back to article Tim Cook chills the spines of swingers worldwide

Apple boss Tim Cook has claimed that Cupertino's Watch, which will be wheeled out on 9 March, will replace car keys. Speaking in a puff piece interview with the Telegraph on Saturday, ahead of the company's latest event, Cook said that – among other things – the wrist-wearing gizmo would nag sedentary people once an hour to …

Anonymous Coward

OH RLY?

"This has been a core value of our company for a long time."

Since when, and please give examples...

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Re: OH RLY?

Life isn't about money

Closed walled garden ecosystems are just for the engineering challenge. And the flowers.

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Re: OH RLY?

"Life isn't about money." says the guy running one of the richest corporations.... While he's right, it's also hypocritical considering the profit and lawsuits which are all about money.

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Re: OH RLY?

"Since when, and please give examples..."

Can you give examples of where they have sold customer data? Sure, they do collect some, but they don't use it for advertising or sell it on. The only example I can think of that this is a core value is that they never have sold customer data. I don't see why they would need to, they are the wealthiest company on Earth simply from selling shiny gadgets. It doesn't make sense to risk that by selling customer information as well. Perhaps I've missed something evil they have done though?

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Re: OH RLY?

life is about doing the right thing. This has been a core value of our company for a long time.

Examples: A gazillion dollars in receipts is pretty good evidence they're doing the right thing by a lot of customers. Making their operating systems free. NOT selling your personal shit to advertisers when they very easily could. Giving me a new phone because I clumsily dropped the old one in a car park.

You can argue til the cows come home that their products are a) too expensive b) too inflexible c) too dominant, but you're never going to trip them up on the matter of personal privacy. Apple make stuff, and that's how they mostly make their money. You are not the product.

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Re: OH RLY?

I know it's not directly relevant, but there used to be a time when Richer Sounds crowed that you got a better deal on HiFi because they were a specialist retailer that didn't sell TVs or washing machines. Now, guess what...

You would be very foolish to assume that presently-stated company policy will be company policy in the future, particularly when growth in shiny-gadget sales starts to fall off. If they have your data it will be up for exploitation at some point, even if not immediately.

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bri

Re: OH RLY? (@ Warm Braw)

This is not a good example as selling customer data is a very different industry from making a gadget. It's like they started to sell heavy machinery. Especially if the major selling point of your device is that the owner of the said device is a customer, not a product. Change of this policy is very unlikely and rather foolish from business perspective (until they start to lose money - if they start to lose money, all bets are off, of course).

Two reasons:

1) It is one of key reasons why they can command such a high price for their product. Once they choose to ignore it, they start to see eroding price very quickly as there is no compelling reason from not buying from either Microsoft (which has the same mantra and is cheaper still) or Google.

2) Monetization of data is another thing - the value of customer data depends on how you package them and how you sell them. As far as I know Apple has very little experience there, whereas Google is the Daddy. Apple would get pummeled by Google in this area and they know it.

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Anonymous Coward

@lusty and all the others who missed the preceding sentence. Re: OH RLY?

I should have included the two sentences.

" But life isn’t about money, life is about doing the right thing. This has been a core value of our company for a long time."

So, Apple claim a core value is "Life isn't about money, life is about doing the right thing."

I want to see examples of that core value in action. Not 'monetising customers data' isn't an example of that. Google give you stuff in exchange for them making money by you using that free stuff. Apple don't. You give them money in exchange for stuff. This is just their respective business models.

My question to Tim Cook is: Please can you give examples of that core value in action? Because from where I stand, all I can see is a company making a product and selling it for cold, hard, cash.

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Anonymous Coward

@m0rt

"Because from where I stand, all I can see is a company making a product and selling it for cold, hard, cash"

And with that you have have answered your own question.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @m0rt

I don't think I did. TC states one of their core values isn't about making money and doing the 'right thing'. I am asking for an example of that core value in action.

I have no issue with Apple making cash in exchange for products that people want to buy. I have no issue with Google offering 'free' stuff in exchange for peoples data (that is up to the people in question). I have issues with companies stating high ideals that are obviously complete tosh. Google's Do No Evil and that last comment by TC are comedy gold. They are big corporations. Nothing more, nothing less and pretending that even a smidge otherwise without some proof of their high ideals that don't have a hidden agenda.

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Re: @lusty and all the others who missed the preceding sentence. OH RLY?

