Tim Cook (born November 1, 1960) was appointed CEO of Apple Inc. on August 24, 2011, ten years ago yesterday. A decade later, he helped the company grow into the first U.S. company to be valued at $2tn (two trillion U.S. Dollars). Join us as we take a look back at the past decade of Apple under Tim Cook’s leadership.
Before joining Apple, Tim Cook spent 12 years, after graduating from Auburn University, with IBM’s PC business, ending up the company’s director of North American fulfillment.
He then turned to Intelligent Electronics’ computer reseller division to become its COO (Chief Operating Officer), before taking on the Vice President for Corporate Materials role at Compaq in 1997.
He only spent six months with Compaq before being approached, and ultimately hired, by one particular Steve Jobs.
Apple era, pre-CEO
Steve Jobs asked Tim Cook to join Apple in 1998. Tim Cook recalled the moment at his Commencement Address at Auburn University in 2010. In his own words:
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.
Between 1998 and 2007, Tim Cook was Apple’s Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations and started shifting the company’s focus towards contract manufacturers after taking the decision to close down factories and warehouses. The move was meant to cut costs and generate profits, which it did.
In 2007 Cook was appointed to lead operations and in 2009 became Chief Executive. During this time Steve Jobs’ health started to deteriorate and, while on several leaves of absence due to health reasons, Cook became the de facto leader of Apple’s day-to-day operations through 2011, with Jobs making most of the major decisions.
Apple era, CEO
Steve Jobs ultimately resigned as CEO to become Chairman of the Board. On August 24, 2011, Cook was named the new Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc.
On October 5, 2011, just one day after the official introduction of the iPhone 4s, Steve Jobs passed away, leaving behind his legacy, a company on the uprise, and a freshly appointed CEO.
Today, Tim Cook, who made it on Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” list in 2012, is looking back at a company that was generating merely $6 billion in revenue the year he joined in 1998. On August 20, 2020, just a year ago, give or take, Apple became the first U.S. company to be valued at $2tn.
Tim Cook’s Apple, by numbers
Apple Inc.’s revenue never stopped growing, from $6 billion in 1998 to $19.1 billion in 2006 and $274.3 billion in 2020. However, never was there a larger increase in the company’s history than between 2009 and 2012, when it grew from $42.7 to $156.3 billion, when Apple increased production volumes through its China-based partner Foxconn. It’s also when the first iPad was introduced in January of 2010.
Check out the table below for the evolution of Apple’s revenue (source)
The majority of the company’s revenue, throughout the years, was brought in by the iPhone. At its lowest point it accounted for about 40% in the last quarter of 2020, and a historical high of almost 70% in the second quarter of 2017.
Under Cook, Apple started focusing more and more on services, currently accounting for almost 20% of the company’s total revenue, at $53.6 billion in 2020, from 620 million subscribers.
You can find more details and a full rundown of Apple Inc. numbers, by category, devices, and regions, here.
We know that the iPhone 4s was mostly Steve Jobs’ doing (with the iPhone 5 being attributed to Tim Cook) and that the iPhone 13 (or whatever its name ends up being) is still a month out, but it made sense to use those two in the headline, like a bridge between the past and the future.
Here’s a brief history of iPhones, and their active years (source):
|iPhone 3G (2008–2010)||iPhone 8 (2017–2020)|
|iPhone 3GS (2009–2012)||iPhone 8 Plus (2017–2020)|
|iPhone 4 (2010–2013)||iPhone X (2017–2018)|
|iPhone 4S (2011–2014)||iPhone XS (2018–2019)|
|iPhone 5 (2012–2013)||iPhone XS Max (2018–2019)|
|iPhone 5C (2013–2015)||iPhone 11 Pro (2019–2020)|
|iPhone 5S (2013–2016)||iPhone 11 Pro Max (2019–2020)|
|iPhone 6 (2014–2016)||iPhone XR (2018–present)|
|iPhone 6 Plus (2014–2016)||iPhone 11 (2019–present)|
|iPhone 6S (2015–2018)||iPhone SE (2nd) (2020–present)|
|iPhone 6S Plus (2015–2018)||iPhone 12 (2020–present)|
|iPhone SE (1st) (2016–2018)||iPhone 12 Mini (2020–present)|
|iPhone 7 (2016–2019)||iPhone 12 Pro (2020–present)|
|iPhone 7 Plus (2016–2019)||iPhone 12 Pro Max (2020–present)|
Expanding this list to iPads alone will make this a rather long and boring read, not to include all the other Apple products, from the iMac to the MacBook, the Apple Watch, Apple TV, iPod, AirPods, the discontinued AirPort, or the new AirTags. They’re all well documented on Wikipedia, and far too many to include here.
