Tim Cook


New Apple iPhones to reach Australia on September 20

9:32AM | Wednesday, 11 September

Apple fulfilled all expectations last night when the company debuted two new versions of the iPhone, including a high-end model with a fingerprint scanner and a lower-cost, plastic version in a variety of colours – both of which are set to be released in Australia on September 20.   But despite the release of a model which could help the company recover stronger growth rates in the potentially lucrative Asian and South American markets, the company’s shares dropped over 2%.   Investors are most likely disappointed in the lack of a surprise at the event, given Samsung’s recent debut of a smartwatch – a category in which Apple is said to be experimenting.   The colourful 5C   Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller showed off the long-awaited lower-cost 5C model last night. Internally, the model is similar to the iPhone 5, with better battery life and one key difference – it’s built of plastic instead of aluminium.   "The business has become so large," chief executive Tim Cook said. "We're going to replace it with not one, but two new designs."   Marketing chief Phil Schiller said the gadget was “made with all the incredible tech that customers love with iPhone 5”, and even addressed the fact the design was leaked online before the event.   The 5C is essentially replacing the iPhone 5, which will be discontinued.   “It has an incredible new design – one that's more fun, and more colourful than anything we've made before,” Schiller said.   In a call-back to the iMacs of the late 1990s, the device comes in five different colours – green, white, blue, red and yellow. Most importantly, the device is built with plastic. In fact, design chief Jony Ive said the phone was “unapologetically plastic”.   “It's simpler, more essential, more capable and more colorful,” he said.   The advanced 5S   Apple also debuted the next version of the iPhone line-up, the 5S. This model is the next generation of the iPhone, replacing the iPhone 5 as the current premium version on the market.   The device appears the same as the iPhone 5, but the guts are completely new, with a faster A7 chip that Apple claims will boost the device’s speed by 100%.   But more importantly, the iPhone 5S features fingerprint scanning technology. Users take advantage of the scanner, fitted under the home button, in order to unlock their phones, make purchases and confirm other actions on the device.   "We have so much of our personal data on these devices, and they are with us almost every place we go, so we have to protect them," Schiller said last night.   The technology, called Touch ID, is built right into the home button, although third-party developers won’t be able to access the technology for now.   In addressing privacy concerns, Apple said a user’s fingerprint won’t be sent to any cloud-based server. Instead, they will remain lodged on the local device – although whether users will accept that explanation remains to be seen.   The device features the same 4-inch Retina display in the iPhone 5, along with an improved 8 megapixel camera. The new camera also features the ability to shoot slow-motion video, and a burst-photographic mode.   The iPhone camera is regarded as one of the best in the industry – continued advancements will ensure the company remains on top in that regard.   Pricing   Apple has released pricing for both new iPhone models, although mobile carriers have yet to reveal their own plans, which will likely be cheaper as they often include no up-front costs.   iPhone 5C   16GB - $739 32GB - $869 iPhone 5S   16GB - $869 32GB - $999 64GB - $1,129   Early perceptions of the devices have been positive, although analysts question whether Apple has enough traction in the new devices to make a break into potentially lucrative developing countries.   Apple also said the new iOS software, iOS 7, would be available on September 18.   This story first appeared on SmartCompany.

Like Apple CEO Tim Cook, claim you’re number one – even if you have to stretch the truth a little