@M0rt, the massive stacks of cash they make are a by product of doing the right thing. The Apple way has always been to make the best product possible and hope people see the value in the higher price tag. Yes they do make billions selling shiny gadgets, but generally that's where it ends. Contrast this with Google who "don't be evil" by selling you devices for far less money but then invade your whole life thereafter. There's even a creepy page on Google where you can see a map of where you've been since you bought an Android phone. Apple offer a very rare alternative these days where you buy a quality product for more money than the competition, and then you own that product end of story. believe it or not, I actually miss the days when there was a paid for alternative to much of the "free" stuff we have now. I'd gladly give Facebook some money if they offered a non invasive version of their services for me to keep in touch with friends. The problem is that it's not worth their time because there are infinitely more people who don't realise Facebook isn't truly free, and their corporate value system doesn't push them into doing such things.

Another example of Apple doing the right thing is their employment policy. There have been many stories on the Reg recently about Apple changing working policy for the better, both in the west and in their factories. They didn't have to do most of the things they have done, but they did them anyway.

ANOTHER example of doing the right thing, is making devices almost entirely recyclable. Using materials such as aluminium and glass, and glueing rather than screwing means their shiny gizmos won't end up in landfill. Their policy of return to store for recycling backs this up, they even give you money to return old gadgets!

Maybe they don't make the absolute best technology out there, and lord knows their software could do with having fewer bugs, but their values certainly seem fine to me

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @lusty and all the others who missed the preceding sentence. OH RLY?

But the inference was, in TC's statement, that it isn't just about making money. Trying to uphold Apple as an example to us all is a little sickening I feel. An example of a well run company that makes money, superb. There are few, if any, that excel.

But you mention two things.

"Another example of Apple doing the right thing is their employment policy. There have been many stories on the Reg recently about Apple changing working policy for the better, both in the west and in their factories. They didn't have to do most of the things they have done, but they did them anyway."

That employment policy - which came first, and i really would like to know because credit be given where due, the complaints and mainstream media coverage before they clamped down on some of the disgusting events that were purported to come out of Foxconn? Or were they pretty solid before?

Also, are they any better than what employees would receive in western nations? By bringing them to the same level, you could argue that this is what you should have expected from Apple in the first place.

"ANOTHER example of doing the right thing, is making devices almost entirely recyclable. Using materials such as aluminium and glass, and glueing rather than screwing means their shiny gizmos won't end up in landfill. Their policy of return to store for recycling backs this up, they even give you money to return old gadgets!"

Yeah....but how many years was it that Apple was castigated for not being environmentally friendly?

http://www.wired.com/2013/09/ifixit-teardown-apples-latest-iphones-not-as-green-as-schiller-claims/

Reacting to bad publicity regarding an approach to life which should be a the forefront of a company that claims to be such is not evidence of TC's statement.

This sounds anti-Apple, it isn't meant to be, although i am not a fan, but I take exception to trying to present oneself as a paragon of virtue and a successful as opposed to 'just' a successful company. That is why i wanted some evidence of that statement because your statements regarding the evidence of that are not really evidence of that. I feel.

Arguably, everything they have done is to make money. that isn't a bad thing - that is what companies do. But to try and make out that they are in some way better than just that is urinating logistically.

However, I think I am alone in this judging by the reaction. :)

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Re: OH RLY?

"Life isn't about money." says the guy running one of the richest corporations....

Yeah, funny how money isn't important to those who have more than enough. Some of us have been in the position where spending (or not) money can be a life changing choice and that extra £1 or two makes a big difference. Never mind the odd billion or two down the back of the sofa.

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Re: @lusty and all the others who missed the preceding sentence. OH RLY?

You really don't get it at all. Apple make money as a side effect of doing the right thing. When they ditched doing the right thing they very nearly went bust.

You're right, Foxconn had really shitty employment policy. Foxconn is not Apple. The only reason Foxconn are improving their policies is because Apple are forcing them to do so. Samsung have not done similarly...

I was primarily speaking about the employment policies in the west, which are second to none. These are the ones on direct Apple employees who see various benefits not available elsewhere. I included the factory workers simply because Apple could just as easily have done what Samsung did and do, and ignore them, but they didn't. They removed dangerous chemicals from the manufacture process, and reduced working hours while increasing pay to the point that it's having serious implications for the rest of the country who as a result earn considerably less than these factory workers. Yes, they earn considerably less than I do, but they also earn way above average locally. If Starbucks charged 2p for a coffee in Blighty and my rent was 50p I probably wouldn't need as much cash as I have either!

