Tim Cook addresses iPad sales slowdown, says Microsoft should have released Office sooner

On Apple’s earnings call, Tim Cook directly addresses concerns surrounding iPad. Notably, he calls out Office as helping iPad sales somewhat but ‘frankly’ admits that Microsoft should have released Office for iPad sooner. He says that in the time that Microsoft waited, other companies including Apple have released very-competitive productivity alternates to Office, likely referencing iWork.

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Apple to increase share buybacks to $90 billion, announces seven-to-one stock split, increase dividend to $3.29 per share

 

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As part of Apple’s earnings releases, Apple has announced an extension to its buyback plans. The company will now buyback an additional $30 billion of Apple stock, totalling $90 billion, significantly accelerating its original plans.

Apple® today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized another significant increase to the Company’s program to return capital to shareholders. The Company expects to utilize a total of over $130 billion of cash under the expanded program by the end of calendar 2015.

The board has also announced a seven-for-one stock split beginning June 2nd 2014. Apple last split its stock in 2005, nine years ago. Apple will also increase the dividend by about 8 percent to $3.29 per common share. This will begin on May 15th. Apple plans to increase its dividend every year. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cook said that the buyback will “show you how much confidence we have in the future of the company”.

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Tim Cook’s youth in South Alabama profiled by local paper

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Tim Cook posing for the year book in 11th grade (via AL.com)

In what is a rather interesting profile published on AL.com, Michael Finch II has uncovered some fascinating details about Tim Cook’s early life growing up in Robertsdale, Alabama.

“When it comes to Tim Cook, Robertsdale wraps him in a protective hug and keeps strangers with their curious questions at arm’s length,” Finch writes noting that Cook flew back to his hometown last Christmas through the airport in Pensacola, Florida, about an hour southeast.

The profile goes on to describe the pride Robertsdale feels for Cook’s accomplishments now and what they saw in Cook during his youth Read more

Tim Cook discusses Google selling Motorola, says iPhone hasn’t hit a ceiling, and more from full WSJ interview

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After posting excerpts last night, in which Tim Cook announced Apple’s share buyback of $14 billion in the last two weeks, The Wall Street Journal has now published the full interview with Apple’s CEO.

The interview repeats many of the comments Cook has made to investors in the past, reaffirming that new product categories under development, but does contain some new, interesting tidbits. For instance, Wakabayashi asked Cook about Google’s disposal of Motorola. Cook says he “wasn’t surprised” that Google sold it off, saying that software and hardware integration is what makes Apple unique as a company.

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iWatch + iOS 8: Apple sets out to redefine mobile health, fitness tracking

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Apple has its sights set on another industry ripe for reinvention: the mobile healthcare and fitness world. Apple currently plans to release a new version of the iPhone operating system this year with health and fitness tracking integration as its headline feature, according to sources briefed on the plans. Apple’s work on such an operating system likely indicates that Apple is nearing the introduction of its long-awaited, sensor-laden “iWatch,” which sources say is well into development…

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Jobs biographer Isaacson back-pedals on innovation comments, says ‘execution is what really matters’, Apple is best

A couple of weeks after describing Google as more innovative than Apple, and suggesting that Tim Cook was vulnerable to a shareholder revolt if he didn’t quickly release disruptive new products, Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson has downplayed his remarks in a round-table discussion on Bloomberg TV.

I think [Google is] very innovative. I was not trying to contrast it to Apple or something. I know, all the Apple fans got mad [...]

The one thing I will say is innovation is great, but it ain’t everything. It’s not the holy grail. Execution is what really matters, and Apple is the best at execution …  Read more