$50,000 buys you a cup of coffee…with Tim Cook at Apple HQ

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Apple CEO Tim Cook appears to be offering up his services to charity auction site Charitybuzz in hopes of raising an estimated $50,000 to support the The RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights. By services we mean the winning bidder will get the opportunity to have coffee with Apple’s top exec at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The auction listing notes that it was “Donated by: Tim Cook” and after opening earlier this morning currently has two bids of just over $5,000.

The estimated value for the auction is set at $50,000, and the winning bid will get two lucky individuals the chance to sit down with the CEO for 30min to 1 hour. However, bids don’t include travel or accommodations and Cook’s guests will also be “subject to security screening” before hand to weed out the crazies. (via @Ihnatko)

If you can’t afford Tim Cook, former U.S. President Bill Clinton is available for less than half the price (via). Read more

Tim Cook admits that iMac launch should have been postponed to avoid delays for customers

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When asked about staggered product launches during the Q&A of Apple’s Q2 2013 earnings call today, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that he wished Apple would have postponed the launch of the new iMac until after the holiday season in order to avoid the significant delays that customers experienced in the initial months of launch:

I don’t spend a lot of time looking back… If we could run it over, i would have announced the iMac after the turn of the year… we felt our customers had to wait too long for that specific product… Where the iPad mini was in shortage in the December quarter, I would not have done that differently because we were able to get the product out to many customers that wanted it. In retrospect, I wish it [iMac] was after the turn of the year so customers would not have had to wait as long as they did.

When Apple first launched the all new, slimmed down iMac lineup leading up to the holidays in October of last year, Tim Cook quickly confirmed that Apple would run into some significant component constraints and delays for the product. The months following launch saw major delays with customers ordering the product having to wait weeks to receive their shipments and some models pushed back as far as December.

Verizon CEO takes credit for convincing Steve Jobs to make iPhone 5 LTE, says half of wireless traffic is now video

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At NAB, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam told attendees that half of his network’s wireless traffic is used for downloading video. McAdam reportedly added that he expects video to take over 2/3 of the Verizon network by 2017. The CEO thanks the carrier’s investments in LTE technology for making this happen.

On the subject of LTE networks, McAdam also shared an interesting tidbit regarding an encounter with Steve Jobs and Apple during the development of the current iPhone, the iPhone 5. One of the latest iPhone’s premier new features over its predecessors is support for LTE networks in regions across the globe. McAdam says that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was initially reluctant about including LTE in the iPhone 5, but McAdam’s descriptions of LTE’s speed capabilities changed Jobs’ mind:

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AppGratis CEO explains App Store removal, says Apple is destroying value in its ecosystem

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After receiving some clarification from Apple last night over the removal of discovery app AppGratis, CEO Simon Dawalt is weighing in today with a statement posted on the AppGratis website explaining that the situation has been “absolutely crazy” to deal with:

And that is pretty much where we stand, still stunned that Apple took the decision to destroy so much value within their own ecosystem, but more than ever convinced that what we’re doing is good, and accomplishing a much needed mission in a broken App Discovery world.

While explaining that App Gratis has gone through a number of rejections for breaking App Store guidelines in situations that were later resolved with Apple, Dawalt shed some light on what happened on Apple’s side: Read more

Poll: Should Apple re-hire Ron Johnson to run its Retail division?

We’re all discussing this here and wondered what the wider Apple community thinks. Read more

Ron Johnson out as CEO of JCP, Apple Retail boss job still open

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Former Apple Retail Chief Ron Johnson is out at JCPenney after his radical retail redesign failed to ignite sales in the same manner in which Apple Stores had grown accustomed. Ron Johnson left Apple in 2011 for the JCP job after a decade at Apple.  He helped design the original Apple Store concept after being lured away from Target by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. He pioneered concepts like the Genius Bar which was unheard of at the time but still a growing trend in the industry.

We know more than a few folks who would like to see him back at Apple which meanwhile has found him difficult to replace. One such attempt was the hiring and subsequent firing of John Browett, a former Dixon’s UK CEO.

Johnson continued to live in the Bay area during his stint at JCP commuting to Plano Texas via Jet so…

We’ve reached out to JCP and Apple for comment and will update as appropriate. Press release follows:
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CEO of MLB Advance Media floored by Passbook adoption, 12 percent of eTicket buyers already choosing the service

As the new Passbook feature available on iOS 6 starts to settle in the hands of more users, the sales of printed tickets may start to go down. MarketWatch reported this afternoon that Major League Baseball wants to phase out printed tickets all together and move to apps like Passbook to deliver tickets instead. The MLB tested this type of digital ticket sale with four teams during the last two weeks of the season. From the sound of it, results are better than expected.

Bob Bowman, CEO of MLB Advance Media, told MarketWatch that 1,500 e-ticket buyers, or 12 percent, bought their tickets using Passbook. He was shocked: “That adoption rate really floored us – there is no question our fans want digital tickets.” This has to be just what Apple wants.

