President Donald Trump and Apple CEO Tim Cook toured a Texas manufacturing facility on Wednesday, getting a glimpse of a factory used by Apple to assemble the Mac Pro desktop. The tour was a public symbol of Trump’s close relationship with Cook, and also provided an opportunity for the president to showcase a leading American company that’s manufacturing in the U.S. as Trump struggles to put into place the first piece of a U.S.-China trade agreement. “I would always talk about Apple, that I want to see Apple building plants in the United States, and that’s what’s happening,” Trump said in a brief conversation with reporters after the tour. “And Tim Cook is someone I greatly respect.” The relationship between the two men has been cultivated over the past few years through dinners, meetings and Cook’s membership on key presidential advisory councils. Cook and Trump were joined by White House advisor Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, while in Washington, D.C., the House Intelligence Committee continued its impeachment hearings. Trump touched on the hearings in the briefing with the media. The plant toured on Wednesday, operated by Flex, assembles the Mac Pro, a high-end computer that starts at $6,000. A previous model of the computer was made in the same facility starting in 2013. Apple doesn’t own or operate its own manufacturing and instead contracts with companies like Flex. A Flex spokesperson declined to comment. During the tour, Trump posed with an engraved metal plate reading, “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in USA,” a reference to the Apple slogan that used to be printed on iPhones. For Apple, the relationship with Trump enables the iPhone maker to communicate at the highest level its position on several trade-related issues, including tariffs. As part of Trump’s trade war with China, a 15% import tax will start to affect iPhones in December. “The nice part here is you don’t have to worry about tariffs,” Trump said on Wednesday. “When you build in the United States you don’t have to worry about tariffs,” Trump said. He repeated that he’s “looking at” whether to exempt Apple from tariffs on Chinese imports. Apple doesn’t break down its Mac sales by product line, but it’s among the company’s lowest-volume computers and the only one to be assembled in the U.S. Apple shipped 218 million iPhones in 2018, with the vast majority assembled in China. The Mac Pro is “an example of American design, American manufacturing, and American ingenuity,” Cook said. In June, Apple announced a new Mac Pro design. The company didn’t specify where it would be manufactured, but the Wall Street Journal reported that it would be assembled in China. Earlier this year, Apple applied for tariff exclusions for 15 parts needed to assemble the computer. When 10 out of the 15 exclusions were granted in September, Apple said it planned to manufacture the Mac Pro in the same facility in Texas that was used for the previous model. The Mac Pro computer will go on sale in December. “We thank the administration for their support enabling this opportunity,” Cook said in a statement at the time. Apple also announced on Wednesday that it will begin construction on a planned Austin campus that could have the capacity for as many as 15,000 employees.
Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to the mother of a teenage girl in Lithia, Florida, who told him an Apple Watch saved her daughter’s life. In late April, Deanna Recktenwald’s Apple Watch notified her that her resting heart rate jumped to 160 beat per minute — well over the normal range of 60 to 100 beat per minute. “I didn’t know what was going on at all and it was just out of the blue,” Recktenwald, 18, told WFTS-TV. Recktenwald’s mother and registered nurse, Stacey, shared her daughter’s health story in an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook. At first, Stacey explained in the email posted by WFTS-TV, she thought the reading was “just a fluke” because the 18-year-old is a “healthy, athletic young lady with no previous medical conditions.” But the teen’s heart rate continued to rise — eventually reaching 190 beats per minute. At that point, Stacey took her daughter to a local urgent care to confirm the watch’s reading. The urgent care confirmed Recktenwald’s vitals were abnormal and suggested she go to the emergency room. Shortly after, doctors discovered the teen was reportedly suffering from chronic kidney disease and she was in kidney failure. “I didn’t even know that it had the capability of giving us that alert,” Stacey said of the watch. She added in the letter that “if it wasn’t caught now the doctor said that she would have needed a kidney transplant.” “[I] Instantly started to pray and thank God for her having that watch,” Recktenwald’s father, Tom, told the news station. Like most parents, Stacey is nervous about sending her daughter off to college in the fall, though she said it’s comforting to know the teen will have an Apple Watch to help monitor her heart rate. Cook replied to Stacey’s letter on April 26, saying he was glad to hear Recktenwald is doing better and thanked the mother for sharing the story. “This inspires us to keep pushing,” Cook replied.
