Apple CEO Tim Cook conducted an interview a few weeks ago at the Goldman Sachs technology conference. Cook discussed Apple's product line, grid-free power initiatives and the forthcoming Apple Watch (once asked about it). I've listened to Tim Cook interviewed and watched him give presentations dozens of times, just as I had Steve Jobs. There is one thing about each man that becomes abundantly clear. Steve Jobs was a pure genius visionary, while Tim Cook is cunningly smart.
Jobs birthed Apple, was fired, and was then rehired to save it. He did more than just save the company, he drove it to record success. Jobs could simply see things others could not, and he taught his fellow executives to remove the glass ceiling and dogma surrounding large businesses. Jobs had pet projects, such as the ill-fated Cube, and wildly successful iPhone and iPad. Who knows what he had up his sleeve for Television.
If Detroit’s top brass are operating with the same acumen as former General Motors CEO, Dan Akerson, Apple should be tripling their car efforts. Apple taking on Akerson and other automotive "whiz kids" may make former Motorola & Microsoft CEOs (Ed Zander and Steve Ballmer) look like a geniuses.
Earlier this week, Akerson spoke to Bloomberg about rumors of Apple getting into the automotive market. “I think somebody is trying to cough up a Hairball here,” Akerson said. He continued on, talking of how those outside the automotive industry don’t understand it, with the end result being a lot of work for extremely low margins. Akerman ended his comments with a warning to Apple. “They’d better [understand the automobile industry] if they want to get into hard-core manufacturing. We take steel, raw steel, and turn it into a car. They have no idea what they’re getting into if they get into that.” When asked how he would deal with Apple, his response was “How do they deal with us? That’s the question.” Oh wait, that last comment wasn’t Akerson, it was former Motorola CEO Ed Zander that uttered those disparaging comments against the iPhone. But Akerson’s comments are not falling far from the failed “mock Apple” tree. Perhaps history is about to repeat itself – again.
Gene Munster, connoisseur of Apple’s non-existent next generation Apple branded TV, recently updated his prediction and believes the company will deliver a smart HDTV this fall—or by 2017... Ironically, 2017 is about the timeframe Apple's much rumored car would make it to market. Which direction makes more sense for Tim Cook’s crew?
This past Friday the Wall Street Journal cemented the notion that Apple, Incorporated is actively engaged in designing and building a fully functional car. The assumption is that Apple is aiming to build an all-electric Tesla killer. The pros and cons have already been positioned hundreds of times, with most coming to the following conclusions:
- Apple has the money, followed by why they should — or should not — build a car.
- Tesla and Apple are alike in many ways, thus going after the car business makes sense.
- Apple has the integrated tech know-how in order to build an amazing car
- Apple never made a music player, or a smartphone, and then when they did, Apple dominated both industries. Why not a car?
- Apple is in search of continuing to amass amazing revenue figures that dumbfound the world. A car would help Apple continue to defy the nay-sayers and cement CEO, Tim Cook's legacy.
Beyond the usual financial or technical conclusions, perhaps the biggest reason Apple should enter the car market would be to supercharge their brand.
If rumors come true, expect Apple to send out invitations tomorrow for a Special Event to take place on Tuesday, February 24th. Recently Apple has given short notice between announcements for Special Events and the actual event itself. While seven day is cutting it close, the reasons make sense. First, this Special Event would coincide with what would have been Steve Jobs’ 60th birthday. Second, we needed to get beyond the long-holiday Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend in the U.S. Any invitation sent out before then would have had less impact. Announcing tomorrow makes sense in that there will be few, if any, distractions.
Why Apple would hold a Special Event in the middle of the quarter is two fold. First, Apple would spend some time reviewing Apple Watch and showing us a bit more how it works and why we all need one. Apple would also reveal more specifics on pricing, so people can know what their desires will cost them. Second, Apple would use the event to introduce a new 12" device. There has been much speculation that a forthcoming 12" device could be a MacBook Air (to replace both 11" and 13" models) a MacBook Pro or an iPad Pro (here and here).
If Dish Network believes Sling TV is akin to hitting a home run, they may be right. And while it may not be bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded with the game on the line, it is at least the bottom of the 7th. The problem? Dish Network, standing over the plate, just struck out.
T-GAAP was able to test Sling TV before it launched publicly, and while first impressions were favorable, as a Mac and iOS user, after several days of use the experience fell flat.
April is almost here, and that means the launch of Apple Watch. The one looming question we here at T-GAAP have is, “What problem does Apple Watch solve?” Will it tell time better? Will it be a better status symbol? Is Apple Pay enough to make it valued and unique? To answer these questions we took a look at two previous launches of brand new Apple products and the time piece industry itself to find the answers.
Apple’s iPhone entered a market during a time when “smart phone” meant a devices such as a Blackberry that could handle email and not much more. Many tried but failed with web browsers. Managing contacts and calendar events was a downright nightmare, and the phones themselves were clunky and difficult to use. No one loved their mobile phones, everyone just put up with them. Enter iPhone. iPhone made all of functions exponentially easier. The multi-touch interface and full screen display made using iPhone simple yet elegant. iPhone did everything well and that was just the beginning. Once Apple delivered the App Store the entire platform exploded.
Some say Apple’s inability to pull off content deals with resistant networks is hampering the diminutive little device from being a runaway success. Others have said Apple TV is dated due to a lack of hacking features that no longer work, while others are bemoaning the fact that Apple has not updated its disappearing-in-couch remote, nor has Apple added voice control. None of these are major issues slowing down Apple TV.
At the heart of Apple TV's problems is the entertainment industry itself, and the reason is simple.
Podcast Episode 107: Brian Williams Breaking News - Apple to buy Tesla. It’s time to put on your giggle cap because another highly entertaining and informative podcast is ready for your consumption. Brothers Mark & Werner hit the podcast-waves with news and entertainment only fit for a king (and those who have the an iPhone, iPod or computer).
Here are a few of the topics covered in our latest creation of infotainment:
Dish Network has managed to pull off a near perfect cord cutter miracle. Dish Network’s Sling TV delivers live streaming of some of the most popular cable networks, creating a “network mini-bundle” for only $20 a month. ESPN, EPSN2, TNT, TBS, CNN, Disney, Cartoon Network, HGTV, and many more worthy channels. The bundle is a fantastic solution for those without cable, and Dish Network gave T-GAAP the keys to beta test Sling TV. There’s only one glaring issue for Dish Networks shiny new toy – Sling TV is not on Apple TV (yet) and is not able to work with Airplay from iOS. However, we at T-GAAP have a solution to get Sling TV onto your television thru Apple TV.
A while back we reviewed AirParrot, but the software has since grown in maturity with in AirParrot 2. (Squirrels, the company who created AirParrot, is located in the high-tech capital of the U.S., in North Canton, Ohio). Regardless of where they guys/gals are located, they make great software.