You say Apple were castigated for not being recyclable, but the fact remains that they are top of the pile in this regard and lead the pack in recyclable products. Name some companies making more green tablets, laptops and phones and I'll accept your point, but only if your company didn't follow Apple in this regard. Yes, it took a while to retool and redesign all of their range but many other companies still have not even started. Where do I take my Google phone for recycling and refund?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @lusty and all the others who missed the preceding sentence. OH RLY?

We have to disagree and leave it there. You are linking successful business with doing 'the right thing' whereas TC was deliberately setting those apart in his statement .You think Uber are doing the right thing? If profit is an example of it, then you must hold Google in similar regard.

Apple nearly went bust was nothing to do with moral compass, just bad business sense and leadership under Gil Amelio (Could be a faulty memory to who was in charge back then and I cant be bothered to google it on my phone)

I cant comment in what Samsung did or didn't do. I can comment on that Apple responded to extensive coverage on the plight of workers in Foxconn.

As for making devices more green, this has been called for for a long time. Apple doing this, if you think they have a corporate conscience then good. I envy your optimistic viewpoint and happier position and you should pity me wallowing in my cynicism.

Personally, I will wait until there is evidence of Apple having a core value of 'not just being about money' and 'doing the right thing'. So far, I don't see your comments as evidence of TC's assertions. Let's just say I'm too thick.

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Re: @lusty and all the others who missed the preceding sentence. OH RLY?

You still have yet to offer a shred of evidence that they don't do the right thing. Your entire position is based on not accepting the many and various good things that Apple have done and continue to do. I can't imagine there is anything anyone can say to get reality across to you so I'll give up there and leave you to your dim view of the world.

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Re: OH RLY?

With regards to an intelligence agency such as the NSA producing a "National Security Letter" for them to hand over all their customers' data, the issue of Apple selling data is irrelevant.

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Re: OH RLY?

"Can you give examples of where they have sold customer data?

You know that he did not allege that they sold customer data, and this wasn't what he was asking for examples of.

What was alleged was that Cook had made a high-minded sounding statement, and there were no examples which showed Apple as a Corp doing something because of the values that were being claimed. There are examples of Apple pursuing profit, and that leading to them doing what might be considered to be the right thing as a side effect, but that wasn't what was seemingly being claimed.

Or, have we all been deceived by Cook's fine-sounding words, and all he really claimed was 'We pursue a profit, but are prepared to take a longer-term view of the profit situation than some of competitors'. I mean, I'd be happy with that as a position, but he seemed to be claiming more.

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Re: OH RLY? (@ Warm Braw)

"It's like they started to sell heavy machinery.

Or, maybe, it is like they started to sell music, when they had a contractual agreement never to do that. I'm not sure, would that be doing the right thing? It certainly wouldn't be setting a shining example to the rest, which is what seems to be being claimed.

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Re: @m0rt

"I have no issue with Google offering 'free' stuff in exchange for peoples data (that is up to the people in question).

It is what is called a 'business model'. If it is transparent (actually 'apparent') what is going on, non-exploitative, not raping the planet, and a bunch of other things, that seems legitimate.

Proceeding to the point where you elevate your business model to one of the founding tenets of your religion, whichever BM that is, and claiming moral superiority because of it, whether it is 'don't be evil' or not, is always asking for someone to poke around to try to find areas where the practice falls short of the fine-sounding words.

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Re: @lusty and all the others who missed the preceding sentence. OH RLY?

"ANOTHER example of doing the right thing, is making devices almost entirely recyclable. Using materials such as aluminium and glass, and glueing rather than screwing...

You do realise that glueing reduces repairability and screwing doesn't? I'm sure Apple have a story to tell on their products, and are better than some (they ought to be, for the price), but that isn't it.

This is all a bit 'Rolls Royces are better than Fiats'. While, personally, I do need a Rolls Royce, because it is good for my voice, I can dimly appreciate that if the whole planet were to make that deathstyle choice, we'd be in a whole lot of trouble, so I can't really claim moral superiority for the choice.

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Re: @lusty and all the others who missed the preceding sentence. OH RLY?

"You do realise that glueing reduces repairability and screwing doesn't?"

Yes I do. Do you realise that most of these devices are replaced within a couple of years regardless of repairability, so recyclability is actually the overall better option in terms of planet hugging? There are almost no repairable parts in modern gadgets anyway besides the battery, which can still be easily replaced with the glued case as demonstrated by the fact that Apple offer a battery replacement service - if your device lasts long enough to require it. None of mine have so far, with my iPod approaching 10 years.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @lusty and all the others who missed the preceding sentence. OH RLY?