Indeed.. What a great story! As someone who has had heart troubles, I’m glad I wear my Apple Watch every day. 🙂
Marking a rare stumble, Apple Inc. on Friday revealed it missed its own annual sales and profit goals for the first time since 2009, putting a dent in Chief Executive Tim Cook’s annual paycheck and pressuring the company to deliver a blockbuster with its next iPhone. Apple fell short of its own projections in part because it mistakenly assumed consumers’ appetite for the iPhone 6S, introduced in 2015, would outpace demand for the predecessor device. The Apple Watch, introduced in 2015, and services including Apple Music, iTunes and the App Store haven’t been able to offset the iPhone’s decline. Sales volume of the iPhone fell in fiscal 2016 for the first time since the device was introduced in 2007, and Apple posted its first annual revenue decline in 15 years. A sharp slowdown in China sales in particular cut into total revenue. The slump took a 15% bite out of Mr. Cook’s total annual compensation, which Apple said Friday declined for the first time since he assumed leadership of the company in 2011. His compensation is partly tied to Apple’s financial performance. Apple now is pinning hopes on the iPhone 7, which came out in September, and forthcoming versions, including an expected 10th-anniversary iPhone in the fall. Mr. Cook said in October that demand for the iPhone 7 and the bigger 7 Plus, which feature enhanced cameras and longer battery life, have outpaced supply. Apple won’t reveal quarterly sales for those phones until Jan. 31.
This really excellent news! Tim Cook, and his team, are having their feet held to the fire by Apple’s Board, and its shareholders. THIS is how business works. And, for those of us who have iPhones, and other great Apple products, we know that their will be greater sense of urgency from the top on down at Apple to put out better products this next fiscal year. That’s exciting!
A few days ago, I was bumping along a tooth-rattlingly rough stretch of interstate when I saw a sign: Rough Road. No kidding, Sparky. A mile or two of shake-rattle-’n’-roll later, another sign: Rough Road. You don’t say. Rocka-rocka-rocka-thumpa-thumpa-thump: Rough Road. Sign after sign after sign: Rough Road. You know what they could have done with all the time and energy and resources put into erecting those Rough Road signs? Maybe — here’s a crazy notion — put some new blacktop on that sorry lunar hellscape that Uncle Stupid calls I-10. But that’s government for you: “Not only do we refuse to do our job and maintain these roads despite a $40 billion a year budget for doing just that, we’re going to pay a gang of union-goon schmucks $40 an hour to erect signs advertising the length and breadth of the shaft we are giving you.” With that in mind: Hurray for Tim Cook. Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple, and Uncle Stupid is leaning on his company just at the moment, demanding that the firm create some specialized iPhone code — call it “FBiOS” — that will allow it to crack the mobile phone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists. Which is to say, with all of the power and money and other resources we put into national security, law enforcement, and counterterrorism, the Men in Black cannot defeat some yahoo’s iPhone PIN. This is what happens when you apply the Rough Road–sign model to fighting the war on terror. Yes, of course we’d like to have some prosecutions and convictions in the San Bernardino case, inasmuch as it is clear that the jihadists there did not act without some assistance. And, yes, there probably is some useful information to be had from that iPhone. But there is something deeply unseemly about a gigantic and gigantically powerful national-security apparatus’s being stymied by ordinary consumer electronics and then putting a gun to the head of Apple executives and demanding that they do Uncle Stupid’s job for him. You know what would be better than prosecuting those who helped the San Bernardino jihadists? Stopping them, i.e., for the Men in Black to do their goddamned jobs. An arranged marriage to a Pakistani woman who spent years doing . . . something . . . in Saudi Arabia? Those two murderous misfits had more red flags on them than Bernie Sanders’s front yard on May Day, and the best minds in American law enforcement and intelligence did precisely squat to stop their rampage. Having failed to do its job, the federal government now seeks even more power — the power to compel Apple to write code rendering the security measures in its products useless — as a reward for its failure. There’s an argument that we shouldn’t judge our counterterrorism efforts by their failures but by their successes — all the attacks that have been prevented that we don’t know about. There is a little something to that, but not very much. The Transportation Security Administration, for example, has perpetrated a great deal of thievery and contraband trafficking, but Der Gropenführer does not seem to have prevented a single act of terrorism in all its history. