Jimmy Iovine: Free music streaming is hurting the industry

Jimmy Iovine used his appearance at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco to take swipes at Spotify and, in particular, to underline his hatred of free music streaming. “Free is a real issue,” he said. “This whole thing about freemium, maybe at one time we needed it. But now it’s a shell […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Jony Ive expresses ‘primal fear’ over Steve Jobs movie

Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive said in an interview that he has a “primal fear” over the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, and particularly the possibility that the movie could portray his former boss and friend in a negative light. He did say he hasn’t seen the film, but remains skeptical. “I’ve talked at length with […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Financial Times Names Tim Cook ‘Person of the Year’

After being nominated for TIME‘s Person of the Year award, and subsequently losing out to the „Ebola Fighters“, Apple CEO Tim Cook today was named Financial Times‘ Person of the Year.

In its announcement, Financial Times cited the huge burden of following in Steve Jobs’ footsteps as one of Cook’s biggest accomplishments this year, saying the CEO „held his nerve through attacks from activist investors and a loss of faith among some that Apple could succeed without its late founder.“

The newspaper also pointed to Cook’s infusion of new blood and ideas into the company as one of the driving forces behind Apple’s big year. In particular, FT highlights the establishment of Cook’s own values and priorities at the company, altering how Apple manages its financial side, and a newfound focus on relevant social issues, including his own sexuality, as some of the biggest moments.

It was a rare glimpse into his closely guarded personal life that also put at risk Apple’s brand in less tolerant parts of the world. Mr Cook was driven to take a stand by his experiences growing up in Alabama, where he has talked of seeing discrimination that “literally would make me sick”.

Financial Times also pointed to Cook’s non-gender biased hiring methods, which included a handful of women for roles traditionally dominated by males. Also of note was Apple’s acquisition of Beats, Cook’s guidance of the record-breaking success of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and the already ubiquitous discussion over next year’s Apple Watch.

The publication does note critics who point out that Cook isn’t as involved in product development as his predecessor, a fact many have cited as a reason why his on-stage persona isn’t as lively and engaged as Jobs’ when introducing new products and software for the company.

Financial Times looks to Cook’s reactions to and solutions for these issues as a positive, however, pointing out that „Mr. Cook is aware of his shortcomings,“ and that his hiring of former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts and industrial designer Marc Newson will cleverly allow others to provide strengths to offset his weaknesses.

The full Person of the Year article, with a timeline of Apple’s 2014 highs and lows, can be read at the Financial Timesofficial website.




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Jony Ive Details Apple Design Process, iPhone 6 Design Choices in New Interview

Apple’s head of design Jony Ive today gave a live interview at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco. In the interview, which BusinessInsider attended, Ive gave some rare insight into the design process at Apple and some of the design choices the team made with the iPhone 6.

According to Ive, he has a great design team that’s quite small, numbering 16 or 17 employees. During a typical day, Ive says that designers gather around tables like those in the Apple Store to draw. The team meets three or four times a week.

One of the major advantages of being part of a design team that’s been together so long is that it’s given them time to develop a design process. Ideas, Ive says, don’t really come along until the design team has created a physical object from their drawings. „It really galvanizes and focuses our team,“ said Ive.

When asked whether or not he had experienced a „eureka moment“ in a design meeting, Ive pointed towards the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus, saying that there’s a „special moment“ when there’s an object you can touch. He says he’s surprised and thrilled every time he gets to see a new first model.

On the iPhone 6’s rounded edges, Ive says that Apple opted to go back to rounded edges because they were necessary to make the device feel less wide. Apple made bigger-screened prototypes years before, but they were „clunky.“

Ive also shared details on Steve Jobs, saying that Jobs was „the most focused person“ he’d met in his life. „It’s terrifying that when you really truly focus, it seems a bit illegal. You can achieve so much.“ Ive went on to say that focus means saying „no with every bone in your body“ to something you know is a good idea, but impossible because „you’re focused on something else.“

During audience questions, Ive also gave some interesting thoughts on Xiaomi, the Chinese manufacturer that closely copies Apple’s designs. Ive says what Xiaomi is doing is theft, not flattery.

There is a danger…I don’t see it as flattery. I see it as theft. (Talking about copying designs in general). When you’re doing something for the first time and you don’t know it’s going to work. I have to be honest the last thing I think is „Oh, that is flattering. All those weekends I could’ve been home with my family…I think it’s theft and lazy. I don’t think it’s OK at all.“

The full paraphrased text of Ive’s interview, where he also shares why he chose to be an industrial designer, what he thought was well designed as a kid, how he came to work at Apple, and his thoughts on Steve Jobs, can be found over at BusinessInsider. Both TechCrunch and The Verge have shared details on the interview as well.




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Apple Donates $500,000 to ‘SF Gives’ Anti-Poverty Initiative [Mac Blog]

Apple has donated $500,000 to SF Gives, an anti-poverty initiative formed by Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and Tipping Point CEO Daniel Lurie, reports Fortune. Apple’s contribution comes ahead of the SF Gives’ Wednesday deadline, which looks to get 20 companies to contribute $500,000 each, or $10 million in total to fund charitable programs in the Bay Area.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant joins a list of 15 corporate contributors that includes Google, LinkedIn, and Zynga. Launched in early March, SF Gives is the brainchild of Salesforce.com (CRM) CEO Marc Benioff and Daniel Lurie, CEO of the nonprofit Tipping Point.

The donation also follows a number of charitable moves made directly by Apple in the past few years, including the establishment of a donation matching program for employees which generated $2.6 million in less than a year. Since 2006, Apple has also partnered with (Product) RED to contribute a total of $70 million towards HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. Through the collaboration, Apple has sold special (RED) products, including iPhone 5s cases, iPod nanos and shuffles, iPad Smart Covers, and iPhone Bumpers.




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Judge Blocks Vote on Proposal 2 at Next Week’s Apple Shareholder Meeting

A judge has decided to block a vote on Question 2 at Apple’s annual shareholder’s meeting next week, according to a report from Reuters.

Hedge fund Greenlight Capital, a major shareholder of Apple stock, filed a lawsuit earlier this month asking that Apple be prevented from bundling a number of proposals into one ballot question at the shareholders meeting. The firm argued that the bundling of three separate corporate governance proposals into one question was in violation of SEC rules.

A judge handed hedge fund star David Einhorn a victory in his court battle with Apple Inc on Friday, blocking the iPhone maker from moving forward with a shareholder vote on a controversial proposal to limit the company’s ability to issue preferred stock.

Proposal 2 contains language relating to the term of office of the board of directors, language about the board’s ability to issue preferred shares of AAPL stock without shareholder approval, and the establishment of a par value for the company’s common stock.

Apple CEO Tim Cook called the lawsuit a „silly sideshow“ and „a waste of money for all involved“, but the judge presiding over the case disagreed. Apple issued a statement in early January saying it was in „active discussions“ about ways to return cash to shareholders as Greenlight head David Einhorn has requested.


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