Most of these, if not all, were launched by an Apple company that Tim Cook was working for, in one capacity or another.
Ups and downs
Before we can talk about some of the success stories, there are some key “rocking the boat” moments that stand out. One of these is the Tim Cook vs Mark Zuckerberg dispute. The two CEOs met annually at the Allen & Company investment bank organized confab.
In 2019, while Zuckerberg was under heavy scrutiny for the Cambridge Analytica scandal (50 million Facebook users’ data was harvested), he asked Cook, according to reports, how he would handle the situation. Cook allegedly responded in a way that baffled Zuckerberg, suggesting that Facebook should delete all user data collected outside of Facebook’s core apps.
This completely went against Facebook’s policy and how it depends on user data in order to sell targeted ads, and ultimately make money as a business model.
Of significant mention is also the scandal generated by Apple admitting to slowing down older iPhone models in order to conserve battery. Investigations were started all over the world with the company being fined significant amounts in several EU countries and around the world.
Worth mentioning is also the controversy surrounding the San Bernardino massacre when the FBI found a password-protected iPhone 5c directly related to the investigation. After several months of back and forth between the FBI, courts, and Apple, the company decided to oppose a court order demanding it to assist the FBI in breaking into the iPhone 5c, bypassing its security.
Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple, we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data. […] The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer. […] Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government. (source)
Probably the biggest success story in recent Apple history, aside from becoming the first $2tn U.S. company, was in 2015, when, thanks to the iPhone 6, 6s, and 6s Plus, Apple set an all-time high sales record of 231.2 million iPhones sold.
Of important note is the iPhone 5 of 2012, the first iPhone developed under Tim Cook, even if the iPhone 4s was announced with Cook as a fresh CEO of Apple one year prior.
The first “One more thing” product announcement under Cook was the original Apple Watch in 2015. This also marked the first time Cook used the sentence that was coined by Steve Jobs and used to introduce significant products towards the end of keynotes.
The second Cook “One more thing” introduced the biggest redesign in iPhone history, with the iPhone X in 2017.
We can’t write this segment without mentioning Apple’s dedication to privacy, as well as its advancements and success stories in its services department.
A significant milestone popped up just last year, when, in 2020, Apple decided to break a 15-year old partnership with Intel, in order to pursue the design of its own M-series chips to be used inside Mac computers. This model proved to be a success story over time in Apple’s mobile business, with its own A-series Bionic chips.
Without a doubt, the biggest Apple success story, to which Cook contributed in a major way, is the brand loyalty the company managed to develop, seed, and cherish with its user base. Whether mobile or computers, services or apps, Apple fans are among the most loyal out there, committed to everything Apple has and will ever offer.
Tim Cook’s story is as tumultuous as Apple’s own. From being hired by Steve Jobs to now celebrating ten years at the helms of a Big Five company (GAFAM or FAAMG if you will), there were plenty of ups and down with millions of users and billions of dollars in between, sprinkled with great products, some controversies, sporadic frustration, but mostly success stories.
As brilliant as Steve Jobs’ genius was, and still is as part of Apple’s legacy, the company is in a better place than it ever was. Of course, there will always be critics and detractors just as well as there will always be fans and supporters.
For every single person that criticizes the lack of innovation – and generally, Apple being late to the party just to bring something already employed to the table and call it its own innovation – there’s someone else who appreciates the company’s advancements, refined taste of all-around artistic design, reliability of its products and services, and the joy these bring to a more productive life and lifestyle.
It doesn’t matter what side you’re on, Apple changed everyone’s life, directly, or indirectly, and as great as Steve Jobs was, Apple is, today, a better company that Jobs was forced so brutally and early to leave behind.