6:58AM | Tuesday, 11 June

Just imagine, for a moment, you’re Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook.   Here’s the situation. Apple’s share of the worldwide smartphone market has fallen to just 17.3% during the first quarter of 2013, with Google’s Android claiming 75% of the market. In Australia, Apple’s marketshare slumped from 30.6% a year ago to just 28.1%, while Android grew from 57.5% to 69.4%.   Android is also the smartphone market leader across five major EU economies (Germany, Great Britain, France and Spain) with 69.6% combined marketshare (Apple had 18.4%), while also leading in the US (51.7% to 41.4%) and China (69.4% to 25.1%). The only major market Android trails Apple in is Japan (44% to 51.7%).   Now, faced with those numbers, what would you say if you had to unveil a new version of your iOS mobile phone platform – iOS 7 – at your Worldwide Developer Conference?   “People are using our products substantially more than anyone else’s,” says Tim Cook, with “#1 [in] customer usage” emblazoned on the screen behind him.   So how does Cook justify these “#1 [in] customer usage” comments? He claims Apple’s iPad had a tablet marketshare of 82%, its users viewed more websites and quotes a hazy figure on customer satisfaction.   And sure, Apple does lead the tablet market – thus Cook’s choice to compare tablet marketshare rather than smartphone marketshare. But even there, figures from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker for the first quarter of 2013 show Apple’s worldwide tablet marketshare slumped from 58.1% to 39.6% year-on-year during first quarter of 2013. Yes, Apple’s well ahead of second placed Samsung (17.9% marketshare), but it’s a long way from the 82% marketshare claimed by Cook.   As for claiming market leadership by the number of web browsers or customer satisfaction, they certainly are non-traditional ways to measure your market dominance. Some people would say slightly misleading, even.   Cook's customer satisfaction figure is particularly questionable. Sure, a recent Washington Post - ABC News poll 74% of US adults hold a favourable view of Apple – with 16% unfavourable – compared to 82% favourable for Google. But the great thing is that customer satisfaction is so slippery that it is easy to conduct a survey showing any figure you like, depending on how and when you survey your customers.   Well, Old Taskmaster says this is all pure genius. If the standard figures don’t show what you want – say market leadership being determined by marketshare – grab some figures that do. Of course, it’s not just a tactic that can be used by the likes of Apple – any business can do it.   That’s why 75% more customers say Taskmaster Enterprises widgets are filled with chocolatastic goodness. We’re now a market leader – and you can be one too!   Just pick some favourable figures and promote them heavily – just like Tim Cook!   Get it done – today!

THE NEWS WRAP: Seven West announces new CEO as KKR sells its stock

5:15PM | Tuesday, 21 May

Kerry Stokes’ Seven West Media has announced Tim Worner will replace Don Voelte as its chief executive, while private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has announced it is selling its 12% stake in the media giant.   “When I asked Don [Voelte] to accept the responsibility [of chief executive], it was on the basis that he would recommend when he thought he had delivered what he could deliver to the team, and we've arrived at that point,” Stokes said.   “Our decision to sell our shareholding is based on a broad range of parameters on which we based our initial investment and how we sought returns for our investors. We know Seven West Media is a great company; its future is strong and we know it has a well-credentialed board and management,” said KKR local head Justin Reizes.   Apple defends tax minimisation strategies   Apple chief executive Tim Cook has denied the tech giant uses offshore holding companies in Ireland and the Caribbean to minimise the amount of tax it pays in the United States to a US Senate hearing.   “It is completely outrageous that Apple has not only dodged full payment of US taxes, but it has managed to evade paying taxes around the world through its convoluted and pernicious strategies,” Republican Senator John McCain.   “The way I look at it is that Apple pays 30.5 per cent of its profits in taxes in the United States… We do have a low tax rate outside the United States but this tax rate is for products we sell outside the United States,” Cook said.   “We don't depend on tax gimmicks. We don't move intellectual property offshore and use it to sell our products back to the United States to avoid taxes... We don't stash money on some Caribbean island.”   Door-to-door sales tactics cost AGL nearly $1.5 million   A lawsuit by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in the Federal Court in Melbourne has resulted in utility giant AGL being fined $1.48 million fine in Victoria and a further $70,000 in South Australia over its door-to-door sales tactics.   The lawsuit was largely the result of a CPM Australia contractor who sold gas and electricity for the firm in Coburg making false statements to customers about prices while claiming he was not selling anything.   AGL has since stopped using doorknocking as a sales tactic, describing it as a “risky sales technique”.   Overnight   The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.35% to 15,388.27. The Aussie dollar is steady at US98.06 cents.

Apple shares plummet 10% after reporting mixed holiday results

3:22AM | Monday, 11 March

Apple shares have plummeted 10% in after-hours trading today, the biggest drop in years, after the company announced mixed results for the holiday quarter.

