Tim Cook and Eddy Cue once again appear at Sun Valley media conference (Photos)

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As expected due to their appearances on the guest list, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue are in attendance at this week’s Sun Valley media conference in Idaho. The WSJ’s Doug MacMillan shared the above photo of Cook walking around the Sun Valley resort. The Information’s Jessica Lessin spotted Cue, and the executive provided a witty response to Lessin’s question about TV deals:

Cue and Cook both attended the conference last year, and Cook attended as the sole Apple representative the previous year. Several Apple partners, including board member and Disney CEO Bob Iger, are also attending the event. Cook and Cue’s attendance comes in the months following the Cupertino-company’s blockbuster deal to acquire Beats, and perhaps the duo have plans to create new deals at this conference.

More photos of Cook at the conference below:

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From fashion to fitness part II: Apple hires a pair of key Nike FuelBand engineers

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This is an update to a February post in which we rounded up all recent Apple hires pertinent to the development of the upcoming iWatch. This post includes the addition of several new hires and experts, including a pair of key Nike FuelBand hardware engineers, and the new hires are labeled with italics.

Apple has been developing a sensor-laden, fitness- and medical-focused wearable computer as indicated by several notable recent hires and information we have received from sources. The device will have a focus on both fashion and exercise as Apple has been testing the device with key professional athletes. We’re expecting the product to be announced in October of this year and ship by the holiday season. As the  launch of the “iWatch” approaches, we have compiled an up-to-date list (into categories of leadership, fashion, fitness, and health) of all known and pertinent recent Apple hires to provide a clearer picture of what Apple’s future wearable technologies could offer to consumers…

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Tim Cook ‘actively’ seeking to add new directors to Board

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The Wall Street Journal today published a brief profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook as the Cupertino-based company continues to be shaped in the image of Cook rather than co-founder Steve Jobs. The profile has some interested tidbits, but it is otherwise light on new information aside from information regarding Cook’s plan for the Apple Board of Directors. According to the report, Cook is “actively” looking to add fresh faces to the Board:

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Tim Cook & Eddy Cue once again invited to Sun Valley media conference

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Apple CEO Tim Cook and Senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue could once again be attending the Sun Valley media and financial conference in Idaho. Re/Code‘s Kara Swisher obtained the invited guest list for the conference, which also includes Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and various executives from Yahoo, Amazon, LinkedIn, and several other major companies. While the Apple executives were invited, there is no confirmation (as of yet) of their attendance…

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Tim Cook and Apple celebrate #ApplePride in San Francisco today

Apple is out in full force including CEO Tim Cook for the Pride Parade in San Francisco today. Apple’s CEO hasn’t ever been ambiguous about his support for LGBT issues and he was joined by Apple Environment Director Lisa Jackson and what looks like thousands of other Apple employees on Market St. in San Francisco today.  Update: Reuters reported that:

In an unusual step for the sometimes secretive Apple, the company has spoken out about its support for the Pride festival. To help attendees navigate the packed event, the company set up a dedicated LGBT station on iTunes Radio and featured several apps on its App Store, including the Find My Friends app. Company employees also handed out iTunes gift cards to bystanders.

“Apple believes equality and diversity make us stronger, and we’re proud to support our employees and their friends and families in this weekend’s celebration,” Apple spokeswoman Michaela Wilkinson said.

Employees are also handing out $1 iTunes gift cards in celebration.  A ton of Tweets and Instagrams are below and you can follow with hashtags #pride, #ApplePride and #SFPride:

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Jony Ive on new materials, software design, Tim Cook’s leadership

Jony Ive via Telegraph.co.uk

Following a few quotes from a Jony Ive interview with The New York Times appearing in a longer piece about Tim Cook over the weekend, the publication has now published a longer transcript from the interview. In the interview, Ive was asked about working with Cook, how things have changed post Steve Jobs, and he also gave some insight into his daily work routine.  We meet on average three times a week. Sometimes those meetings are over in his space, sometimes here in the design studio. We all see the same physical object. Something happens between what we objectively see and what we perceive it to be.”

