Archive for the ‘tim cook’ tag
CharityBuzz is auctioning off a 30-60 minute coffee break with Tim Cook, and after 85 competitive bids, the current highest offer is $605,000. The amount is now so high that prospective bidders need to personally phone and verify banking details and ability to pay in order to place a new bid.
“It’s truly amazing,” CharityBuzz’ representative Glenda Felden told me this morning. “We’re really excited.”
The current CharityBuzz record-holder is a March auction of a 2013 Lamborghini Aventador, Felden told me. The 700-horsepower car boasts a 6.5-liter V-12 engine that propels the car from 0-60 mph in under three seconds, and reaches top speeds in excess of 215 mph.
But that sweet Italian supercar may not be worth more than a quick cuppa with Cook.
Cook’s auction started almost a month ago at $50,000, and quickly shot up to $160,000 in a single day. And with one day left, it seems likely to become the highest-value auction ever held on CharityBuzz, Felden said.
Bids close tomorrow at 4:08 PM, and a potentially winning new bid will have to be at least $610,000, as bid increments are $5,000 each.
That’s $610,000 for a 30-60 minute meeting, travel and accommodations not included. Or over $10,000 for each minute, if it goes the full 60.
Proceeds benefit the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights.
“Charitybuzz is blown away by the incredible support we’ve seen for the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights through our coffee with Tim Cook online auction,” CharityBuzz CEO Coppy Holzman said. “With 140 experiences on the auction block closing this Tuesday to benefit the RFK Center, including exclusive access to Robert DeNiro, Alec Baldwin, Peyton Manning and more, we expect to raise well over one million dollars for human rights.”
Image credit: Dean Takahashi/VentureBeat
If You Can’t Afford $605K For Coffee With Tim Cook, Jack Dorsey’s Charity Auction Is At $5K With Four Days Left
It’s nice to see people in a power position in the valley give up their time for charitable causes. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, recently offered up his time for probably the most expensive cup of coffee ever, to benefit The RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights. The current top bid is a whopping $605K, and the auction ends in two days if you’ve got the cash to donate.
If the “Cook Experience” is a bit too rich for your blood, then you might be interested in hanging out with Twitter co-founder and Square CEO, Jack Dorsey. His recent auction, benefitting BUILD.org, gets you a full-on lunch with the man at Square’s office in San Francisco.
Whereas Cook’s auction took off with huge bids immediately, Dorsey’s hasn’t quite gotten off to the same start. There’s only one bid right now, and it’s for $5K. Sure, Apple is a company with more mainstream appeal, and a visit to the offices in Cupertino does sound fun, but Dorsey came up with Twitter. That’s worth at least $100K, right?
All kidding aside, the BUILD organization is doing great things for entrepreneurs, stating their mission as: “…to use entrepreneurship to excite and propel disadvantaged and disengaged students through high school to college and career success.” Here’s the pitch for Dorsey, whose auction ends in four days:
Learn from one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time, Jack Dorsey, as you and seven of your closest friends sit down to lunch with him at his newest business, Square, headquartered in San Francisco.
At the end of the day, this is a great way to raise money for charities, but the winning bidders probably have a plan as to what they’d like to get out of the meetings. It would be interesting to get to talk to the person who meets either Cook or Dorsey, so if you’re that person, definitely reach out to us. Even if it’s under strict NDA…which would be nice to know, too.
If you score the Dorsey lunch, you can even bring seven of your friends. Maybe you’ll even get invited to cameo in one of his infamous Vine selfies:
CharityBuzz set the estimated value at $50,000, and by mid-day, bidding was up to $42,375.
This afternoon and evening, however, another 23 bids have come in and the 30-60 minutes experience, which cannot be resold and expires within one year, is now up to a massive $160,000. The next bid must be at least $5,000 more, at $165,000 or above.
Travel and accommodations, of course, are not included.
The proceeds of the auction will benefit the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights. Other notables and celebrities who are auctioning off experiences for the RFK Center include Elon Musk, Peyton Manning, Alec Baldwin, and Jay Leno.
Interestingly, Tim Cook has them all beat — by a long shot.
A tour of SpaceX with Elon Musk has an estimated value of $25,000 and a current price of only $5250. Peyton Manning — Peyton freaking Manning! — is at $5,750, with an estimated value of $10,000. And Academy Award-winning actor Robert DeNiro is currently at only $1,750, with an estimated $10,000 value.