Forbes names most powerful people – who can you learn from?

3:49AM | Monday, 11 March

US President Barack Obama might be the world’s most powerful person, according to Forbes, but there’s a handful of entrepreneurs on this year’s list for start-ups to draw inspiration from.

THE NEWS WRAP: Federal Government might drop budget surplus plans

3:52AM | Monday, 11 March

The Federal Government might drop is much-vaunted target of bringing the budget back to surplus next year, after the Australian economy posted its slowest rate of growth in the past six quarters.

Apple announces $369 iPad Mini, available in Australia on November 2

10:52AM | Wednesday, 24 October

Apple announced the iPad Mini this morning, with the new gadget to start at $369 and launch in Australia on November 2.

Formal Apple apology over Maps app a lesson for SMEs

3:03AM | Tuesday, 12 March

Small businesses have been urged to follow Apple's lead when it comes to corporate apologies, with experts saying Tim Cook's admission of fault over the company's poor-performing Maps app is an ideal way to address severe customer service issues.

THE NEWS WRAP: New report says we’re saving more but still feeling the pinch

3:04AM | Tuesday, 12 March

More than half of Australian households say they are cash-strapped at the end of the month, despite an increase in the rate of saving rather than spending since the global financial crisis.

What to expect from tomorrow's iPhone 5 announcement

9:37AM | Wednesday, 12 September

After months of speculation and waiting, Apple is set to announce its new iPhone tomorrow – and there are plenty of rumours flying around about what exactly the tech giant will unveil.

I know very little about finance or operations. Should I seek a co-founder?

6:04AM | Thursday, 21 June

How can I go about finding a business brain for my start-up?

Google attempts to woo developers with new Chrome Web Store features

6:15AM | Wednesday, 13 June

Google has announced it will now provide developers with in-depth statistics about how their apps are performing in its Chrome Web Store, in its latest attempt to lure developers from arch rival Apple.

Six key developments from Apple’s developers conference

6:53AM | Tuesday, 12 June

Macbooks and a 3D maps app were among the announcements made by Apple at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco this week.

THE NEWS WRAP: Failure to combat mental illness a drain on the economy, study finds

5:16PM | Wednesday, 30 May

A failure to invest in ways to combat mental illness among young men is proving a drain on the Australian economy, with businesses losing $3.3 billion a year due to the problem, according to a new report.

THE NEWS WRAP: Business leaders urge PM to allow Rinehart's foreign workers

5:18PM | Sunday, 27 May

Business leaders have urged Prime Minister Julia Gillard to stick to her decision to allow 1,700 foreign workers to be employed by Gina Rinehart after Gillard stated that no Australian jobs will be replaced by overseas staff.

THE NEWS WRAP: OECD says Australia set to outperform major economies, Europe at risk of recession

5:41PM | Tuesday, 22 May

Australia is set to outperform the world’s major economies over the next year, with Europe at “severe” risk of recession, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

THE NEWS WRAP: Optus facing $14.5 million claim from former staffer

4:16PM | Wednesday, 25 April

Several European political leaders have called on the debt-stricken eurozone to embrace growth over austerity, as the UK plunged back into a double-dip recession.

Apple unveils iPhone 4S, set to launch in Australia on October 14

10:16PM | Tuesday, 4 October

Apple launched its new iPhone 4S at its press event in San Francisco this morning, and introduced a new, powerful voice recognition technology, but stopped short of releasing an improved iPhone 5 with an all-new design.

iPhone5 tipped to be unveiled by Apple next week

9:29AM | Wednesday, 28 September

Apple has confirmed that it will hold a press conference on October 4 to possibly announce a new iPhone product after weeks of tips and rumours that have flooded the industry about the likelihood of the iPhone 5 hitting the shelves next month.

10 start-up lessons to take from Steve Jobs

5:49AM | Wednesday, 2 May

The announcement of Steve Jobs’ decision to quit as CEO of Apple may, on reflection, not be entirely unexpected, but it draws to a close one of the finest chapters in entrepreneurial history.