 decades. I summarized the key events in a mind map.

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Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. Best practice for reading is to download the DOCX file format which includes outlined textual information and the image.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

The main events/decisions …

Essential points of Apple’s strategy are

  • 1 Combining the development of hard- and software
  • 2 Initiating disruptive and sustaining innovation in the market of mobile devices
  • 3 Releasing finished products
  • 4 Building an ecosystem (All-In-One) with hard- and software, services and stores
  • 5 Focusing on customer satisfaction
  • 6 Paying respect to employees and competitors
  • 7 Innovative approaches to keep the environment green

Reputable analysts pointed that out as you can see here.

How Apple works

In a fascinating interview with Calcalist radio, the largest economic newspaper in Israel, Horace Dediu gives us a scintillating insight into how Apple works. Horace Dediu is a well-respected analyst who knows a thing or two about Apple.

“I studied their DNA,” Dediu explains. “But Apple cannot possibly be perceived as normal or average, but is analyzed as such. This is a company that breaks all categories, as based on the growth front and on the value or dynamic versus static. It just works differently. ”

Dediu posits that Apple uses the same strategy as an army. ”You have to look at Apple as adopted by the pattern of military activity,” said Dediu. ”The army has no obligation to produce profits, but it has a deep commitment to achieving goals. Everyone focused and training for a specific task, and then another mission.”

Finally, Horace Dediu believes this status quo will not change under Tim Cook.

Dediu said: ”I think Apple’s culture is very stable. Generally, most of the large companies have a tough fight when they want to change the organizational culture, Steve Ballmer at Microsoft across this barrier. Tim Cook may have made changes within the company, but this is not clear from the outside. Steve Jobs built something bigger than himself. You can see it also in another company he founded, Pixar. People usually do not associate it with Apple, but they are very similar. Both companies are completely committed to the product, focusing obsessively on the details giving rise to beautiful product.”

(Source, TheTechStorm)

Regarding innovation

Ken Segall, author of the bestselling book – Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success, suggests that Apple and Samsung have differing philosophies when it comes to innovation.

“Innovation comes in many flavors,” Ken Segall said. “Sometimes it’s about creating revolutions, other times it’s about adding features. Sometimes it’s about creating things that people fall in love with, other times it’s simply about creating things.”

According to Segall, Samsung’s approach to innovation is more about adding features and in most cases, at the expense of customers’ satisfaction:

Less than six months after launching the Galaxy Gear watch, Samsung replaced that device in February 2014 with two models, the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo. These aren’t just upgrades — they’re new watches, running a completely different OS. Android has been replaced by Samsung’s home-grown Tizen OS.

So what happens to the people who just months ago bought into Samsung’s last “next big thing”? Well, they get stuck with a Galaxy Gear, which will be quickly forgotten. They also become living proof that Samsung values innovation over customers.

On the other hand, Segall posits that

“Apple’s innovation philosophy is quite different. Its highest priority is creating a product that people can fall in love with – a product that will improve customers’ lives without frustrating them in the process.”

“Of course, Apple loves features too.. The difference is, when Apple innovates, it’s innovating in the most user-centric way. That’s consistent with one thing I heard Steve Jobs say often: Apple’s highest priority is earning the love of its customers,” he explains.

In concluding, Ken Segall emphasizes that it is impossible to judge who’s leading in innovation by tallying products and features. Meaningful innovation will forever be about quality, not quantity.

(Source, TheTechStorm)

Apple’s credo

I didn’t know this until I went to work for Apple Retail, but their credo is “Enriching Lives.” I never had a job with a philosophy attached to it. I know the Marines have one. It’s Semper Fi. If you see that on a bumper sticker, it’s Latin for, “Mess with this car, and you’re dog meat.”

[..]
I first heard Apple’s credo during employee training. I was not prepared for corporate culture. Sure, there are icebreaking games and group activities, but there’s also a long section where you just sit there, and someone reads you the rules. They turn page after page in a manual, reading both the rules and the perfectly rational reasons for each rule. That was a bit intense.

The trainer asked if anyone knew that Apple Retail had a credo, which I guess is more serious than a mere motto. Several did. I didn’t. It’s not printed anywhere. Employees don’t say it aloud in the store. I got sort of a smug vibe off of those who knew what it was, and then I realized that I had just become one of them! Nobody told me we were getting a slogan! It just gets put on you with the job, along with two blue shirts and a name tag.

(Source, TheTechStorm)

Special ad …

Advertising is at the front of delivering the proper message to customers and prospective customers. The purpose is to convince customers that a company’s products and services are the best, enhance the image of the company, point out and create a need, demonstrate new uses for established products, and announce new products.

Among technology companies, Apple is often perceived to have something that rivals like Microsoft, Google, Samsung, others don’t have …
that indefinable element of coolness.

A cornerstone of cultivating this specific image is the company’s advertising, especially the 30-second spots that air on television.

In 1984 the long history of exceptional advertising started with the iconic Super Bowl commercial that introduced the Macintosh to the world.

While all products share common qualities – style and ease of use – Apple and its advertising agency take very different approaches to get that message across.

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Despite their differences, Apple ads have in common at least one major advantage over many competitors’ commercials:

Regardless of whether you love or hate the spots or slogans you’ll likely remember them.

That’s the first step to building a brand well-known all over the world.

Some Apple haters like to say the company is only successful because of marketing. The masses are so entranced by Apple advertising that they’re blind to the existence of other, potentially better products. After nearly 4 years of using Apple’s mobiles or more than 200 blog posts later I agree to the assessment ‘potentially better’ but it’s still your brain which makes a mobile device to a powerful little helper or to a gadget. I’m in doubt about the usefulness of the many more customization features of competing devices.

Summary …

Apple, a very special company with a very special strategy over more than 4 decades. For further details see my posts under ‘Related links’.

Related links …

Apple’s Ecosystem

Apple’s Strategy and Ad

Apple’s Customer Relationships

Apple’s Intangible Assets

Designed by Apple in California

Thanks for surfing by.








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