What a deal!
Tim Cook is, of course, CEO of iconic Apple corporation, and a runner-up for Time’s Person of the Year in 2012. And he does lead the world’s second most valuable corporation.
If you’re interesting in bidding, however, beware:
Winning bidder and guest(s) subject to security screening. We expect all winning bidders and their guests to conduct themselves appropriately when attending an experience won at Charitybuzz. Polite manners and respect for the generous donor and adherence to any rules or parameters are a must.
In other words, Apple owners who have lost millions in the stock’s slide from $700 to $400 need not apply.
Image credit: Dylan Tweney/VentureBeat
Apple’s doing well in China, Apple CEO Tim Cook said today on the company’s earnings call, growing at 18 percent on a “sell-through basis,” he said.
Analyst Katy Huberty had asked if Apple was hitting a wall in China, suggesting that the company was only seeing single-digit sales increases. Apple of course has had significant challenges in China recently, with bad publicity and some perception that the Chinese government is targeting the company to a degree. And almost half of all Apple suppliers are located in China.
“Actually, we had our best quarter ever in China,” Cook answered. “Revenue was $8.8 billion, which is up 11 percent year over year … and that’s the same as the speed Apple is growing.”
- Apple boost share buyback by a massive $50 billion
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- iTunes revenue hits record high
- Apple revenue up, earnings down
- Apple now has more than 300M iCloud users
- Apple’s Q2 2013 in 30 seconds or less
That’s an almost suspicious number, actually, given that the Chinese treat the number 8 in a similar way to how Westerners see the number 7. It’s considered lucky and auspicious given its perfect vertical symmetry, and many Chinese pay extra for license plate numbers with 8 in them or addresses that have 8 in them.
In any case, that’s the number Apple is reporting.
The highlight, Cook said, was the iPad, which Apple sold 138 percent more of this quarter than the year-ago quarter. And Apple set records for iPhone sales, adding 8,000 points of sale for iPhone to bring its locations for smartphone sales in China to 19,000.
“We see significant interest in iPhone 4 there,” Cook said, adding that the company has just made it cheaper.
The 18 percent growth number Cook is referring to sell-through, meaning actual sales to end users of products. Sell-in can be equated to channel-stuffing in a way, in which products are shipped to retailers, but not actually sold.
Boris Teksler, Apple’s director of patent licensing and strategy, said late CEO Steve Jobs and then-COO Tim Cook in 2010 warned Samsung that its smartphones may infringe on the iPhone’s patents.
Count factory labor controversies as one area where Samsung really doesn’t want to copy Apple.
Samsung announced today that will send an in-house team to investigate HEG Electronics, a supplier accused of using child labor in its Huizhou, China factory.
The claims were published in a Sunday report by human rights group Child Labor Watch, which found in one investigation seven children under the age of 16 working in the factory.
“It is our demand that the relevant brand companies and factories compensate these child workers and help them to get back into school and continue their education,” China Labor Watch said in the report.
The organization estimates that up to 100 children — five percent of the workforce — could be working in the factory, which also manufactures products for Motorola and LG.
Samsung was quick to respond to the claims, saying that it had discovered no signs of child labor in its previous pair of investigations.
“Samsung Electronics is a company held to the highest standards of working conditions and we try to maintain that at our facilities and the facilities of partner companies around the world,” Samsung said in its statement.
Samsung isn’t the first company to defend itself against claims that’s its factories are up to no good. When Apple faced similar charges earlier this year, the resulting uproar forced CEO Tim Cook to fly over to a Foxconn production facility to see things for himself.
Something tells me that Samsung CEO Geesung Choi could find himself booking a similar flight very soon.
Filed under: VentureBeat
Apple decided to stop running its latest batch of mildly humorous television commercials today, barely a week after their debut.
Aside from painting the over-40 crowd of computer owners as completely inept, the new set of TV spots attempted to highlight the usefulness of its Apple Store Genius Bar employees by demonstrating their vast knowledge of Apple products as well as the benefits of using them. That’s much different from the company’s typical outlook on advertisements, which allows the products to sell themselves by simply showing them off.
The three Genius commercials first appeared on television during the Olympics, and their quick demise was all part of the plan, according to Apple’s advertising agency TBWA/Media/Arts.
“The ads were intended only for a ‘first run’ during the Olympics, which meant just the first weekend of the Games,” a TBWA representative told Business Insider.