Apple’s 14-inch MacBook Pro, Samsung’s M7 Smart monitor and more are on sale
We start today’s deals with the latest 14-inch MacBook Pro that is currently getting a $100 discount over at Adorama.com. This means that you can get your new laptop for just $1,899. This model features a 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, Apple’s latest M1 Pro Chip with 8-core CPU and 14-core GPU, 16GB RAM, and 512GB storage space in Space Gray. You can also get the same model at Amazon.com, but this option will only get you $50 savings. And if you want to score better savings, you can check out Apple’s 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro that is receiving a $130 discount, meaning that you can get yours for $1,169. This model comes with 256GB storage, 8GB RAM, and Apple’s M1 chip.
Samsung’s M7 Series 4K Smart Monitor is seeing a 23 percent discount over at Amazon.com, leaving this 32-inch 4K UHD monitor available for $347. This will be a great compliment for your new MacBook, as it will provide users with a larger canvas to increase their productivity and multi-tasking options. The larger 43-inch model is also on sale, and you can get yours for $520 after an $80 discount. And after you’re done with your work, you can easily stream your favorite content from Netflix, HBO, Prime Video, and more. You should also consider getting a new WD Elements Desktop Hard Drive HDD with 12TB storage space that sells for $247 after a 21 percent discount, which translates to $63 savings for anyone interested.
Other deals include the Razer Kiyo Pro Streaming Webcam that now sells for $130 after a 35 percent discount if you’re interested in a new webcam that supports 1080p at 60FPS. The EVGA X20 Gaming Mouse is another great option to consider, as it is now available for $60 after a massive 50 percent discount. And you can also check out the EVGA Z20 RGB Optical Mechanical Gaming Keyboard that sells for just $75 after an insane 57 percent discount that will save $100 to anyone who chooses to purchase one.
WhatsApp transfer chats option lets you move conversations from iPhone to Android
Back in August, WhatsApp let Samsung users transfer chats and backups from iOS to Android, but the feature was mainly limited to Samsung branded devices, and it wasn’t widely available on other smartphones. That’s all changing today, as WhatsApp now is letting any device transfer chats and other conversations to iOS and Android.
Google officially announced that WhatsApp’s new chat migration tool will now officially be available for all Google Pixel devices and that it’ll soon arrive to even more smartphones that launch with Android 12. It’s great to see that the feature will no longer be limited to only Samsung devices, and that any Android 12 smartphones will be able to migrate data over other devices, but it’s weird to see it being limited to Android 12.
Luckily, transferring conversations from WhatsApp is relatively simple and straightforward. You’ll be able to go to the Settings > Chats > and select Move Chats to Android on an iOS device. You just need to make sure that WhatsApp is up-to-date on both devices, and that you have a USB-C to lightning cable ready. Once you’ve gone through the steps, you’ll be greeted with a QR code that you’ll have to scan to start the migration.
Google mentioned that other phone manufacturers would be able to support the new feature when they update their devices to Android 12, which means that many more devices will start supporting this functionality in the near future, but sadly there’s no timeframe given, as it’ll likely depend on each and every OEM – some may be faster than others, and some devices will never receive Android 12. Google also stated that any and all devices that ship with Android 12 will support the feature by default, and users will be able to ready to use it right out of the box without requiring any additional steps.
Best iPhone 13 Pro MagSafe Cases: Spigen, NOMAD, MOFT, and more
When Apple introduced MagSafe for iPhone last year, there was a lot of excitement around the revival of the technology everyone loved on MacBooks. A year later, MagSafe is still around, with accessories supporting the standard now becoming widely available in the form of uniquely designed docks or mounts for tripods, cars vents. But if you put a case on your iPhone, the effectiveness of its magnets may reduce, and this is where MagSafe comes in. Thus, in this article, we have listed some of the best MagSafe cases for iPhone 13 Pro that you should consider buying.
Best iPhone 13 Pro MagSafe Cases
Apple Silicone Case
If you’re looking to add barely any weight to your device while ensuring it has some protection against falls, the Apple Silicone Case is the one to pick. The soft-touch material does feel great in hand, and the microfiber lining on the side will keep your phone scratch-free and clean. Another advantage of owning this case is precise cutouts and compatibility with every feature your iPhone has to offer, even MagSafe.
Spigen Mag Armor
The Spigen Mag Armor is the option to get if you want to add more robust protection to your device while giving it a muted look that doesn’t stand out too much. Its defining factors are the raised lips across the front and textured sides. Spigen is known to have a high standard for quality, and this will be apparent in how tactile the button covers feel. The TPU Case also features the manufacturer’s Air Cushion Technology to dampen the vibrations and reduce damage from falls.
