Archive for the ‘apple vp’ tag
Steve Jobs proudly boasted that Apple doesn’t do any market research, but court documents in the company’s ongoing trial against Samsung say otherwise.
Now Apple VP of product marketing Greg Joswiak is working hard to keep the company’s research activities secret, reports Network World’s Yoni Heisler. But in the process, Joswiak is giving us even more detail about just how Apple learns from its users.
In a declaration submitted to the court on Monday, Joswiak wrote, “The surveys reveal, country-by-country, what is driving our customers to buy Apple’s iPhone products versus other products such as the Android products that Samsung sells, what features they most use, our customers’ demographics, and their level of satisfaction with different aspects of iPhone.”
Samsung is planning to use these surveys (which also include iPad usage data) as trial exhibits in court. Joswiak, not surprisingly, is fighting to keep this information from leaving the courtroom and reaching the public.
While these research revelations seem to counter Steve Jobs’ claims about Apple’s avoidance of market research, it’s important to note that Apple is only conducting these surveys to learn more about how consumers use its products. Apple isn’t conducting focus groups to ask consumers about new features or what they want to see in future devices — which is what really seemed to annoy Jobs. Instead, this research helps Apple better coordinate marketing to its target demographic.
One question in Apple’s research asks customers in different countries about what led them to buy an iPhone over an Android phone, the Wall Street Journal reports. 54 percent of consumers in the U.S. and China cited “Trust Apple Brand” as their primary reason, while 67 percent of Chinese customers surveyed said they liked the design.
Intriguingly, Joswiak also claims that only a handful of executives see these research reports. That means typical designers and engineers aren’t influenced by the survey findings. “No iPhone-related surveys or iPad-related surveys are allowed to be distributed to anyone outside this group without my personal express permission, which I regularly refuse,” Joswiak wrote. “When I do approve further distribution, it is almost always on a survey-question-by-survey-question basis, and even then distribution is limited to individuals who have a demonstrated need to know.”
Photo: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat
Apple is reportedly still trying to negotiate additional content partners for its Apple TV device in time for the 2012 holidays. The company is apparently trying to get a streaming TV service in place by Christmas, according to a recent New York Post report, though it seems that content providers are still balking at Apple’s proposals.
Apple has long been suspected of working on some type of subscription option for TV and movie content since as far back as 2009. At the time, rumors claimed that Apple wanted content providers to let Apple TV users stream unlimited content from iTunes for about $30 per month. Some networks had supposedly expressed interest, including Disney/ABC and CBS. Rumors of negotiations continued since, with a Wall Street Journal report last August claiming Apple was working on “new technology to deliver video to televisions.”
According to the Post, Apple VP of Internet Services Eddie Cue has been making the rounds among content providers, still trying to strike a deal. However, the Post‘s sources claim that the problem is Apple’s legendary attempts to maintain control of every aspect of its services, including price.
One source described Apple’s stance as “We decide the price, we decide what content.” Another unnamed media executive claimed that “[t]hey want everything for nothing.”
Apple may be pitching different channels to stream content via a branded app, as many already do on the iPad and iPhone. That strategy has seemed to work so far for Netflix, MLB, and NBA, for instance, and Apple has demonstrated that live streaming is a viable option for the Apple TV with a recent Paul McCartney concert. If that’s the case, Apple may be negotiating pricing that is better than—or at least no worse than—what viewers can get from cable or satellite services. Our guess is that these demands are viewed as asking for “everything for nothing.”
Still, it’s increasingly clear that viewers would rather stream content to the device that’s most convenient for them, at the time that is most convenient for them. The bar has already been set by Netflix, which offers unlimited streaming of a huge library of content for just $8 per month. At some point, Apple’s demands may no longer seem all that unreasonable.
ABC’s “Nightline” program will air a special report Tuesday night that will give an “unprecedented” look into into Apple’s troubled Foxconn plants in China, which have drawn the ire of critics and Apple fans alike.
