It's been a big few days for Apple, and with the recent unveiling of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch, today's release of a substantial iOS 8 update, and Friday's launch of the aforementioned iPhones 6, Apple's pulled back the curtain a bit on how things have changed in the company under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook. And you could very easily point out that pulling back the curtain a bit at all is a marked change in and of itself.
In the feature piece from Bloomberg, Cook touched on how the organization of Apple has changed:
Collaboration may be a virtue, but Cook insists it's more of a strategic imperative. Aligning thousands of employees is crucial now that "the lines between hardware, software, and services are blurred or are disappearing," he says. "The only way you can pull this off is when everyone is working together well. And not just working together well but almost blending together so that you can't tell where people are working anymore, because they are so focused on a great experience that they are not taking functional views of things."
The result is only now becoming apparent with services that work across different Apple devices. Embedded in the iPhone 6 and the new iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite operating system is a feature called Continuity, which lets users start an e-mail or some other task on their Mac, pick it up on their iPhone, and then move it to their iPad or even the Apple Watch. "We would never have gotten there in the old model," Cook says. These new products are reminders "of why we exist. The things we should be doing at Apple are things that others can't."
In addition to Cook, Bloomberg also spoke to several other Apple executives, including chief designer Jony Ive, Senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, and even the newest member of the senior Apple leadership team: Jimmy Iovine of Beats, who touched on Cook's willingness to seek partnerships outside of Apple's strengths.
Cook "is comfortable enough to say 'we need help here,' and then he goes out and gets it," says Jimmy Iovine, who became a part of the talent wave, along with Dr. Dre, the hip-hop impresario, when Apple acquired their company, Beats Electronics, in May for $3 billion, the biggest acquisition in the company's history.
There's no doubt that Apple has changed under Cook's leadership — that much was obvious last week when the new hardware and software was unveiled. Apple is a different company today than it was under Steve Jobs, and it's doing things that it simply couldn't have done under Jobs. Is that for better or worse? Well, that's up to you.
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