I’m not sure if that’s entirely true. We’re reaching out to Apple for further comment and will update this post with any new information.
Historically, Apple usually admits its mistakes by quietly brushing them aside. But that was the Apple under Steve Jobs — not under new CEO Tim Cook. Some have suggested that Jobs would have hated the Genius commercials because they contained customers, so it’s unlikely they’d even have been approved in the first place.
Regardless of why the cringeworthy advertisements got banished, the decision comes weeks before Apple’s rumored iPhone 5 announcement — meaning Apple will have something pretty to focus on in its next round of commercials.
We’ve embedded the commercials below via YouTube for anyone who is in the mood to cringe.
Screenshot via Apple/YouTube
Filed under: media
The iPhone, while highly subsidized here in the U.S., can still feel pricey. Most Apple products are. But in Russia, where there isn’t the same long-term commitment/subsidy pricing, the iPhone costs upwards of $1,000.
And the country’s largest mobile service provider, OAOMobile TeleSystems (MTS), isn’t happy about it.
“They’re more in a dictatorship mode where they say, ‘This is what you have to do or you don’t get the iPhone,’” said MTS’ VP of marketing Vasyl Latsanych. “Being arrogant with your partners in big markets doesn’t pay off.”
According to MTS’ VP for strategy and corporate development Michael Hecker, Russia’s smartphone penetration is expected to grow from 15.4 percent in Q1 2012 to 60 percent by the end of 2014. Hecker also mentioned that a price reduction would help Apple take advantage of the growing hunger for smartphones in the region, reports Bloomberg.
After a disappointing Q3 earnings report just last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook faced questions of whether or not the iPhone’s strict and high price was affecting the device’s success in emerging markets.
But in proper Apple fashion, Cook linked it back to the company’s utmost concern: quality of product.
I firmly believe that people in the emerging markets want great products like they do in developed markets. The goal is to make the very best product, and that’s more important and overshadows all other things.
Well, unless you’re a rational human being. Then maybe walk. Or stop. Look. And listen.
Why did Apple produce another miss this past quarter? It’s pretty straightforward, actually. They didn’t sell as many iPhones or as many Macs as most analysts were projecting. That’s important to note — Apple didn’t miss with regard to their own projections, they missed Wall Street’s projections. (The same thing happened last year, more on that below.)
To be fair, Apple did only beat their own revenue projections by $1 billion. Yes, $1 billion is a lot of money. But this is Apple. The company has developed a reputation for lowballing their guidance then destroying it. While beating revenue goals by a billion dollars would be a huge win for just about any other company, for Apple, it’s not what we’re used to. In other words, it’s all relative. With that in mind, I do think it’s fair to call this quarter disappointing.
And while Apple would never be caught saying that on the record, I’d bet they consider it a bit disappointing as well. You could hear it within the answers of CFO Peter Oppenheimer and CEO Tim Cook during their conference call today.
There are a few things at play here.
First and foremost, Apple has been growing at an insane rate the past few years. Revenues have routinely been up over 50 percent year-to-year — sometimes far above that number. This is already the most valuable public company on the planet. If the sky is the limit, they’re well into space. The growth had to slow down at some point. It just had to. They can’t be worth more than all the wealth on the planet.
As the second chart on this page shows, growth does appear to be slowing quite substantially. Apple is still growing — which is still remarkable — but at a much more modest pace. There’s probably still room for another surge or two in there. But there will likely be fewer and fewer of the mega-growth quarters. That is, unless Apple breaks into some completely new businesses. Not out of the realm of possibility, mind you. But to keep the growth rates up where they have been, they’d likely need that new businesses to be in the oil and gas space.
The second factor that led to Apple’s depressed numbers were related to broader economic issues. In other words, things out of Apple’s control. Over and over again today, Cook and Oppenheimer cited the economic weakness in Europe hurting their business there. The same was true for “natural resource-based economies” like Australia.
Further, they kept bringing up the fact that the strengthening position of the U.S. dollar to other currency has hit their numbers hard as well.
But the biggest factor that contributed to Apple’s more modest numbers this quarter is of their own doing. It’s all about timing.
Cook and Oppenheimer both specifically cited the decision to launch the new MacBooks towards the end of the quarter as a reason for the stagnant Mac numbers. Cook noted that before WWDC (where the new MacBooks were unveiled), Mac sales had been down below the rate of previous years. But since then, they’ve been way up, which led to an even quarter year-over-year with regard to the Mac.
