OS X 10.10 emphasis planned for WWDC, iOS 8 features pushed to iOS 8.1, new Apple TV still in the works

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Apple may be planning to give the next version of the Mac OS X operating system, 10.10, a larger presence than iOS 8 at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, according to sources with knowledge of the plans. Because OS X 10.10 will feature an end-to-end redesign, not dissimilar from the scope of the changes to the iPhone and iPad operating system with iOS 7 last year, Apple wants to heavily promote the new system to developers. Apple has also been allocating iOS user interface resources to OS X teams in order to finish up the new OS X design in time for WWDC, and 10.10 development is said to be “steaming forward…”

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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

Apple’s success in enterprise market “unbelieveable,” with more to come, promises Cook

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Business Insider highlighted Cook’s celebration of Apple’s success in the enterprise market in the analyst call following its quarterly earnings report.

It’s up to unbelievable numbers. The iPhone is used in 97% of the Fortune 500, and 91% of the Global 500, and iPad is used in 98% of the Fortune 500 and 93% of the Global 500 [...] 90% of tablet activations in corporations are iPads. And 95% of total app activations were on iOS …  Read more

Tim Cook’s revised stock deal cost him $4M this year

Photo: mashable.com

Photo: mashable.com

ComputerWorld noted that Apple’s SEC filing on Friday revealed that Tim Cook lost out on $4M worth of stock as a result of his request to the board in August to revise his compensation arrangements to a deal he felt was fairer to shareholders.

Earlier this year Apple’s board revised Cook’s vesting schedule at his urging. Rather than the two monster stock handouts — which only relied on his continued employment — Cook asked that they be spread out over a 10-year period and tied to the company’s stock performance …  Read more

Cook tells employees Apple ‘has never been stronger,’ plans to address company tomorrow

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Following Apple’s earnings results for Q4 2013, which includes a record iPhone sales number for the September quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook has emailed employees to congratulate them on the results. Cook says that Apple “has never been stronger,” and highlights the products being released this fall. “I am happy to report that Apple’s business has never been stronger, and we are heading into the holidays within amazing lineup led by the new iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, the stunning iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display,” Cook says in the memo…

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Tim Cook talks hiring of Angela Ahrendts as Retail chief, says she is ‘best person in the world for this role’

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Last night, Apple announced that it had finally found a new Head of Retail: Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts. Ahrendts has been CEO of the fashion retailer for several years, leading the company through substantial growth in international markets. With that global growth experience and focus on high-end products, she seems like a natural fit to succeed in a role that has been so controversial over the past couple of years.

And Apple CEO Tim Cook seems to agree. The Apple chief executive took the time to keep his employees in the loop regarding the hiring process. Cook sent a company-wide memo this morning that discusses how he found Ahrendts and how she will fit into the Apple culture. While Ahrendts will be running Apple’s physical retail stores, she will also run Apple’s online stores. This is the first time in which the Retail Head’s domain covered both offline and online sales…

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SEC finds Apple didn’t create “the Holy Grail of tax avoidance” after all

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A four-month long investigation into Apple’s tax affairs by the Securities and Exchange Commission has cleared the company of any wrong-doing in regard to the way the company accounted for taxes in respect of its overseas operations.

A Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing into Apple’s tax affairs had previously accused the company of seeking “the Holy Grail of tax avoidance” over cash held overseas. The hearing proved anti-climatic, with no wrong-doing established, and the investigation handed off to the SEC. The SEC has now closed the case.

Tim Cook made an unequivocal statement during the Senate hearing that Apple used no tax gimmicks …  Read more