There’s little doubt that Cook is an intelligent, experienced executive. He’s been at Apple since 1998. Some of what has happened recently makes me think that Cook might be channeling a little of his former boss.
Discipline. Secrets. Free.
Allow me to walk through a trio of traits, tactics, and strategy that lead me to believe that Jobs may be communicating with Cook through a spirit medium to guide the company.
First, Apple’s famed discipline of not shipping a major new product before its time remains intact under Cook’s watch.
Apple could easily have pushed a cheaper iPad mini with Retina display out the door to combat the flood of cheap Android tablets.
Instead, discipline rules, and we’re still waiting for an upgrade to Apple’s most popular tablet. Apple could have created TV commercials pitting the iPad against Microsoft’s Surface RT, but let Microsoft do the deed instead.
What happened? Microsoft used Siri to highlight the Surface tablet, and the result was an unexpected financial disaster for the Windows maker. If that’s not caused by supernatural forces, I don’t know what is.
What about secrets? Jobs was known for misdirecting the masses of Apple watchers on many occasions thanks to his famed Reality Distortion Field. It appears that Tim Cook can do the same thing. He publicly stated multiple times that Apple was interested in wearable technology. I’ll bet it was Cook who leaked all those rumors of Apple working on an iWatch (or, Jobs has some spiritistic influence on tech bloggers, which seems more likely).
Samsung picked up on those public clues and cues and decided to rush to market with a very clumsy, inept, and overly hyped Samsung Gear watch before Apple could launch an iWatch. The result was overwhelming criticism of Samsung’s very lame watch-like product; an embarrassment to the Korean company.
Steve Jobs was fond of giving away useful software to help sell hardware. Think of iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, and Garageband as free apps that come with every new Mac.
Google picked up on that tactic of free software and and decided to giveaway Android OS to cell phone makers and tablet manufacturers to compete against Apple’s iOS for iPhone and iPad. The result was unexpected. Android has demolished Microsoft’s attempts to gain a foothold in smartphones and tablets, but has cost Google and their manufacturing partners billions of dollars with no profits in sight.
Meanwhile, Apple’s profits, under CEO Tim Cook, have exploded, and shareholders have reaped huge windfalls. Apple’s stock traded at $377 the day after Jobs died, but now flirts with $500 (forget about the anomaly where the stock touched $700 a share a year ago; I’m sure that came from Jobs hand, too– he was just messing with Cook).
There you have it. Irrefutable logic that Cook is still taking marching orders from Steve Jobs.