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The knives are out for Apple’s Tim Cook

Apple
by John C. Dvorak, 03 Oct 2012
The knives are out for Apple’s Tim Cook

I've never heard anything as ludicrous as the fuss made over the inadequacy of Apple Maps and the notion that Tim Cook is losing control over Apple. The company is on a winning streak, and the newest iPhone 5 is a remarkable gem of a smartphone. If the product has a flaw, it is not Maps – it's that it seems too valuable and precious to carry around. It's that glamorous. (Note that these words are coming from a notorious Apple-basher).

People are blaming Tim Cook and suggesting that the company should oust him. It all stems from the over-hyping of the new and subpar Apple Maps. This problem will be fixed within months. Move along, folks.

People should note that when John Sculley took over from Steve Jobs back in the day, sales rose tenfold. It was years later when the company began to get flaky, and this was because of the cyclical nature of tech followed by hopeless criticism of Sculley. He was eventually booted in favour of a series of apparatchiks, who literally stunk as CEOs and led to the real decline.

But this process didn't begin right off the bat like it has with Tim Cook, who started making more money than Jobs. "Let's get rid of him immediately!" the haters say.

All the criticism of Cook stems from Maps-gate. The media pounced to an extreme.

VentureBeat even reported that Apple changed some of its promotional copy on its site, removing the claim that iOS 6 Maps is the "most powerful mapping service ever." Holy crap. Stop the presses!

Here is a snippet of the "investigative report:"

Apple's website previously described Maps with the following language: "Designed by Apple from the ground up, Maps gives you turn-by-turn spoken directions, interactive 3D views, and the stunning Flyover feature. All of which may just make this app the most beautiful, powerful mapping service ever."

But sharp-eyed tech writer Amit Agarwal noticed this morning that Apple changed the second sentence of that copy to read: "All in a beautiful vector-based interface that scales and zooms with ease."

I'm disappointed that this whole report is based on some blogger who spotted a new sentence. What's next, a discussion of the font policies or the size of the logo on the Apple home page? "It's been decreased by a quarter of a millimetre!! WHY?" Analysing ad copy via investigative bloggers is no substitute for doing actual work.

The silliness is endless. I must conclude that Tim Cook will be under constant attack from here on out because of one reason only: He is not Steve Jobs.

Critics claim: "This wouldn't happen if Steve Jobs was in charge!"

But who can say that for sure? Maybe Steve would have merely covered up the flaws better. What do you think the so-called "reality distortion field" was all about, anyway?

Personally, I think it is a miracle that Tim Cook, or anyone else for that matter, can manage this company at all.

Which raises the question of who would run Apple if Cook quit or was ousted. This was the problem when Sculley was removed in 1993. It took little time after he was gone to collapse the company.

The difference between then and now is that back then, the knives did not come out as fast since Steve Jobs was no saviour when Sculley took his place.

Thus, I'm guessing that Cook's goose will be cooked sooner rather than later. Whoever takes over will doom the company. Apparently, people want to speed up that process.

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