French Designer Philippe Starck says he’s working on a ‘revolutionary’ project with Apple due in 8 months (Updated: Steve’s Boat)

Le Figaro reports that renowned designer Philippe Starck (pictured, right) is working with Apple on a “revolutionary” product due in eight months.

French designer Philippe Starck announced today on France Info that it is working with the U.S. computer group Apple in a project “revolutionary” that would emerge in eight months. “Indeed, there is a big project together which will be out in eight months,” said the designer in the show “Everything and its opposite.” Invoking the “religious cult of secrecy” of the California firm, he declined further detail, except to talk about a project “quite revolutionary (…) if not very”.

Interestingly, Stark reveals that he had a close collaborative relationship with Apple’s former Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs with whom he met on a monthly basis for seven years.

Philippe Starck, who has revamped hotels, restaurants, toothbrushes or even the last Parisian Navigo travel card, has revealed that he regularly met in California Steve Jobs, Apple’s legendary founder who died last October. “For seven years I came to see him once a month in Palo Alto and elsewhere I go Monday, because even though he is dead, now I will see his wife. We liked to talk all things interesting, “he said.

While this is beyond tantalizing, much can be lost in translation here. Starck already sells products in the Apple Store, and we could be talking about an iPod dock or iPad case or something less exciting than an Apple HDTV or new camera.

Update: More lost in translation/buzzkill: Remember Philippe Starck was working with Steve Jobs on his boat and that would explain the monthly meetings that are ongoing with his wife.  The 75 meter yacht is due in the same 2012-2013 timeframe. It isn’t clear if this is the revolutionary product he was speaking of.

Update 2: Apple says WTF: Reached for comment, an Apple spokeswoman said the company is not working on a new product with Starck and declined to speculate about what the designer might have been referring to when he told France Info Radio that he and Apple “have a big project together that will be out in eight months.”

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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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Tim Cook improves on Steve Jobs’ approval rating at Glassdoor CEO survey

Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has only held his title for 10 months, but he is already the world’s Highest-Rated CEO.

Careers community Glassdoor gave Cook a 97 percent rating in its “Top 25 Highest Rates CEOs” list for 2012. Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs only boasted 95 percent during his last year as chief executive.

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RIM co-CEOs co-resign, co-COO Thorsten Heins takes over

I think the Globe and Mail was the first to report that RIM’s beleaguered CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis are out – moved upstairs to the boardroom.  The strangest thing about the story, and really the past few years, is the total denial by the leadership that Blackberry is in a death spiral.

Research In Motion Ltd.’s new chief executive officer says the company is doing everything right and does not need a change in strategy, and must instead focus on harnessing its talent to improve the BlackBerry and revive sales.

“It’s a fantastic growth story and it’s not coming to an end,” Mr. Heins said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “What you will see with me is rigour and flawless execution.”

When asked whether he thought the appointment of Ms. Stymiest as chair and himself as CEO would be enough to satisfy investors, Mr. Heins retorted, “Change to what? Change for what?”

He continued, “I mean, what’s the objective of a change? We’ve made a lot of changes in the past 18 months. Not changes, but also evolution. I changed a lot of my management team, in hardware, software … I’ve trained a lot of other people in the last four years. What do you think I did? … We didn’t stand still in the last 18 months, we did our homework. And I think we will complete our homework soon.”

Even in appointing a current co-COO, who looks even less charismatic than either of the two people he replaces (video below), RIM is hedging its bets on Blackberry 10/QNX, which it won’t release until the end of 2012 on phones —if it bucks recent trends and ships on time.  Heins joined RIM just as the iPhone was released in 2007, and he has seen the company’s market share dive.

RIM’s tablet effort, the Playbook, is barely selling and only when priced below cost.  It still somehow does not natively do email.

It is hard not to feel bad for the position this once great company is now in.

(Making it easier, RIM has scheduled an 8am ET Monday conference call with the press on the details. Press release follows) Read more