Ron Johnson tapping former Apple peers but not poaching…yet

Ron Johnson, Apple’s former vice president of retail and the creator of the Apple Store, left for J.C. Penney November 1 and already he is picking industry veterans to join his leadership team at the Plano, Texas-headquartered department store chain. The Wall Street Journal reports that Johnson is tapping former Apple talent, including former chief financial office of Apple Retail Michael Kramer and Apple’s chief talent officer Daniel Walker.

Interestingly, it was Walker who helped Steve Jobs hire Ron Johnson to head Apple’s retail efforts. Both men served at Apple from 2000 to 2005. Granted, Walker and Kramer are both long-exited Apple people, but the temptation for current Apple talent to somehow make its way to Penney will always linger.

Sure, you might say who would  rather work at J.C. Penney rather than the most powerful, cool technology company in the world. But on a granular level, there might be high paying jobs with Johnson that Apple won’t match that could draw some top Apple talent.  Johnson himself is probably the best example of that.

There is also likely a non-compete clause in Ron Johnson’s severance agreement barring him from poaching Apple employees, but those are easily circumvented.  Just as Steve Jobs poached a bunch of his top Apple engineers to build out NeXT…
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It looks like Apple may have made enough iPhones this time

We are getting a lot of reports that those big lines are clearing and Apple Stores actually have some stock of iPhone 4S left over (the shot above is from Naples, Florida). While the lines are much larger than iPhone 4 lines were during the Verizon launch, they aren’t as big as the iPhone 4 launch lines according to a few reports.

Why? Apple now has more points of sale (+Verizon and Sprint Stores, Sam’s Club, etc). Plus, online pre-orders have been popular with 1 million being sold this year in the first 24 hours on 100 carriers (vs. 5 countries last year). Some analysts are predicting up to 4 million unit sales in the first weekend alone.

From our knowledge of the situation, we’ve heard that Apple has thought ahead this time and ramped up production well ahead of the release. In fact, Apple could have released the iPhone 4S hardware much earlier if the iOS 5 software had been ready.

But that’s good news for those who are trying to get in early on the iPhone 4S but didn’t want to camp out or pre-order.

The bad news? AT&T activation servers seem to be taking some time to activate phones with some users reporting 5-15 minute wait times.

What’s the word on the street out there?

Woz speaks up for net neutrality

Concerned about net neutrality and hold a little inner fear that one day access to the Web will involve tiered access with the ‘real’ Web almost impossible to get to?

Then be glad Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has taken time to tell an FCC net neutrality hearing to do the right thing and enact net neutrality rules that favor the people. Read more

Six of the best Apple books — ever

Apple  generates more column inches of coverage than any other firm on the planet. Love or loathe, millions worldwide are fascinated by what happens in Cupertino — and that’s probably why the company is now one of the biggest in the world dominating the smartphone and tablet industries.

What follows are some of the most essential titles any Apple watcher should read and own if they really want to build up their understanding of the company.

We’ve been watching Apple at work and play for a long, long time. We consider these to be the key titles to help boost understanding of the history and philosophy of the company.

We know that Mac website editors across the planet have a few books forever in the shelf behind their desk, and we figured it would be of some interest if told you which books they are.

So, whether it’s to satisfy your own curiousity, or for a Christmas or birthday present for an Apple fan, we think you really can’t go wrong with any one or all of these titles. Read on…

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