Bloomberg Businessweek Stories September 24, 2014

 

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You may remember Apple CEO Tim Cook teasing major new product categories for Apple to be released in 2014. Technically, that will happen with Apple Pay next month, Apple’s first foray into the mobile payments category, but it is far more likely that Cook had been focusing his teases on the Apple Watch. Earlier this month, Apple debuted the fashion and fitness-oriented smart watch to the same crowd that saw the debut of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. While the Watch was demonstrated, it is obviously not a finished product: it’s not shipping until “early 2015,” according to Apple.

How early in 2015? Nobody knows for sure, but a new profile from The Information says “that Apple would be lucky to ship it by Valentine’s Day.” At 9to5, we’ve been hearing similar whispers. Valentine’s Day is in February, and this could be a great target for Apple to try to hit for the Watch’s launch. That Hallmark Holiday isn’t as strong as a shopping season as the December holidays, but it is still a time that many people seek out expensive or fashionable gifts. So why not the Apple Watch Edition, too? Apple has done product launches around that timeframe before, releasing new iOS device storage capacities and pink-colored models on multiple occasions.

Valentine’s Day aside, the bigger picture here is that many signs indicate Apple missed its own 2014 launch target. As The Information says:

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Bloomberg Businessweek Stories September 25, 2013

Full Businessweek interview with Jony Ive and Craig Federighi

Following their joint top level conversation and subsequent Interview with Tim Cook, Businessweek posts an in-depth interview with Apple SVP of Design Jony Ive and  SVP Software Engineering Craig Federighi.

It gives a nice insight into the collaborative process at Apple between industrial design and software teams which have always been close but took on a new closeness to develop iOS 7 and the new iPhones.  Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite:

What’s Apple’s mission?

Ive: This is probably a clumsy definition, but I think we try to make tools for people that enable them to do things they couldn’t without the tool. But we want them to not have to be preoccupied with the tool.

One of the ironies is that, from a design point of view, we feel that we’ve done our job when you finally get to that point and you think, “Well, there couldn’t be a rational alternative.” It appears inevitable. It almost appears like it wasn’t designed. Then we feel like we got it right, which is sort of semi-ironic, as a design team, to not make you feel like it was designed. But that’s what we try to do.

Federighi: I would have a hard time saying it any better. I would just say that I have been profoundly influenced by Apple’s technology since I was a little boy. I think it made me and all of us smarter, enabled us to achieve things we wouldn’t have otherwise achieved, has helped us communicate with people in a more fluid way that enriches our lives, and I think all along the way we do it in ways that enhance people’s lives instead of frustrate them, instead of making them feel stupid.

I mean, honestly, how many times do you buy a piece of technology that in the end just frustrates you? It’s something you bought to enhance your life, and instead you’re fighting it. And I think we aspire to move people forward in a way that they love.

OK, I’m a technology freak, but I think probably if someone mapped my brain, you would find that there were moments when I lit up the love pattern in my neurons in association with our products. I mean, literally, there is love, and I think that is true of many of our customers. I think when we build something we love and that others love, then we have done our job.

Ive: Our products are often at those times and those places that are meaningful to us, aren’t they? They are there when we communicate. They’re there when we take photos. They’re there when we look at the photos. They’re there when we listen to music. These are sort of seminal points in our lives, aren’t they? I think we try to create objects and products that enable those and enhance those connections. But you can’t do that in a way where the object is wagging its tail in our face.

It’s a good read. Head over to BBW for the rest.

Bloomberg Businessweek Stories April 4, 2013

We already knew there would be delays for Apple’s 2.8-million square foot Campus 2 following reports in November. Apple originally planned to move around 12,000 employees into the currently under construction spaceship-like campus by 2015, but in November warned completion of construction would likely be delayed until mid-2016. Today we get some more insider info on the project in a report from Bloomberg Businessweek, claiming the project is now over budget and possibly delayed even further:

In a story titled “Apple’s Campus 2 shapes up as an investor relations nightmare,” citing sources close to the project, Bloomberg claimed Apple’s grandiose plans for the building have resulted in the budget nearly doubling to $5 billion:

Since 2011, the budget for Apple’s Campus 2 has ballooned from less than $3 billion to nearly $5 billion, according to five people close to the project who were not authorized to speak on the record. If their consensus estimate is accurate, Apple’s expansion would eclipse the $3.9 billion being spent on the new World Trade Center complex in New York, and the new office space would run more than $1,500 per square foot—three times the cost of many top-of-the-line downtown corporate towers.

