Yesterday we decided not to run with a story published by Bloomberg that Pegatron’s forecasted 25 percent to 30 percent drop for second-quarter revenue was due to “falling iPad mini demand.” It seemed a little far fetched that an Apple supplier would be giving up specific information on product demand, something we know suppliers in Apple’s circle typically remain tight-lipped on. Today CEO of Pegatron Jason Cheng has confirmed our suspicions in an email to Fortune claiming that Bloomberg reporter Tim Culpan made the iPad mini angle up.
While quoting an analyst’s expectations for iPad mini demand in Q2, Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan offered the following quote from Pegatron Chief Executive Officer Jason Cheng as proof:
A decline in revenue from the iPad Mini “is more on demand, while price has been stable. Not just tablets, also e-books and games consoles, almost every item is moving in a negative direction.”
Pegatron chief Jason Cheng says he wasn’t referring to iPad mini specifically, but rather all of its products including all tablets and game consoles, while noting that “clearly refused” to answer Culpan’s questions related to specific products. Here’s what he had to say about the Bloomberg piece: Read more
As for tech companies on the list, Facebook just barely made the Fortune 500 for the time this year coming it at number 482, while others include AT&T at No. 11, HP at No. 15, Verizon at No. 16, Microsoft at No. 35, and Amazon at No. 49.
Following Apple’s CEO Tim Cook selling off approximately 20,000 shares of company stock in March, new filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange commission discovered by Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt show iOS chief Scott Forstall recently sold 64,151 shares worth roughly $38.7 million:
The shares were the remains of a 120,000-share retention bonus that was granted in 2008, vested last month and reduced by 55,849 shares on March 24 to pay taxes. Forstall still holds 2,988 Apple shares worth, at Friday’s closing price, $1.8 million.
Many reported the over 64k shares sold by Forstall represent 95 percent of his current holdings in Apple Inc. However, that is not entirely true, because two new retention bonuses are coming his way in in the years ahead. Those shares could be worth over quarter billion dollars—if Apple continues increasing closer to the $1,000 per share target that many analysts are expecting.
Fortune’s Phillip Elmer-DeWitt pointed us to an hour long interview and Q&A session at LinkedIn headquarters with “Inside Apple“ author Adam Lashinsky.
The interview is conducted by our former boss and current LinkedIn Executive Editor Dan Roth. As PED noted, one of the more notable exchanges is with a former Apple employee who thought CEO Tim Cook is charismatic enough to be the United States President. See the clip below (plus another interview this week at Davos).
Interestingly, the former Apple Engineer discusses how his friends at Apple were put on dummy projects until they could be trusted.
Fortune just published a long, fascinating excerpt from an upcoming book about Apple called “Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired and Secretive Company Really Works“ by author Adam Lashinsky, Fortune’s senior editor-at-large. It reveals how far the company is willing to go to ensure its secretive culture. It also tells a tale of Apple’s organizational structure and what makes them tick. Interestingly, Lashinsky writes that Apple’s design guru Jonathan Ive is among the “untouchables,” corroborating claims laid out in the official Jobs biography book by Walter Isaacson. Apple’s late CEO told his biographer that he made sure nobody can touch his “spiritual partner” Ive at Apple. “That’s the way I set it up,” he told Isaacson. Speaking of Apple’s famous culture of secrecy and lack of corporate transparency (at Apple, everything is a secret!), Lashinsky writes it takes two basic forms —external and internal. Needles to say, many employees can hardly stomach security policies focused on preserving internal secrets:
Apple employees know something big is afoot when the carpenters appear in their office building. New walls are quickly erected. Doors are added and new security protocols put into place. Windows that once were transparent are now frosted. Other rooms have no windows at all. They are called lockdown rooms: No information goes in or out without a reason.
As you could imagine, this is “disconcerting” for employees. Organization charts are nowhere to be seen at Apple. There are no open doors as folks use badges to access areas that sometimes even their boss cannot. Only few people at Apple are allowed into Jonathan Ive’s industrial design bunker. People working on hot projects are required to sign “extra-special agreements acknowledging that you were working on a super-secret project and you wouldn’t talk about it to anyone – not your wife, not your kids.” Even former employees do not talk to press and some were reprimanded for talking too much. Apple goes to great lengths to prevent secrets from leaking and maintain discipline culminates with carefully orchestrated media events akin to a blockbuster Hollywood movie-opening weekend.
People working on launch events will be given watermarked paper copies of a booklet called Rules of the Road that details every milestone leading up to launch day. In the booklet is a legal statement whose message is clear: If this copy ends up in the wrong hands, the responsible party will be fired.
An interesting occurrence happened this morning: In a run up to Apple’s Q1 2012 earnings call, and amid a steady flow of 2012 Consumer Electronics Show announcements where Apple traditionally does not exhibit, the company’s share reached an all-time high by passing $427 a share for a market valuation of $398 billion (Exxon Mobile is at $408.86 billion). As noted by Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt, the company passed the $426.70 mark it hit briefly one day in mid-October
Interestingly, several analysts boosted their iPhone estimates for the December quarter. Goldman most notably upped their iPhone estimate to 31 million quarterly units, up from the previous 30.2 million estimate. Needham significantly increased their previous 28 million units projection to 32 million units.
By the way, the Apple iPhone turned 5-years-old today. On this very day five years ago, Steve Jobs took the stage at MacWorld Expo to announce the original iPhone. The rest, as the saying goes, is history…