Passbook offers benefits that paper tickets do not. Sure, there is nothing like having the paper ticket as a collectors item, but the benefits of a digital version may seem worth it to some. Bowman explained, “Fans can use the tickets, forward them to a friend, resell them, or even donate them to charity – and they never get lost or left at home.” Fans can also purchase a paper ticket, leave it at home, and use their ticket via Passbook instead. Read more

Apple and Samsung CEOs to meet in court for patent dispute settlement talks within 90 days

According to a report from Foss Patents (and confirmed by Reuters), Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and Samsung Chief Executive Officer Gee-Sung Choi will meet within the next 90 days for settlement talks over ongoing patent disputes. Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over the two cases in California, initiated the meeting after ordering the companies to submit their CEOs and legal counsels to an Alternative Dispute Resolution.

“As directed by the Court, Apple and Samsung are both willing to participate in a Magistrate Judge Settlement Conference with Judge Spero as mediator. At Apple, the chief executive officer and general counsel are the appropriate decision-makers, and they will represent Apple during the upcoming settlement discussions. At Samsung, the chief executive officer and general counsel are also the appropriate decision-makers, and they will represent Samsung during these settlement discussions.”

The report called the talks “semi-voluntary,” because the companies did not have to submit to the Alternative Dispute Resolution. However, as pointed out by Foss Patents, “if only one of them had made the CEO available, the other one would have appeared to be less than constructive.” Apple and Samsung executives will meet in San Francisco with U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero sometime over the next three months:
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Tim Cook to appear as opening-night speaker at D10 conference

AllThingsD just announced Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook would appear as the opening-night speaker at this year’s D10 conference. The 10th D: All Things Digital conference will be Cook’s first time speaking at the event, and AllThingsD noted this is his first-ever appearance onstage at a non-Apple event since becoming CEO last year. Past D conferences were notably a stage for many in-depth discussions and interviews with Steve Jobs. Jobs last appeared at the event at D8 in 2010.

Walt Mossberg and I could not be more thrilled to announce that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, will be the opening-night speaker at our 10th D: All Things Digital conference.

The D10 conference is slated for May 29 to May 31, 2012 at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
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How much Apple CEO Tim Cook really made last year

Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook was the highest-paid CEO in the United States during 2011, according to a report from The New York Times (via Bloomberg). The report cited data from research firm Equilar who tracked executive compensation throughout the year.

To take home the top spot, Cook received about $378 million. That number includes his salary, perks, and bonuses of $1.8 million in addition to a one-time stock grant of $376.2 million that vests in 2016 and 2021. The report noted that stat works out to roughly a million dollars a day. However, many are taking issue with the number, because the majority of the money requires Cook to stay with the company for 10 years before receiving it…

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Google CEO Larry Page says Steve Jobs’ fury over Android was just to rally troops

In a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Google’s Chief Executive Officer Larry Page talked at length about his new role as chief and his plans for the future of Android, Motorola, and the rest of the company. Much the interview revolved around Android and Google’s relationship with other companies, and Page was asked about his relationship with Steve Jobs toward the end. He was also asked about the state of Android tablets and his thoughts on Apple’s recently announced dividend.

When the interviewer mentioned Google and Jobs had their “differences” about Android, presumably referring to Jobs’ claims that Android is a “stolen product,” Page claimed Jobs’ anger toward Android/Google was “actually for show”:

I think the Android differences were actually for show. I had a relationship with Steve. I wouldn’t say I spent a lot of time with him over the years, but I saw him periodically. Curiously enough, actually, he requested that meeting. He sent me an e-mail and said: “Hey, you want to get together and chat?” I said, “Sure, I’ll come over.” And we had a very nice talk. We always did when we had a discussion generally… He was quite sick. I took it as an honor that he wanted to spend some time with me. I figured he wanted to spend time with his family at that point. He had a lot of interesting insights about how to run a company and that was pretty much what we discussed.

He continued when encouraged to elaborate on his “for show” comment:
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Sprint CEO: iPhone users are more loyal, use less data

Reports from the Wall Street Journal last October revealed Sprint’s Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse convinced the company’s board to take on a staggering commitment of approximately $20 billion to purchase 30.5 million iPhones over four years. At the time, Hesse said Sprint “would likely lose money on the deal until 2014. ″ He also claimed not having the iPhone was “the No. 1 reason customers leave or switch.” In an interview with Mobile World Live (via BGR), Hesse defended the decision and claimed, among other things, that iPhone users are “more profitable than the average smartphone customer.”

 Subsidies are heavy for the iPhone. This is the reason why a high percentage of new customers is important… But iPhone customers have a lower level of churn and they actually use less data on average than a high-end 4G Android device. So from a cost point of view and a customer lifetime value perspective. They’re more profitable than the average smartphone customer.”

Hesse went on to claim that Sprint was “pulling a lot of customers” from AT&T and Verizon during the fourth quarter by noting four out of every 10 iPhones the carrier sold were new customers. According to Hesse, that is around double the rate of the other carriers.
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