Along those lines, Oppenheimer said they expect Mac sales to regain momentum next quarter, as the new MacBooks will presumably keep selling at a robust pace (the Retina MacBook Pro is still supply-constrained, but that will likely end in August, Cook noted).
But the Mac is now just the third most important product when it comes to Apple’s bottom line. The first, the iPhone, is far more important.
Apple sold 26 million iPhones last quarter, which was below the 29 to 30 million that most analysts were expecting. It was also well below the 34 million Apple sold last quarter. Quarter-to-quarter, the iPhone is responsible for about half of Apple’s overall revenue (and even more of the profit). With that in mind, 26 million iPhones sold versus 30 million is meaningful. That’s the true reason that Apple missed Wall Street expectations. (And the great iPad growth couldn’t offset the miss, because the iPad is still a lower-revenue product.)
Why were fewer iPhones sold last quarter? Apple gave a few answers, but the one they kept going back to was sort of odd: speculation about new products. In other words, rumors about a new iPhone coming soon may have led to less people buying the current variety.
It’s an interesting, if sort of silly, excuse. On one hand, I’m sure it’s partially true. But on the other, I think Apple also has to blame itself more than a bit.
Apple, as a company, are creatures of habit. They tend to release products on yearly cycles at the same time every year. If people are holding off on buying a new iPhone because they think a new one is coming, Apple is at least as much to blame for this as tech pundits are.
Apple did throw a bit of a curveball last year when they released a new iPhone in the fall instead of the summer — and you saw what happened as a result: Wall Street totally screwed up expectations for Apple’s Q4. That was the last time Apple “missed”. But it ultimately didn’t really matter because the change-up turned their Q1 into an absolute blowout.
I suspect we’ll see the same thing this year. Apple missed this past quarter, but the true shock could come if they miss next quarter as well. The guidance Apple gave indicates they’re thinking small (well, for them — it’s all relative, remember) as they prepare for a “fall transition”. Apple may well hit/beat their numbers next quarter, or they may not. Regardless, they’ll likely be fairly depressed again. But that’s only because everything is aligning for a mega Q1 holiday quarter. Again.
We know iOS 6 is coming then. A new iPhone seems to be a sure bet. New iPods seem like a good bet too. New iMacs and another Retina MacBook may be in the cards as well. And then there’s the heavily-rumored “iPad mini”. If legit, that could be the biggest blockbuster launch Apple has seen yet.
That device, mixed with a new iPhone (maybe with a new form factor and LTE capabilities), and the fact that it will be the holiday shopping season is scary to think about.
Such a quarter would obviously be great for Apple, but it will have come at the expense of the previous two quarters. Again, it doesn’t really say anything about the overall business other than timing really is everything. With their current release schedule, Apple is front-loading the fiscal year (or back-loading the calendar year, if you prefer). If that continues, you’ll keep seeing Apple have years that start off with a bang and then sharply fall until the next Q1 big bang.
In many ways, it’s not different from many traditional retailers which rely heavily on holiday sales to hit yearly goals. But Apple has previously been more even, with steady growth throughout the year. But again, that’s where the growth ceiling comes into play mixed with the move towards the Q1 front-loading. (Mainly the fact that the iPhone — again, Apple’s most important product from a bottom-line perspective — used to be released in the summer.)
Long story short, despite its miss today, Apple remains fine. Better than fine, really. They’re simply experiencing some expectation issues due primarily to timing. Maybe they consider that a problem, or maybe they don’t — maybe they’re simply releasing products when they’re done. Still, from a purely fiscal perspective, it may be wise to vary their release formula. That would keep Wall Street on its toes and keep analysts off-balance. But something tells me that Apple cares more about releasing products on their own schedule, when they’re ready, and less about what Wall Street thinks short-term.
At the end of the day, they’re still going to hit their insane numbers on a yearly basis. At least until they truly do hit their growth ceiling. It’s hard to know when that will happen, it depends on future products and consumer interests.
As for bloggers/journalists/pundits spoiling Apple’s numbers, Cook ended the call with the right answer. “I’m glad people want the next thing. I’m super happy about that,” he said, noting that he wasn’t going to waste any energy trying to stop speculation. Product speculation isn’t hurting Apple’s bottom line any more than Apple’s own methodical release cycles are. And neither are actually hurting sales at all — at worst, they’re simply delaying them. Q1 2013 is going to be massive.