" Apple make money as a side effect of doing the right thing. "

Seriously?? It's a publicly held corporation. Publicly held corporations have a legal requirement to make as much money as possible for stockholders. It doesn't just happen as a side-effect. When people buy Apple stock, they are not donating to a charity...

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Re: OH RLY?

They don't sell it.

They turn it over to the US government free of charge.

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Re: @lusty and all the others who missed the preceding sentence. OH RLY?

"When people buy Apple stock"

Yes, but we're talking about their profits, which come from people buying their devices. I'm sure I'm not the only one to have a complete mistrust of Google and other companies who have consistently mined customer data for profit and advertising? I don't personally buy the devices because they are more recyclable, but I'm aware of it and it probably would sway me if everything else was equal. I certainly don't buy the devices because their employees have a great health care plan and paternity leave etc. but again, all else being equal I definitely think this is a good thing. It's certainly going to help keep their staff around in the long term making for a more consistent product set.

There are far too many forumites here who assume Apple must be doing evil simply because they are making lots of cash. I prefer to see evidence before assuming bad things. With the competition I see plenty - Sony root kit (amongst other things), Google intrusiveness, Facebook same, Microsoft anticompetitive behaviour. I'm more than happy for someone to point at something Apple have done that's genuinely wrong but in this whole thread that has been missing as far as I can see, and so the argument comes over as simple jealousy of their success. The only one people seem to keep pointing at is that they, along with the rest of the industry, paid Chinese workers local rates for factory work. They were a big target so were attacked for it, and then they began to fix it before any other company even considered doing so. I'd still call that a win.

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WTF?

A car key I have to recharge every day?

I don't think so, utter tosh.

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Coat

Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

Instead of a key slot in the car door they could put a USB socket to charge your watch up, so you can then wirelessly unlock the car...

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Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

Its battery life will also apparently last an entire day.

They've obviously got a ways to go before they catch up with the standard mantle clock with its 15 day windup movement. That may be ironic, but in reality Apple isn't competing with the past, but rather with the future.

Speaking of foresight. What happens if you forget to recharge your watch and still need to start your car in the morning?

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Devil

Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

Coming soon. The iCrowbar!

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Facepalm

Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

NO, foolish humans! The watch will not hunt down every instance of the physical key you have been using, hitherto, to start your goddamned car, then melt it down into a near-spherical blob, only to then pea-shoot the result into the nearest large body of water. Really! You WILL be able to keep your physical keys; rest assured that that last-millennium technology won't be Terminated (tm) by the watch. So: calm down; put a cold, wet towel on the back of your neck; and, keep the fingers out of your ears--their presence is apparently causing undue cranial pressure.

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FAIL

Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

So, you will still carry you car (and other keys) as a backup in case the watch runs out of battery....

Do tell me what changed? Certainly compared with the contact-less systems of some car manufacturers. Of with using a stupid RFID tag that will never run out of juice?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

My smartwatch lasts 3 days, has nfc, bluetoothLE, WiFi onboard. Seems a lot of people were lured by the looks of the moto360 (which I hated, looked like a kids ben10 watch).

Iwatch is by apple, so sheepies will love it.

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Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

Considering how much replacement keys cost for my Prius, that's a couple hundred bucks off the cost right there, to have a backup key. I'm wondering how that works though, you can't just clone one, can you?

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Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

They don't so much as clone the key as program the car to recognize the new key. If you ever have to have any computer work done make sure you ask if they need all the keys or you may find out as I did that the wife's key no longer works. Sure, they fixed it for free and it only takes a few minutes but it was still a pain having to go back and their coffee isn't that good, although it is better than Charbucks.

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Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

And using the smartphone worked oh so well for BMW, until it got hacked by a specialist hired by the German magazine publisher Heise and ADAC (the equivalent of the AA).

http://www.heise.de/ct/artikel/Beemer-Open-Thyself-Security-vulnerabilities-in-BMW-s-ConnectedDrive-2540957.html

Basically the modem chip does the encryption, uses weak security and can be hacked by a MitM attack using a Linux laptop with 3G/4G card. It took the security expert a while, he had to dismantle a working ConnectedDrive box and do some real work, but he found the weaknesses and could open BMWs easily.

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Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

That BMW vuln is an issue, but is it so much worse than being able to open a BMW using half a tennis ball (which was a feature of rather earlier BMWs)?

After all, arguing to the plod that you are carrying around a tennis ball (pre-cut, or not) for non-nefarious reasons, is probably easier than a similar argument for a computer loaded with 'cracking' software.

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Re: A car key I have to recharge every day?

Except your average plod wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a standard Linux laptop with a UMTS modem slot and one that hacking software installed...

