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back to article Haunted Empire calls Apple 'a cult built around a dead man.' Tim Cook calls it 'nonsense'

Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn't much like the new book, Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs by Yukari Iwatani Kane, which paints a picture of today's Apple, as its title implies, as being haunted by the ghost of its former cofounder Steve Jobs, adrift, and based on "a cult built around a dead man." To Cook, the book is "nonsense …

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It pretty much is, they haven't innovated a thing since what? 2010-2011ish? Just rested on marginal updates to all its products while trying to sue all their competitors outta the market that have been making better products for last 3 or so years.

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As I recall, this is history repeating itself. If I remember right, Apple fell on hard times back when Jobs left and the response was to sue some "infringers" and flog their products overseas as US sales were falling badly. It was only when he came back that the magic and thus sales came back.

I'm having popcorn and watching as this will be interesting.

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Anonymous Coward

The other manufacturers must be gutted - nothing to copy apart from perhaps Samsung with that false start fugly watch thing.

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Anonymous Coward

New Mac Pro, mSATA flash drives when most others are not even using SSDs and depends what is enough (for you) to call innovation - 64bit CPUs and A7 co-pro on iPhones and iPads is a first, fingerprint sensors that actually work / are useful, Haswell, 9-10 hour battery life and retina screens on MacBooks. Maverics has a lot of new bits.

Apple are pretty much first with the new technology - then the rest catch up - so your view depends on what you regard is revolutionary or evolutionary.

Lets look at Windows for comparison - Windows 8 has a new interface (that most people seem to hate) but it's still the same (to the user) under the hood - so evolution or revolution?

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What qualifies as "innovation" for you?

If the iPad was the last innovation (in 2010) then the two before it would be the iPhone in 2007 and iPod in 2001. That's only three in a decade. So its been just under four years now, and it was six between the iPod and iPhone. A bit too early to claim innovation is "over".

If they don't introduce another product that impacts the market in a way similar to how the iPod, iPhone and iPad did by 2020, that's one thing, but it is way too early to bet against them. All the rumblings and hirings prove they're getting involved in the medical field in some fashion, and are quite similar to the rumblings about the iPhone before it came out.

But like the iPhone, no one knows what form it will take yet and what the capabilities will be. Everyone is assuming it will be a nice looking Fitbit with an Apple logo, but it won't be that any more than the iPhone was a phone with a clickwheel interface as some people guessed. They aren't throwing me-too products at the wall and seeing what sticks, like Samsung with their lame Gear watch. They're trying to produce something that people will find genuinely useful and want to buy.

Even if some reading this won't ever buy it because it is an Apple product, if it re-shapes the expectations of buyers in a product category as they did with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, the competing product you might buy won't be designed until after Apple's is released.

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Anonymous Coward

fixed

"It pretty much is, they haven't innovated a thing"

the rest of the sentence is superfluous

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Anonymous Coward

"Apple are pretty much first with the new technology - then the rest catch up - so your view depends on what you regard is revolutionary or evolutionary."

Tragic fanboi. Calm down, it's just another (not even a) manufacturer.

It's just a piece of hardware running software. Your devotion is saddening.

Everyone suggests that you sell all of the offended articles and get on with your life.

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Anonymous Coward

New mac pro is incredibly expensive for the power it has! Innovation for the 0.00001%.

I don't even think apple sell a matching monitor and keyboard for it, you know in anodised black.

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Joke

Could you imagine how much publicity Apple would get if Jobs came back *now*?

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Re: What qualifies as "innovation" for you?

My count matches yours. But that's three more than MS or any of the other vendors in our markets. The problem is the warning bit that always comes with the prospectus: past performance is no guarantee of future performance. And what has changed at Apple is the idea man is gone. I've always regarded Jobs the man as a royal bastage when it came to dealing with people and products. But I've never doubted he had a unique ability to see things that people would want to buy in the scrap piles at other organizations. Sure he'd need to rework them a bit and polish them up. But he did that pretty well too. Eventually even those of us who didn't want to live in his walled garden benefited too. So I expect we will all be missing him. He left enough seed corn around that we might not notice it for the next decade, but it will happen.

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Complete and utter BS by another Apple hater.

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Coat

Is she saying that a cult built around a dead man can never succeed?

Let me think ...

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Anonymous Coward

Jesus Christ, man! What the %$#@! are you insinuating?