NOMAD Sport Case
The NOMAD Sport Case follows in the line of the Mag Armor but adds a little more protection with its rugged bumper design and a lot of character with its glossy yet grippy backplate. The manufacturer claims the case will provide 6ft drop protection, perfect for withstanding the challenges an active lifestyle may throw at your phone.
It achieves MagSafe compatibility via the addition of neodymium magnets hidden behind its microfiber lining. Another bonus feature is its included NFC Card, which can share data (like contact info, online profiles) with just a tap.
Apple Leather Case
The Apple Leather Case is an official accessory that matches the quality of the Silicone but does it one better with the use of Leather. These cases are lightweight and will feel great in your hands. Their availability in five distinct colors is also appealing.
But keep in mind, while these cases are MagSafe compliant, using these accessories could leave a mark on the case material; it’s a fact that Apple accepts and issues a warning to its buyers. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for options that have some personalization, the Leather Case is one you can’t go wrong with, as it does patina with time.
NOMAD Modern Leather Case
The NOMAD Modern Leather Case is another option to consider if you want the niceties of the material without losing out on the protection of a bumper. It uses Horween Leather from the United States, which the manufacturer says will develop a rugged patina; they even have an image showing what your case should look like overtime on their website.
This unit from NOMAD takes protection even further ahead of the Sport Case by getting a rating for 10ft of drop protection. Other than that, it features the same neodymium ring of magnets and NFC Card for sharing data.
NOMAD Modern Leather Folio
The NOMAD Modern Leather Folio picks up right where the Modern Leather Case left off by adding a folio cover to the TPE bumper. The accessory is covered in the same Horween Leather and will also develop a rugged patina. It has a 10ft drop protection rating, neodymium magnets, and NFC Card.
The Folio part of it adds three card slots and another for storing cash. A point to note here is that NOMAD issues a warning to possibly use a screen protector to avoid micro scratches from any stored cards.
Good on you NOMAD, thanks for the warning!
Spigen Ultra Hybrid Mag
If you’re in the market for a clear case, the number of options that support MagSafe without compromising quality are limited. The Spigen Ultra Hybrid Mag slots itself into this segment. It’s available for less than half the cost of Apple’s MagSafe Clear Case, uses a TPU Bumper with a hard polycarbonate back, and has magnets that can have different paint visible to your eye. Meaning your grey phone can have a dark-colored segment and not a high contrast white. For protection, this case features a raised lip and Spigen’s Air Cushion Technology.
PITAKA MagEZ Case 2
The Pitaka MagEZ Case 2 is the case to get if you’re looking for a slim option to go with your iPhone 13 Pro. Its made with Aramid Fiber and has a texture that you can feel at all times. It’s different from the other options on this list in the sense that it leaves the buttons on either side uncovered, along with the top.
PITAKA markets it as being only 0.06 inches, so to improve MagSafe functionality, they include magnetic strips. It fits into their line of sleeves and car mounts and offers the best compatibility with them. The manufacturer will be adding a Pro version of this case to its portfolio soon.
OtterBox Defender XT
The OtterBox Defender XT is the case to pick if you’re looking to get an accessory that can withstand more than the traditional abuse a smartphone may face. The manufacturer claims the case is rated to survive five times as many drops as the MIL-STD-810G 516.5 standard certifies it to withstand. It’s available in plain black and two dual-tone options.
On the protection front, apart from the rugged design, it features raised edges to protect your screen and camera; and the large port cutouts have flap covers to ensure no dust or lint gets in to cause damage.
The case also has an optional holster accessory which you will have to place a request for from OtterBox.
Which iPhone 13 Pro MagSafe Case would I pick?
Now, if you ask me for my top pick, I prefer having my phone feel sleek and lightweight. The iPhone 13 Pro has enough heft to it due to the stainless steel body. Thus, I’d probably go with Apple’s original leather case. I have one for my iPhone 12, and it’s been great for the little bit of time that I’ve owned it. It barely adds any weight, and the machine aluminum buttons on it look and feel great. While I baby it, I have started seeing creases forming on it and feel that they add character to it.
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