How Tim Cook transformed Apple after Steve Jobs

Joe Biden had a question for Tim Cook: Why, the then-vice president wanted to know, couldn’t Apple make the iPhone in the U.S.? It was January 2012, during President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and three months after the death of Cook’s predecessor, Steve Jobs. Biden was in Palo Alto for a dinner meeting with Cook and a group of tech leaders that included Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

As everyone at the dinner well knew, the idea of mass-producing an iPhone, or any advanced consumer electronics, in a domestic factory was an exceptionally tall order. The big Asian contract manufacturers, especially Apple Inc.’s main partner, Foxconn, had built city-size factories in China with armies of hundreds of thousands of skilled laborers. None of that scale existed in the U.S. Chinese factory employees generally worked much longer hours, for a fraction of what even the lowest-paid American workers make. “I’m not sure, short of dictatorial practices, that you could ever make that work,” says John Riccitiello, another Silicon Valley executive who witnessed the exchange between Cook and Biden.

This thread was posted by one of our members via one of our news source trackers.

Corresponding tweet for this thread:

Share link for this tweet.

Putting the former head of finance in charge of the company hasnt turned out great from a customers perspective–since he took over they have been squeezing every last penny from customers :poop:the starting point for many products don’t seem to be too much of a ripoff but to get anything worth having you have to upgrade. Apple upgrades are way overpriced :-1:

1 Like

This is true, they haven’t caught up with the market realities that when you don’t have much to offer you should stop charging so much – but I guess they are doing it (a) not to cannibalize sales of their older models and (b) because they are a public company and have to squeeze every penny so investors and shareholders are happy. Which creates a vicious circle and the customer does not win.

I don’t know for sure if the direction that Apple took is due to Tim Cook leading. I mean, Steve Jobs would likely focus more on useful and bug-less and ergonomic software which would be great, yes.

It seems that everyone who wants to make money from technology still believes in the fairy tale that only the hardware is important. Samsung’s smartphones are particularly bad in this regard.

Seems only the Chinese – Huawei, Xiaomi, OnePlus – get the importance of software, optimization, slick and lag-less UI, good support (especially Xiaomi support their phones with updates for good amount of years). Kind of sad because the Chinese are also under orders to hand every last personal data piece to the ruling party but oh well, I suppose a PiHole + an on-device blocker help somewhat.

Truthfully, I am still buying an iPhone 12 Pro Max (or 13 Pro Max if I don’t do it until September) because I am on a 8 Plus and I want a bigger screen plus an investment for the next 3 or so years but yes, Apple charges too much. I guess that is alleviated by not everyone upgrading every year.


The upgrades on my MBP added at least one third to the cost - I tried to ‘future proof’ it as I wanted to keep it for a long time. Shame Apple has screwed up macOS which makes it feel older than it is :poop:

1 Like