Apple, one of the most secretive companies in business today, has closely guarded details about its production facilities that make its coveted iPhone and iPad devices. After numerous negative reports about the Foxconn, including several worker suicides, the dam broke in January with a report by the New York Times that closely documented worker abuses. Apple responded by saying it would investigate abuses by the plants, and Foxconn agreed to raise worker wages by 16 to 25 percent.
The “Nightline” report will be one of the first time’s Apple and Foxconn have allowed any news organization tour the floor and get access with managers and workers. It will show off the conditions of half a dozen production lines of factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China.
“Nightline” anchor Bill Weir said that after years of denials, Apple finally gave him and ABC News the go-ahead to file a report from the Foxconn floor. He says that he doesn’t know exactly why he was picked but suggests it could be because:
• I’ve said nice things about their products on the air.
• ABC News is owned by the Disney Corporation and Disney CEO Bob Iger serves on the Apple Board of Directors
• The Steve Jobs Trust is Disney’s largest shareholder.
• They enjoy “Nightline.”
Apple said Weir would have full access to the plant but he would not be allowed to speak with CEO Tim Cook or long-time Apple VP Jony Ive about the facilities.
From ABC News’ early preview of the report, the most eye-opening part of the visit might very well be interviews with Foxconn workers. A look into the psyches of several workers shows how mind-numbing the job is: “I don’t think much about other things,” 26-year-old Liang Juan told Weir, “because the management is strict and we’re busy working and have no time to think about other things.”
ABC will air the “Nightline” report on Foxconn and Apple Tuesday night at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT. Will you stay up late to watch?
Foxconn factory video screenshot: ABC News
Filed under: VentureBeat
Drawing from 20 years of experience at Apple, Greg Joswiak, the company’s vice president of worldwide iOS product marketing, has explained four keys to the company’s success: focus, simplicity, courage and a commitment to being the best.
Apple vice president of global security John Theriault has left his position at the company following an investigation over a lost iPhone 4S prototype earlier this year.
Theriault led the investigation of the lost phone, which was first reported missing by an Apple employee in July. As part of the investigation, Apple allegedly offered a cash reward to the person responsible for finding the phone. Upon learning the identity of the iPhone 4S finder, Apple security officials visited the man’s residence and posed as San Francisco Police officers to search for the device. Local law enforcement is still investigating the case, according to a report from 9to5mac.
Prior to joining Apple in 2007, Theriault was chief security officer and vice president at pharmaceutical company Pfizer and a former FBI special agent. While at Apple, Theriault is well-known for leading an anti-counterfeit team in 2008 to curb the growing number of counterfeit Apple products in China.
Theriault’s departure is the latest of Apple’s top executives to leave the company for one reason or another. Previously, Apple SVP of Retail Ron Johnson left the company to become clothing retailer J.C. Penny’s CEO. Also, SVP of Mac OS X Bertrand Serlet, VP of iAds Andy Miller and Siri co-founder Dag Kittlaus have left the company as well over the last few months.
The departures don’t necessarily mean that things are turning sour with Apple’s management. With Steve Jobs taking a leave from the company’s day-to-day duties last year as well as his passing last month, many may have felt it was time to move on from Apple.
“We are planning things that will make Vlad the Impaler look like Mr. **** Rogers.”
That’s what the Graham Davies, the fictional Apple VP of Marketing in Conan’s many Apple spoofs, stated in response to someone stealing a misplaced iPhone 5. Supposedly, this latest bit, which aired last night, is Apple’s commercial, not for the iPhone 5 itself, but rather as a lethal warning for the person who stole the iPhone 5 prototype. Get it?
You see, if the Internet is to be believed, an Apple engineer left an iPhone 5 prototype in a bar (again) and then someone else took it home. Instead of selling it to Gizmodo like with the iPhone 4, this person just held on to it and then Apple security personal enlisted the help of the local police for a little off-the-books search and rescue based on the phone’s GPS records. This all reportedly went down in July and the San Francisco police just started an internal investigation into the allegations the officers overstepped their bounds. It’s no doubt a serious matter. Enter Conan.