On the day of the world’s most profitable company’s CEO 60th anniversary, let’s look back at what that diametrical opposite to Steve Jobs’ temperament achieved for his nine years at the helm.
When Tim Cook permanently filled in the CEO position at Apple, replacing Steve Jobs for a second and last time in 2011 (he had temporarily replaced Jobs when the latter took a leave of absence in 2009), Apple and its investors weren’t sure about how Cook would fare after an iconic leader like Jobs.
Granted, he had done an outstanding job putting together the tech giant’s supply chain, so running the firm’s day-to-day operations wouldn’t be a problem, but what about the “visionary” component. Well, fast forward to the iPhone 12 season
, and that’s Apple under Tim Cook.
Apple’s performance under Tim Cook
On August 24, 2011, when Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple CEO and gave the reigns to Tim Cook, Apple’s stock plunged 5%. Today, Apple’s stock is near record highs while its market capitalization is hovering around the jaw-dropping two trillion dollars.
Apple’s historical stock price
It’s not only the stock price, though, as a printing Federal Reserve lifts all boats. Apple’s profits and revenue margins have been spectacular ever since, and way above what Steve Jobs has managed to achieve in its best years at the helm.
Just in this past “tepid” because of the coronavirus pandemic quarter, Apple managed to hit nearly $13 billion in profits
. What’s more, it hit its goal of $50+ billion of revenue for its Services business in the fiscal year, a category that Steve Jobs was barely convinced to start as he balked at allowing third-party software in the iOS App Store.
Apple’s breathtaking financials
As for the number of said iOS devices in circulation, Apple under Tim Cook has put more of its devices in users’ hands than Steve Jobs ever dared to dream, hence the reason why its Services business is now raking in the highest profit margins of all Apple products.
Innovation under Tim Cook
Remember when the iPhone 4
to iPhone 5
were going to be the last “real” iPhones as they were the last developed under the guidance of Steve Jobs? Well, the iPhone 12 models
are as real as they come and even carry the “salami” philosophy of the company to introduce incremental changes that make sense from a user perspective like the MagSafe accessorizing
, and hop on a new technology bandwagon only when it has been perfected. Besides proving its utility for the end users the technology should have, last but not least, become cheaper to implement, so that Apple can keep those financials healthy.
More than 1.5 billion devices later, and with almost half of the phones that people in the US are using, Apple’s salami tactics has proven itself to investors. What happened with real innovation under Tim Cook, though, such as Apple’s notorious ability to give users something they didn’t even realize they needed until Apple provided it? Remember the iPod, iTunes exclusivity, or stuffing the world’s information at a finger-flick distance in your pocket?
Well, here the birthday boy’s legacy is a bit hit or miss, ranging from the introduction of the ubiquitous AirPods
to the notorious butterfly keyboard. In the iPhone realm, Tim Cook’s Apple has proven to be rather the evolutionary thinker, often a technology slacker, and yet it has broken quite a few of the Steve Jobs period dogmas with great success.
We now have the widest selection of iPhone display sizes ever, 4.7″-6.7″, while Steve Jobs was against anything your thumb can’t reach across, for instance. In addition, the record-beating A-series processors that allow unique features like Dolby Vision video recording, and the popularization of multi-lens phone cameras can be chalked off to Tim Cook’s period, too.
On the other hand, would Steve Jobs have greenlit designs like the Face ID notch, or the decision to enter the video streaming wars with Apple TV+
despite having slim chances to be a significant player?
We somehow doubt it, as Apple under Tim Cook has traded perfectionism for adaptability. Was this a small price to pay for becoming the world’s most iconic and profitable company, though? You tell us, but, in any case, happy birthday, Tim Cook, your 60th anniversary is celebrated by an Apple at its most ripe!