Ive described his new role leading software design at the company as “some leadership and direction in terms of user interface – a subset of software,” and most interestingly seemed to hint at using new materials for products that the company hasn’t worked with before. Naturally, Ive would have loved to say more but couldn’t: I would love to talk about future stuff – they’re materials we haven’t worked in before. I’ve been working on this stuff for a few years now. Tim is fundamentally involved in pushing into these new areas and into these materials.” Read more

Apple looks to boost iPhone sales in stores with new pre-paid & month-to-month plans

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Apple is preparing to enhance its Apple Store-based iPhone sales operations in the United States around pre-paid and month-to-month plans in order boost sales, according to a source briefed on the upcoming initiatives. For the first time in U.S. Apple Stores, customers will be able to purchase an iPhone at full-price and then connect the phone to a pre-paid plan or a month-to-month plan within the store. Previously, iPhone customers could only buy full-priced iPhones as unlocked devices then connect the devices to pre-paid plans or month-to-month plans via a previously purchased SIM-card or through a carrier store…

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Tim Cook among tech CEOs German committee may want to testify in NSA investigation

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Apple’s association with the United States National Security Agency may once again put the company in the spotlight as Germany begins to investigate the agency’s recent activity. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, members of a German parliamentary commission want the heads of a number of US-based tech companies, including Apple, to participate in their investigation of the NSA’s involvement in monitoring German officials.

Apple, for its part, has denied direct involvement with PRISM program and repeatedly said it has not allowed the government to have direct access to its servers. Read more

Apple VP Lisa Jackson talks environmental initiatives, plans to get renewable energy in retail to 100% (Video)

Apple’s Lisa Jackson, who joined Apple in June last year to oversee environmental issues from her previous position as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, sat down for an interview this week with Fortune. As you’d expect, the topic of conversation was all things environmental issues at Apple and Jackson talks about many of the accomplishments the company recently announced for Earth Day. In addition to just stats and Apple’s renewable energy initiatives— Apple’s supply chain is responsible for 60% of its footprint— she also gives some hints at what Apple plans to improve in the future.

Jackson noted that Apple has more work to do getting renewable energy to all of its retail stores, but said its working hard to overcome some of the challenges and reach 100% renewable energy: Read more

Angela Ahrendts’ plan for the future of Apple Retail: China emphasis, mobile payments, revamped experience

Ahrendts succeeds Jobs, Johnson, and Browett (Graphic by Michael Steeber)

When Ron Johnson finalized his decision to move from leading Apple’s retail strategy to become the Chief Executive Officer of J.C. Penney, the executive jumped in his car to drive to Steve Jobs’ home and notify the Apple co-founder in his living room of the decision. During his short car ride to Jobs’ Palo Alto home in the summer of 2011, Johnson likely thought about how he would explain his choice. But what Johnson likely did not imagine is that it would take nearly three years for Apple to find a true new leader for the stores the duo created.

In one of current Apple CEO Tim Cook’s first major missteps, the long-time operations maestro hired John Browett, formerly of Dixons, to run retail. Browett’s hire was immediately met with skepticism from Apple customers and retail employees, but Cook defended the hire and called the British executive the “best [choice] by far” to run Apple’s retail division. In the six months that he ran retail, Browett cut back on employee hours, initiated layoffs, and fell out culturally with the rest of the Apple executive team.

John Browett visiting Apple Store

Alongside Scott Forstall, Browett was ejected from the Cupertino-based company, leaving Tim Cook and head-hunting firm Egon Zehnder, again, with the tall task of finding a suitable replacement for Ron Johnson. As the man who ran Dixons, the United Kingdom equivalent to Best Buy, Browett was in many ways built in the image of Johnson. Johnson ran Apple Retail for nearly a decade, and before that he was an executive at both Target and Mervyns. But unlike Browett, Johnson fit into Apple’s culture and was close with both Jobs and Cook throughout his tenure.

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Apple plans ‘enormous’ iPhone upgrade event this week to boost sales

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Apple is planning to hold an “enormous” iPhone-related event in its stores this week in order to boost sales, according to a source with knowledge of the initiative. Beginning May 8th, the source said, Apple will be contacting upgrade-eligible iPhone users with older iPhone models via email to come into their local Apple Store to update to a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c…

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By the numbers: a breakdown of Apple’s Q2 2014 earnings call

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Apple went over its Q2 2014 earnings today on its quarterly conference call with CEO Tim Cook and incoming CFO Luca Maestri. The company announced that former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts will finally be joining the executive team as SVP of Retail. Cook also addressed the recent debut of Microsoft’s Office productivity suite on the iPad.

But, as with any earnings call, the numbers that define Apple’s success or failure in the market took center stage. Here are some of the big ones you might have missed:

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