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But But...

I don't wear a watch, how am I going to start my car?

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Re: But But...

Attach the watch to your key ring and put it in your pocket.

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21st century technology...

and they wouldn't win the longitude prize. Only a day battery life - laughable!

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"Cook said that – among other things – the wrist-wearing gizmo would nag sedentary people once an hour to remind them to stand up and walk around."

... and promptly destroyed half his potential market. Who wants to be nagged or be described as lazy?

S&M will need to have words and teach him the gentle art of the acceptable euphemisms and platitudes that pass for advertising these days.

Jon

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Facepalm

So let me get this straight....

... the watch spends all day nagging you to stand up and walk around, and then you have to walk home because it hasn't got enough power to unlock your car?

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Re: So let me get this straight....

You beat me too it..

I was going to say the watch nags you once an hour to get up and charge the watch but that would be simply ridiculous..

I'm with those that think a truely *smart* watch would last at least a week..

Oh yes.. I read last week somewhere that Apple is dropping some of the health measurement features from the watch. Apparently too unreliable to get through someone's "fit for purpose rules" (Damm interfering government!) for medical type devices.

Apparently having a hairy wrist and various skin conditions make it too unreliable.

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Re: So let me get this straight....

No what you read somewhere was a clickbait peice written to sound like Apple are dropping some of the health measurement features when they in fact haven't done so and the watch contains the identical feature set as it had at announcement.

The peice was commenting on past features that were already dropped before the watch was announced and seemed to somewhat deliberately make an ambiguous use of tense to make it sound like there is a doubt over the watch feature set as it is now.

The Register might want to study how it was done, since their Apple bad-light machine seems to have become a bit patchy since they have so spectacularly crashed and burned with their oft cited Peak Apple fail.

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My car - and the key fob remote - is ~7.5 years old and I have not changed the battery yet. My watch also has a battery. I think I changed it once a few years ago. Not bloody likely that I'll be in a hurry to settle for a 1 day battery life in a combo.

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This post has been deleted by its author

i agree the once a day charging issue, is far from ideal. It is in fact why bluetooth headsets threatened, but never quite made it to mainstream. There is the wireless headset dream, and then the reality of having another device to charge when worrying about ensuring one is charged is already more than enough (in my own experience things like laptops and tablets are far less of a worry because most of the time I use/need my laptop I'm at an outlet or on a planned trip where charging is part of the routine). This is why I'm predicting tepid success for the Apple Watch (a similar "adoption level" to bluetooth headsets with a significant dolop extra from the sports activity market - so say 4% of iPhone users after two years). For any normal company that will represent huge and successful revenue stream. But Apple that's going to represent a lot of management overhead for little extra gain. They are doing it because wearables are strategic, the category won't go away (a bit like Bluetooth headsets) and they will raise the bar at launch (but on a device where non sports activity users will find the marginal value entirely undermined by the inconvenience of a need for daily charging). Fail the value test, find power reliability an issue, and the thing will end up being left at home.

There will be a set of core users that love it of course (probably me included because I tend to like Apple kit). I was extrememly bullish when the iPad came out. But on this, far less so, but simply because of the battery charging issue.

Johnny Ive had come up with the ideal design when thinking about the need for charging, using the Milanese loop strap, or simple pressure-from-the-sides, clasp for ease and convenience in taking it off to recharge, but my worry is then a secondary one. It will be super easy to theive. I predict a return of pickpockets with the skill to take watches without the user knowing (invariably involves a distraction). This will be great for them. Almost like a pickpockets trainer bike with stabilisers. Hopefully Apple will already at launch have extended the device disabling tech that is reducing iPhone theft rates or that will very quickly become a big negative story for this thing.

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Once a day?!

My car fob recharges itself when it's in the car, it's completely independent from my watches one of which is automatic and needs servicing once a decade and the other two about once every three years. They don't nag me either.

And yet I fear this is a case of build a worse mouse trap and people will still beat a path to your door because it's shiny.

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Watch as a car key?

So how's that going to work when the car is left at a garage for a service or is left in airport parking while going on holiday? I'd much rather leave behind a single-purpose piece of metal than a fancy watch I might want for something else.

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Childcatcher

Re: Watch as a car key?

So how's that going to work when the car is left at a garage for a service or is left in airport parking while going on holiday?

You just go to the local hardware Apple store and have a duplicate made... which brings up questions of stolen watches, multiple driver households, and what happens if you need to upgrade or otherwise replace the watch? Heck, what happens if the battery in your car goes dead?

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