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Apple Product Delays Have More Than Doubled Under Tim Cook's Watch, Says Report (wsj.com) 88

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source): Of the three major new products since Mr. Cook became chief executive in 2011, both AirPods earbuds in 2016 and last year's HomePod speaker missed Apple's publicly projected shipping dates. The Apple Watch, promised for early 2015, arrived late that April with lengthy wait times for delivery. Apple also was delayed in supplying the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, two critical accessories for its iPad Pro. The delays have contributed to much longer waits between Apple announcing a product and shipping it: an average of 23 days for new and updated products over the past six years, compared with the 11-day average over the six years prior, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Apple public statements. Longer lead times between announcement and product release have the potential to hurt Apple on multiple fronts. Delays give rivals time to react, something the company tried to prevent in the past by keeping lead times short, analysts and former Apple employees said. They can stoke customer disappointment and have cost Apple sales.
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Apple Product Delays Have More Than Doubled Under Tim Cook's Watch, Says Report

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  • The world is filled now with products that ship fast and suck until v2.0.

    So why am I supposed to find it a negative that Apple will delay shipping products until it feels they are ready? Doesn't that imply the products they DO ship are relatively more stable than competitors, and will be more usable out of the gate?

    The iPhone X did not ship until a few weeks after the 8. Yet FaceID works great, the screen works really well (Apple's first OLED), and generally the finish of the software and hardware is real

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by imgod2u ( 812837 )

      I think the point is that it's not comparing Apple vs its competitors but Apple under Cook vs Apple under Jobs.

      When major form factor changes for, say, the iPhone 4 or iPhone 5 first occurred, there wasn't nearly as much of a wait compared to the iPhone X or even iPhone 7+.

      Part of this can be attributed to the fact that there are simply more buyers of iPhones now than there were before. But the job of a good supply manager (and CEO, especially if that CEO used to be head of supply chain) is to make sure man

      • by Motard ( 1553251 )

        Do we give this level of scrutiny to companies like Cuisinart or Target? Why should we be all up in the personalities here? It's just a fucking appliance maker.

        • Perhaps when Cuisinart or Target become the largest company in the world by stock valuation (by a good margin against the #2 company), they too will get this kind of scrutiny.

        • by imgod2u ( 812837 )

          Cuisinart or Target don't rely on first-movers experience to sell their products. Nobody waits in lines in anticipation for a new blender model. They just buy it.

          Apple does not sell commodities; they sell to people willing to pay a premium for new and shiny. Thus they're much more susceptible to lack of sales due to product delays.

      • I think the point is that it's not comparing Apple vs its competitors but Apple under Cook vs Apple under Jobs.

        That may be true, but *what if* the quality of released products is higher under Cook? That is what I am saying, maybe it's actually better we are seeing longer delays (or products never released like the Apple Car) so products are more fully baked.

        I think Jobs would have been willing to ship some stuff sooner just so people could see how cool it was.

        But the job of a good supply manager (and CEO,

        • frankly innovation came from lots more people than Jobs (Ives for one) so I don't think that is changing much

          I think it has changed, but that change did already start under Jobs. Innovation isn't coming up with ideas; it's turning those ideas into prototypes and subsequently selecting viable ones to turn into products. Ensuring that the company does this well comes down to the allocation of funds and the right resources (and to a much lesser extent corporate culture). That's very much the domain of top level management, and something Jobs was pretty good at. Jobs drove innovation, though in the end he is just

          • So where is it? It appears to be neither abandoned nor being developed further.

            It is moving, though slowly... more and more devices are co,mimng around to support it, and the HomePod (whenever that comes out) will have HomeKit integration. It's more a matter of device makers coming on board, but they are (slowly).

            • by imgod2u ( 812837 )

              The reason people are slow to adopt the various *Kits from Apple compared to Amazon is how incredibly limited the API is.

              Compare what you can do with SiriKit vs Alexa: SiriKit only lets you "bucket" your commands into things like "messages", "mail", and various other very mundane stuff. There isn't even a "remember this" category.

              Alexa lets you do practically anything. It's not surprising that Alexa has so much more developer support.

      • by chispito ( 1870390 ) on Friday January 05, 2018 @07:48PM (#55872649)

        I think the point is that it's not comparing Apple vs its competitors but Apple under Cook vs Apple under Jobs.

        So, comparing Apples to Apples.

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        It also matters that Apple's markets are much bigger than they were. A screwup for a large market is difficult to walk back, and expensive. Naturally, the company, and its lawyers, are a bit more circumspect than before.

    • You worked on your first post for minutes. In contrast, I slaved for hours on this post #2. Do I get 5 points for "amazing" just because I produced a superior product? Or do you get 5 points for "insightful" with your crushing first-mover advantage? While I toil in obscurity?