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on intelligence, counterterrorism, and law enforcement. In some cases, we have given these guys a license to kill American citizens. With that kind of power and those kinds of resources, it is entirely appropriate that they be judged by their failures, of which San Bernardino is a spectacular example. From the IRS to the ATF to the DEA to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s super-secret toilet e-mail server, the federal government has shown, time and again, that it cannot be trusted with any combination of power and sensitive information. Its usual range of official motion traces an arc from indifference through incompetence to malice. Where the federal government imagines that it gets the power to order a private firm to write software to do its incompetent minions’ jobs for them is anybody’s guess. Tim Cook and Apple are right to raise the corporate middle finger to this nonsense. Cook says that the software the FBI demands is “too dangerous to create” given the risk that it could fall into “the wrong hands.” Perhaps he is being polite, but the fact is that the FBI is the wrong hands. Its agents have leaked secret information in live investigations to their girlfriends, engaged in various and sundry episodes of extortion and blackmail, and used federal resources to check up on their favorite strippers. (Nobody got fired, of course. Nobody ever gets fired.) And of course, as in a great many federal offices, FBI supervisors spend a great deal of time watching pornography on their office computers and masturbating. That earned one supervisor a 35-day suspension. Is that how they do it in your office? The more you think about what the hell it is the federal government actually does, the less important it seems. About 80 percent of its activity, as measured by cash flows, consists of simply transferring money from one group of Americans to others in the form of Social Security checks and subsidized medical benefits. Its senior leaders steadfastly refuse to do their jobs: The border goes unsecured, visa controls remain nonexistent in spite of a specific legal requirement that the government address this problem, the roads and other infrastructure under the federal umbrella of responsibility are a mess in spite of the trillions of dollars thrown at them in recent years, etc. And the federal government’s answer is: “Why won’t those mean meanies at Apple do our jobs for us? So what if that means rendering many of their products entirely worthless and betraying the trust of millions of customers?” Maybe your experience is different. In my experience, what government actually does at every level is hassle me and take my money while failing to do the basic things that we constituted it to do. The borders are a joke, the roads crumbling, the schools a sty of corruption and miseducation, and the police, as a wise man once put it, are a janitorial service that takes your body away after the deed has been done. Perhaps it is appropriate that our next presidential election may very well pit a reality-television grotesque against an antediluvian Red from Brooklyn. American politics consists of an increasingly bitter and hate-fueled fight over an increasingly irrelevant institution. If Apple disappeared tomorrow, the world would notice. You can’t say the same about the TSA or the Small Business Administration, and it is not entirely clear that you could say much better about the FBI. Rough Road? Indeed, it promises to be.
Wow.. That powerful op/ed was written by Kevin D. Williamson over at National Review. Outstanding!! 🙂
Apple CEO Tim Cook attacked Indiana this weekend for passing a religious freedom bill. Cook may believe Indiana’s new law is very dangerous towards gays… If Tim Cook really wanted to help gays, he might want to focus on the Apple customers who execute them.
Point well taken. Yeah, Tim Cook, who is now openly gay, kinda stepped in it. He’s now the CEO of Apple, and should focus on business; NOT politics and taking politically correct stands on issues he clearly isn’t well versed on. Just scroll down a few articles and read the “special kind of stupid” article.. It appears Mr. Cook is, unfortuately, falling into that category now. Like I said, he should focus on the business of Apple.