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I saw a book that had accounts of things like the ghost of Elvis appearing before a woman and curing her of illness. I don't think anyone has claimed this sort of thing about Steve Jobs, so I don't think we're dealing with that kind of cult here.

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Not yet.

I fully expect to see Jobs' face on toast shortly.

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Whereas previously it was a cult built around a live man.

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Those things can take a long time to build up

Like Mao said - the longest march begins with a single step

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ADKC

Firstly - the whole Dell thing came about when Apple collapsed and had to be rescued from *bankruptcy* by Microsoft. The entire ADKC record should stop at this point, possibly with an apology.

Not for nothing but basically everything on there is either still true or Apple have taken steps to mitigate the issue. The city has a love-affair with Apple but their sales figures bear no relation to their market cap - in the real world they should fail, and as I mentioned before; actually have previously.

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or this version?

"but their sales figures bear no relation to their market cap - in the real world they should fail,"...???

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Re: ADKC

@streaky

Apple were not bankrupt when Jobs did the deal with MS. They needed to turn things around for sure and did, but they were not bankrupt.

The city certainly doesn't have a love affair with Apple. Their P/E ratio is far lower than it should be when compared with equivalent tech companies and their revenues continue to hold up in the face of the negative expectations on future earnings that have been keeping the P/E ratio down. In my view, the reason for this is they are a product company and investors can't see the product pipeline and don't believe it will continue. However, it has continued at a level that continually disabuses the depressed P/E only at any given moment, investors still aren't able to see the future products so continue to price negatively in the face of the evidential success. A more intelligent way to look at the question is to ask what other company in the world is positioned to be able to continue to dominate the earning potential of the high-end of the market. When asking the right question it becomes clear Apple is a machine that is uniquely positioned and will be continuing to perform well for the foreseeable future.

"In the real world they should fail"

What, in this real world, where they are the most profitable company in the world; they should fail. Not sure I follow your logic. Reality dictates the most profitable company in the world should in fact be labelled a failure?

I just can't compute the reasoning behind that, it just makes no sense how you could work that through in your head and actually think it is a reasonable statement... unless, wait,...Ah, I get it, it's fantasy wish-fulfilment from a grudge bearer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: or this version?

Think you are trying to say they are too expensive - i.e. their market cap is too high for the revenue and profits they are generating. Actually you have it completely the wrong way around - their PE ratio is very low for their sector and the actual profits they are generating and the huge cash pile they have just sitting there. Take out the cash (ok after allowing for some tax to be paid) then work out the PE value and then look at some other companies in similar markets and tell me who is overvalued??

Hint: it's not Apple. Try looking at Amazon or ARM etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ADKC

"Apple were not bankrupt when Jobs did the deal with MS. They needed to turn things around for sure and did, but they were not bankrupt."

calm down, you don't need to stand up for a product designing company.

You are not Apple. This level of emotion is just not required and is a MASSIVE bit sad.

Shame you could not channel that passion into something worthwhile.

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Re: ADKC

Well anybody who bothered to read what their CFO said at the time knows they were in more dire trouble than Jobs would admit at Macworld - Microsoft could have in effect ended Apple with a protracted legal fight regardless of even that.

Also not for nothing but Apple's market cap is (provably) utterly nonsense. Claiming Apple to be the most profitable company in the world makes you look a tool - and anybody with eyes can see their YoY profits are walking backwards. This is not a company deserving of it's market cap.

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Re: ADKC

"Claiming Apple to be the most profitable company in the world makes you look a tool"

Up is down ! black is white !

Apple are the most profitable company in the world. Period.

Re: Apple market cap (provably) utterly nonsense. Go on prove it. The point is my view on Apple's market cap is *opinion.* As is yours. If what you are saying has a single iota of reason, then analysts would have followed the proof, because it would be you-know, proof. And if this *proof* is evident to a commentard on TheRegister, it will for sure be evident to others.

YoY profits are walking backwards. Except YoY profits haven't walked backwards. One year, last year's profits were the first dip for many years (though revenue had still increased), but of course that doesn't qualify as Year-on-Year does it. Plus initial reports show the addition of China mobile has reversed this in any case so, again not a YoY profit dip. Plus of course their profit dip in the last year was far less significant than their leading competitor, Samsung, so their performance - the result of a maturing market - when compared to the rest of the market clearly remains industry leading. So please do go on, produce your proof.