      • You worked on your first post for minutes. In contrast, I slaved for hours on this post #2

        My Post: by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday January 05, 2018 @04:46PM

        Your Post: by Moblaster ( 521614 ) Alter Relationship on Friday January 05, 2018 @04:51PM

        Which presumably was worked on after you spent at least a minute reading mine so...

        Do I get 5 points for "amazing" just because I produced a superior product?

        Actually yes, that is often how Slashdot works. I have had posts that I took longer to write than First

        • STFU. You got modded to troll because your shit is ridiculous.

          Doesn't that imply the products they DO ship are relatively more stable than competitors, and will be more usable out of the gate?

          No, it doesn't.

          The iPhone X did not ship until a few weeks after the 8. Yet FaceID works great, the screen works really well (Apple's first OLED), and generally the finish of the software and hardware is really good. Would I have preferred to have a shakier release earlier? Not really.

          FaceID does not work great. From every account I've heard, people prefer TouchID.

          I haven't heard anything positive or negative about the screen quality. I've seen one in person and it looked fine to me. Unremarkable isn't bad, but it's not something to crow about either. The biggest thing about the screen is the fucking cutout / ears. Steve Jobs would have murdered whoever thought of that shit.

          The software is ass. When the l

          • FaceID does not work great. From every account I've heard, people prefer TouchID.

            Really? Who? Out of fifteen people I know personally who have an iPhone X, all of them prefer FaceID. I've read one or two accounts saying FaceID has some issues, but I don't think I've found a single one that wanted to go back to TouchID. There's probably some, but they seem rare. Of course, you couldn't even find a link... typical Apple Hater style, lets make a claim that's actually false, has no substantiation, but bec

            • by Anonymous Coward

              Out of fifteen people I know personally who have an iPhone X, all of them prefer FaceID.

              Well then, that settles it. SuperKendall's 15 buddies all cream over FaceID, so it MUST be a huge success!

              Fucking tool.

    • Eh I dont know about the software, the UI is measurably slower than the iPhone 6 running an old version of iOS. One example to measure this .. go to the home screen and place your finger on the screen and slowly start to swipe. The UI reacts after your finger moves an eighth of an inch. Try it on the iPhone 6 with an old version of iOS detect your swipe intent and react faster.

    • > suck until v2.0.

      Well, Microsoft didn't even add support for directories until version 2 of DOS, so this isn't a new problem.

      • Well, Microsoft didn't even add support for directories until version 2 of DOS, so this isn't a new problem.

        Thanks for this timely, relevant addition to the thread.

        • Ouch. Hey, 1983 was my best year. Wish I could go back.

        • Well, Microsoft didn't even add support for directories until version 2 of DOS, so this isn't a new problem.

          Thanks for this timely, relevant addition to the thread.

          Never mind being wrong. Dos 2 added nested directories, but single level directories were available right from the beginning, because CPM had them.

    • How about Apple's new MO: ship slow and still suck.

  • Two things (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Friday January 05, 2018 @06:48PM (#55872397)

    One, perhaps new products are reaching the point of diminishing returns, where it takes more and more effort for a seemingly incremental bit of progress, simply because the bar is already so high and we're already so close to the limits of what existing technologies can provide. Two, maybe Cook isn't the tyrant / asshole that Jobs is reputed to have been? If so, then it's a refreshing change from the 'at any cost' bullshit mentality that is sucking our souls dry and robbing our descendants of their chance at a good life here on Earth.

    • perhaps new products are reaching the point of diminishing returns, where it takes more and more effort for a seemingly incremental bit of progress, simply because the bar is already so high and we're already so close to the limits of what existing technologies can provide.

      Which is why automotive engineering stopped dead in its tracks ages ago. Oh wait.

  • It doesn't matter if some product is a few days late. What matters is that people camp out before the stores to buy it. If it is late, then they well camp out longer, nobody cares. Least of all the campers. Lateness only costs sales cause they don't really really want it anyways. If it's a "must buy NOWWWWWW!" then it doesn't matter how late it is. If it's "meh... oh a new phone..." then it matters

    Cook's failing is he's a bad salesman and a totally useless visioneer. He is simply not Jobs. Cook is a great l

    • I agree with you basic point but disagree the CPU is the only area Apple has a winner of a product. FaceID as authentication is amazing and the first phone update I've really been impressed by for some time, the first thing in a while that is not incremental but a real change and a change for the better. It's partly a function of Apple's chip prowess but I just don't see how other companies can ship something of this quality anytime soon the way they could with fingerprint readers.

      • FakeID is definitely 'adjective.' Because explosive, blustery, misapplied adjectives have been a vital component of Apple Hype for decades. It's just how their publicists come up with marketing slogans. They're insanely great at that.

