It ironic that one of the first major new products rolled out by Apple chief Tim Cook is the company’s new Maps platform – following legendary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Cook has little option but chart his own course.
Cook’s address to Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference in San Francisco, was his first keynote speech at that event. The address in 2011 was delivered by Jobs who died in October 2011 from pancreatic cancer.
Cook is always going to have a hard time matching Jobs’ presentation skills. As John Carney, senior editor at CNBC.com, commented: “I think anybody that tries to replace Steve Jobs will have this problem for a long time. You just lack the charisma, the magnetism you used to feel whenever Steve Jobs said anything.”
But his speech did come packed with goodies for Apple fans, including a new line of Mac laptops, mapping software and updated Mountain Lion and i0S 6 operating systems (for a full rundown, click here).
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But the biggest announcement was Maps, Apple’s new mapping software to replace Google Maps on all Apple devices. (to learn more, click here)
The announcement marks the end of a five-year partnership between Google and Apple who are becoming each other’s primary competitors.
Apple has been moving towards developing Maps for the best part of three years, and it is no secret that Jobs wanted to take Google head on. He even went as far as declaring “thermonuclear war” on Google’s mobile Android software in his biography. Maps may have been at least partly Jobs’ brainchild then, but Cook is the map who has delivered it and Apple’s other new products. He didn’t shy away from the tone often set by Jobs.
“The products we make, combined with the apps you create, can fundamentally change the world,” Cook said.
“Only Apple could make such amazing hardware, software and services. We are so proud of these products as they are perfect examples of what Apple does best. And ultimately, it’s why people chose to come to work at Apple and with Apple – to do the very best work of their lives… to make a difference in the lines of so many people around the world.”
But where Jobs was a visionary leader and creator who made great products and sold the vision to the world, Cook is a man focused on Apple’s business performance.
He has been implementing better financial practices such as meeting with investors and even granting a dividend in March earlier this year. Something Jobs rarely did. As Senior CNN editor Adam Lashinsky commented: “Apple overtly began behaving like other companies.”
Cook is even improving Apple’s corporate image, introducing a new program in which Apple matches its employee’s charitable contributions.
Many feared that Apple would lose momentum with the loss of Jobs. Cook’s new course is different, but none of the tech giant’s momentum is gone.
Since Steve Job’s death in October last year, Apple’s share price has improved by up to 65%. Tim Cook looks like he’s heading in the right direction.
Despite an enthusiastic performance by Cook, John Carney, senior editor at CNBC.com, commented that “I think anybody that tries to replace Steve Jobs will have this problem for a long time. You just lack the charisma, the magnetism you used to feel whenever Steve Jobs said anything.”
In the same interview, Cindy Perman gave Cook’s performance a C grading, saying that “he is no Steve Jobs.”
Inevitable comparisons didn’t prevent Cook boasting his company’s accomplishments, likening the App store to a mini economy.
Apple now has 400 million accounts on its App. store with over 650,000 apps available in 120 countries.
“Only Apple could make such amazing hardware, software, and services. We are so proud of these products. They are perfect examples of what Apple does best,” Cook said.
However as Head of Technology for The Telegraph, Shane Richmond explained not much of it is actually new.
“Next generation MacBook looks phenomenal. Mountain Lion is very similar to what we’ve seen before but good. iOS 6 is a solid upgrade but it is only really maps that is radically new.”
For a number of years the pair has been launching legal action against each other in matters of patenting and idea theft.
Google CEO Larry Page has underplayed the rivalry in an interview with Bloomsburg. “For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that.”