When Apple’s CEO passed about a year ago, everybody was wondering whether the Cupertino based tech giant can hold its success as it has in the past under the leadership of Tim Cook.
The next generation smartphone released earlier this month prompted a rush on Wall Street to raise price targets for Apple stock.
The speed of such a global launch is astonishing, validating the new CEO’s much-touted wizardry at the essential but unglamorous task of managing a supply chain, Seeking Alpha says.
“We are positively surprised regarding the pace of the rollout, since we had expected a bigger impact from component constraints,” Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes said.
By next Friday, the iPhone 5 is promised to be in 31 countries, and will be in 100 by the end of the calendar year.
“That would be 30 more than the rollout of the predecessor phone, the 4S, over a similar period”, Jeffries analyst Peter Misek calculated.
That means the iPhone maker has worked out supply constraints and now linked to 240 carriers. It will get enough phones out the door in the next 10 days to have a material effect on earnings.
“His skills fit the time period and the flow of product,” said Raymond Miles, professor emeritus at Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, adding that Apple may be at a stage where it needs “someone with a production vision.”
Last year saw reports that Steve Jobs was involved in the creation of the iPhone 5 in his last days as Chief Executive. Thus, it can be suggested that the final design and specifications of the iPhone 5 were based on input from Jobs.
As Reuters writes, the iPhone launch shows some indications of how the Californian company is changing under Cook.
During public events, his predecessor, wearing his black turtleneck, performed carefully crafted one-man stage shows. At this year’s iPhone 5 release, Tim Cook blended into a pack of executives all sporting a uniform of jeans and untucked casual dress shirt.
One might say that low-flash but high-impact actions are emerging as the Cook trademark. In a one-year period hi did manage to introduce a dividend to pay out part of the more than $100 billion cash stockpile, raised salaries in the Apple stories, and sped up product rollouts.
Under his management, more Wall Street analysts have been invited to headquarters to talk to executives, particularly Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer and head of Internet services Eddy Cue.
Which is more, the new CEO addressed investors at a Goldman Sachs conference, what is a rarity for Apple executives, and started investigations into allegations of labor abuse in its supply chain.
However, it’s still unclear whether the company under Cook will produce products that are revolutionary rather than evolutionary.
His products thus far – the iPhone, the new iPod line and a highly anticipated iPad mini – represent improvements, rather than game changers.
Meanwhile, Cook is breaking Steve Jobs’ sales record: IPhone 5 preorders reached 2 million in 24 hours, twice the level of the 4S, and analysts expect a smaller iPad mini next month.