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Doomed

Apple was doomed before Steve Jobs came back to take its helm. Now, the Macintosh is still doomed, but even if I'd never buy an iPhone, iPad, or iPod, I have to admit they're doing well for Apple. While Steve Jobs was alive, it was fair to call Apple a cult built around him.

So now since nobody else in Apple is likely to be the genius Steve Jobs was, or would be trusted to come up with any "insanely great" ideas on his own, I would tend to imagine that people at Apple are still asking themselves WWSJD - What Would Steve Jobs Do - a lot. Hopefully, though, they're not letting this tendency lead to paralysis.

Since Steve Jobs' passing, they have released new versions of the Macintosh and of the iPad which seem credible enough. Can they do something so spectacular as to prove to everyone they're not just coasting on their success under Steve Jobs? I think it's best for Apple if they take their time before making such attempts: even some of Steve Jobs' ideas flopped in the marketplace, after all.

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Re: Doomed

"While Steve Jobs was alive, it was fair to call Apple a cult built around him."

Perhaps it is still fair to call it a cult. Post Jobs, the general consensus seems to be that Cook lacks the charisma to be Son of Steve. So what do the iFans and Apple loving press do (I'm looking at you Charles Arthur)? they look lower down the ranks and pluck Ives out. The irony being that he seems to be even less charismatic than Cook but I guess his slower-than-is-humanly-possible speech makes him appear enigmatic.

Personally I feel sorry for Cook, he is clearly good at what he does but he has inherited a firm that has a fan base that craves the cult of personality and Ives seems to be the kind of fellow that would rather get on with his work and has little or no desire to open garden fetes.

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Re: Doomed

Tim Cook is more considered, but I don't think it can be said he lacks Charisma. In comparison to Jobs, yes but not really in comparison with any other tech CEO (other than perhaps Larry Ellison, but then who, other than money loving egotists, would want to be Larry Ellison). Cook has a very sure presence and is extremely comfortable with himself.

You don't capture the most profitable end of the market so dominantly with only a "fan base." Sure Apple have a fan base, but the idea it extends to over a billion purchases by the wealthiest consumers on this planet is, I would say, a bit of a distortion. It's one of those memes people with Apple envy seem to latch onto but really it's just lazy reasoning on the part of people who have no interest in getting to the truth of how Apple have come to be the most profitable company in the world.

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Re: Apple was doomed before Steve Jobs came back to take its helm

All companies are doomed - ultimately.

I'd bet several of my ex-Mt Gox stash of Bitcoins on Apple having another decade of industry leadership before fading away Sony-style

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Re: While Steve Jobs was alive, it was fair to call Apple a cult built around him.

You worked there? No? Then how the flip do you know?

Is it the reports of employees being programmed in weeks-long indoctrination sessions? The stories about daily Steve worship? No - because those things didn't happen

Apple is no more a cult than Oracle, Softbank, News International. Virgin, or any other large company with an egotistical figurehead who gets shit done.

I'd venture to say there's an anti-Apple cult - that's if a cult can be defined as a mass of people who mindlessly repeat a litany of clichés without thought of what they mean or whether they have any basis in reality.

This, by the way, is not a pro-Apple rant. I think I'd probably hate to work there. It's just my fuse being blown by the sheer unthinking inanity of what passes for comment on the subject

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Happy

Re: the sheer unthinking inanity of what passes for comment on the subject

Welcome to the Internet !

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Another Tramp Stamp

How many times does this woman need to be discredited before fools like The Register stop covering her garbage?

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Great Automator Script Available

Note to Myslewski:

You may want to reconsider the term "commentard" when describing El Reg readers.

It's like, well no, it is precisely biting the hand that feeds you.

I'll never read another one of your missives. If you'd like, I'll send you the Automator script that weeds you out.

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Childcatcher

Re: Someone is WRONG on the Internet (was: Great Automator Script Available)

You may want to reconsider the term "commentard" when describing El Reg readers.

I for one have no problem being called a commentard, I think it very reliably captures the essence of The Reg's forums demographic and what usually happens therein.

If anything, it's a rather unfair dig at the people to whom we are being compared – they are at no fault for being as they are, but we choose to come here and quarrel pointlessly every day.