Apple has yet to actually break ground on the site, but Bloomberg’s sources said Apple has plans to start demolition of 26 buildings that are currently on the land.  According to the report, the delays are due to extra time spent attempting to cut around $1 billion from the budget. Apple has also yet to complete deals with contractors: expand full story

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Bloomberg Businessweek Stories October 22, 2012

Rumor has it Apple’s media event tomorrow will have a strong education focus, something that seems even more likely with the recent iBooks 3.0 leaks. Of course, the fact that Apple is about to unveil its lowest priced iPad has also lead to talk that students and education might be the target audience during the iPad mini’s unveiling. TNW reported first that Apple’s event would focus on educational content—specifically iBooks. We have also independently heard that educational content is being prepared for tomorrow’s presentation.

Today, Bloomberg Businessweek backs up those reports by adding that “Apple executives plan to make a point of highlighting the iPad’s educational capabilities at tomorrow’s event.” The report cited sources familiar with the preparation of tomorrow’s events, and it noted that Apple has “realigned its education sales force to emphasize iPads.” While most analysts seem to agree iPad mini will help Apple continue to dominate the education tablet market, one thing they can’t agree on is price.

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Bloomberg Businessweek Stories October 3, 2012

Current and former employees discuss life at Apple after Jobs & his role in the new Maps app

Bloomberg Businessweek is out with a story today, titled “Mapping a Path Out of Steve Job’s Shadow”, that discusses life at Apple after Jobs, and it cites “more than two dozen current and former” Apple employees and partners:

There’s also more office politics and some concern that Jobs’s departure and the arrival of thousands of new employees will dilute the culture. Nevertheless, the company is happier and even somewhat more transparent than it was during Jobs’s tenure, these insiders say. There are fewer frantic calls at midnight, and there’s less implicit pressure on engineers to cut short or cancel vacations in the heat of product development cycles. No one would say Apple is better off without Steve Jobs. But to a surprising degree, it’s doing fine… Much about the company’s direction and even its products still reflects Jobs’s decisions and design preferences—the iPhone 5 was the last model to receive detailed input from Jobs, say two people familiar with the phone’s development.

On Jobs’ role in the new Maps app:

It’s possible that Jobs would have nixed the app before launch, but that’s not certain. Siri, the iPhone’s hapless voice assistant, was introduced under Jobs, though it was branded beta. Apple insiders say Jobs himself initiated the mapping project, putting mobile software chief Forstall in charge, and he installed a secret team on the third floor of Building 2 on Apple’s campus to replace Google Maps on the iPhone… Jobs also discussed pulling Google search from the iPhone, but figured that customers would reject that move, according to two former Apple executives.

On the retirement of Senior Vice President Bob Mansfield:

 According to three people familiar with the sequence of events, several senior engineers on Mansfield’s team vociferously complained to Cook about reporting to his replacement, Dan Riccio, who they felt was unprepared for the magnitude of the role. In response, Cook approached Mansfield and offered him an exorbitant package of cash and stock worth around $2 million a month to stay on at Apple as an adviser and help manage the hardware engineering team.

Go to Bloomberg for more.

Bloomberg Businessweek Stories June 28, 2012

Virgin Mobile will open 10 Chicago stores tomorrow to market newly added iPhone

Update: Virgin just went live with the iPhone on their website a day early

Virgin Mobile plans to open 10 retail stores tomorrow in Chicago to make the most of the iPhone’s launch on its pay-as-you-go service. The Sprint Nextel Corp.-owned business is the second U.S. prepaid carrier to offer the iPhone, after Leap Wireless International Inc., and its new Windy City stores are a prime opportunity to market—and capitalize on— the iOS smartphone.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek:

The new stores also mark a strategy shift for Virgin, which has previously relied on retailers such as RadioShack Corp. and Best Buy Co. to market its service, said Jeff Auman, a vice president at the carrier.

[…] The carrier will begin selling the iPhone online today, with the stores opening tomorrow. The 10 Chicago outlets could lead to a national rollout, the company said.

Virgin offers the iPhone 4S for $649, while the iPhone 4 sells for $549, with monthly plans starting at $30 with a $5 discount is available for customers who enroll in automatic monthly payments.

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