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Re: Someone is WRONG on the Internet (was: Great Automator Script Available)

Comment is an irregular verb:

I comment

You rant

They babble

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Great Automator Script Available

You are aware that Reg commentards themselves voted for the moniker, aren't you.

Feel free to go elsewhere if you don't like it here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Someone is WRONG on the Internet (was: Great Automator Script Available)

"I for one have no problem being called a commentard, I think it very reliably captures the essence of The Reg's forums demographic and what usually happens therein."

Spot on, when talking about you mate. Don't speak for the rest of us!

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Facepalm

Re: Someone is WRONG on the Internet (was: Great Automator Script Available)

Spot on, when talking about you mate. Don't speak for the rest of us!

Yes, because your comment (posted anonymously, no less) totally disproves my point.

Gabriel's theory anyone?

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Re: You are aware that Reg commentards themselves voted for the moniker

No, I wasn't. But within a few weeks of being here it was obvious it was expected. Soon thereafter, just like a jarhead would, I claimed the name with pride. But I will file that factoid away to be brought out on future occasions.

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LDS
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"Mark in the Universe"?? "Make the Universe better"???

These sentences alone tells a lot about the megalomania at Apple. It's funny to read them after the discovery about inflation and gravitational waves.

Maybe they think Jobs told "Siri, fiat lux! - and Light app was".... oh, I'm wrong, don't know if Siri can translate from Latin, or if Jobs ever learnt Latin, although he may have invented it too, though...

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"I must have touched a nerve"

IOW, "I mocked and insulted them five ways to Sunday, but it must all be true, because it made them angry."

Oldest troll-line in the book. Anyone who falls for it needs to be smacked upside the head with an encyclopaedia of logical fallacies.

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Joke

Re: "I must have touched a nerve"

Jesus Christ riding a velociraptor. Why was I stupid enough to stick my head into the hornets' nest that is an Apple thread?

I was commenting on a logical fallacy. I did not pick sides in this, the most virulent and retarded religious war in the long and shameful history of these things, yet still I am getting downvotes.

Besides, everyone knows that the Atari ST was the pinnacle of computer development, and all this MS-DOS / Windows / OS2 / OSX / iOS / Android fighting is just so much hot air.

And ed is the standard Unix editor, so suck it, vi and emacs.

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Re: "I must have touched a nerve"

I say own your downvotes. They indicate you're more than a suckup, humor or not. Just because people don't like your opinion doesn't mean it's invalid.

oh...and long live ed

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Devil

Re: Why was I stupid enough to stick my head into

Downvoted for two reasons:

1. Not only were you stupid enough to stick your head into the hornets' nest that is an Apple thread, you did it AGAIN.

2. So it won't feel left out next to your other comment.

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Anonymous Coward

Scientologists

It's the IT worlds's version of the scientology church.

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Windows

Who are you calling a cult?

When Steve Jobs was directing Apple's future from the brink of financial and market share obscurity Apple could have been considered a cult. Secretive, expensive, rarely seen in public and with a tiny user base outside specific industries (Video and Audio, 3D CAD etc.) Apple was effectively a cult.

Today they are a colossal business with wealth, popularity of product and high profile in a burgeoning tech market. Jobs is gone and Apple will develop along a different line because of this, their market is established and they are raking the benefits, the cult is over, now it is a mainstream religion.

The fact that some pundit can write a name calling rant and publish it with such high visibility just shows how mainstream this market is.

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Re: Who are you calling a cult?

"Now it's a mainstream religion"

You say that like it's supposed to be a good thing...

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Windows

Re: Who are you calling a cult?

As a Tech agnostic with a home built Hackintosh I claim neutrality on the subject of Apple's influence on the industry. I like OS X but have no wish to donate excessive funds to the cause. As for iOS my phone is Android and augmented by an iPod touch for media use.

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Macintosh is dead

At least, the Macintosh as envisaged by the original team, is dead.

A lot has happened to the home computer market since 1984 such that a 'Mac' really doesn't have much to offer the average consumer to differentiate it from the unwashed hordes of other Intel-based laptops and desktops. NOTHING like the difference between an original IBM PC and the Beige Toaster.

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Re: Macintosh is dead

Great sarcasm! LOL!

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Bah!

I can educate the author in the matter of the identity of "the decider".

It is, was and shall always be George W. Bush.

Who else would want the title?

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