  • Boohoo. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Friday January 05, 2018 @07:07PM (#55872471)

    First-world problems are so tragic.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So much not to care about, so little time.

  • When Tim Cook became CEO, there was one model iPhone, and one model iPad. Today there are 3 iPhone models and 4 iPad models. Meanwhile, the number of Apple employees (non-sales) has not tripled. So there are fewer designers, artists, engineers assigned to each product. More delays are inevitable.

    Personally I think it's a step in the right direction. Apple's product line under Jobs was woefully thin. Even at the height of its success the company was literally a single bad iPhone model away from bank
  • Seriously, the iPhone 7&8 are more of the same minus a headphone jack and two new expensive and easy to lose bluetooth devices that need charging called airpods.
    The new MacBook Pro is a step backward without any USB ports and a near useless touch bar.
    The new iMac is actually pretty sweet but at $5K+ I will be editing video on a Hackintosh.
    The new iPad Pro is pretty sweet but the price point is premium along with some Pro iPad Apps requiring a subscription instead of a one time purchase. The"Pro" gives away the fact that you are consumer with extra money.
    I am not sure what is up with the MacPro (2012 Diaper Genie) edition, but that is another innovation I can live without.
    The Apple watch is a solution in search of a problem, plus it gives you one more thing to charge each day.

    Until something new and amazing comes out, I will stick with the iPhone 6s (with headphone jack), MacBookPro 2013 (with USB ports and magsafe charger), and iPod 4th Gen (upgraded to 128GB of flash memory).

    If Apple wants to innovate try this:

    1. Create a phone that only needs to be charged once per week.
    2. Create Modular laptop called the Phat Book Pro that can be tweaked for the pro user, just make it fat on the bottom and that is where option hardware can live (extra battery, I/O ports, more storage, etc....)
    3. Reassign Johnny Ives to cafeteria lunch menu management at the new HQ and stop making everything so flat. Flat is cool to a point where I lose all useful ports.
    4. Make your products serviceable and upgradable. If we are going to pay double for your stuff, we want to cascade it to the next person on the family pecking order and being able to max out RAM, CPU, and Storage before the handoff is very nice.
    5. Maybe get really crazy and combine the iPad with the MacBookPro. Maybe even make them complimentary products like the iPad could be a portable second screen or integrated touch surface/drawing pad.
    6. If you are going to take all the ports and buttons off of the phone, it better be waterproof to 50ft.

    Instead we get...
    1. Magsafe power adapter ... Gone
    2. Headphone jack ... Gone
    3. USB 1,2,3 ports ... Gone
    4. Thunderbolt ... Gone
    5. Firewire ... Gone
    6. RAM ... soldering in, not upgradable
    7. SSD/M.2 storage .. soldered in, not upgradable
    8. CPUs .. soldered in, not upgradable
    9. Expensive iPhones with useless new features and missing old features.
    10. Bring back the iPod clickwheel and 8-Track Tapes, and get off my lawn.

    • I'm sticking with my 5s until they stop putting out a small screen phone that doesn't have all of the features of the larger ones. It's probably going to be a long wait.

      • That's actually why I went with the 8 instead of the X. It's basically everything that's in the X besides the screen and the better camera. The smaller form factor is important to me, and not even a $20K DSLR would make *me* into a good photographer. So I went with the smallest full-featured package they offered. And yeah, if they'd put all of the guts into the 5/5s/5se form factor, I'd have bought that one instead. Hell, I'd probably even been willing to pay full 8 price. For anything meant to be por

    • I would upvote this if I could! I really do like apple, but this is all so true.
  • It takes longer for all that glue to dry instead of letting us replace the components.

  • I agree 100% with Jenningsthecat, but also:

    When Job was CEO, Tim Cook was his supply chain guy. From what I hear, Cook was very good at Supply Chain Stuff.

    Now that Cook is CEO, Who is the Supply Chain guy? Is he as good as Cook was?

  • This is a highly amusing claim.

    The first product that Apple *ever* preannounced under Steve Jobs was the Intel switch, and that was already being leaked because of the T-1 developer systems Apple had to ship to developers so that it would have software to run on the hardware, by the time the hardware was released.

    The only time you "miss targets" or "miss projected ship dates" is when you announce a product prior to it shipping.

    Steve announced products, for the most part, by getting up an a stage, and at the

  • "We didn't double delay times, we extended your Apple Anticipation Subscription for free."

  • Not only can you not change the memory on almost all Apple's devices anymore and are Apple's laptops flimsey, overpriced and underpowered, but they stopped making the wired keyboard for the iMac (which is infinitely better than the wireless one because it doesn't use batteries and, more importantly, has a numeric part), they stopped making Mac Mini, which was a great little thing, and they discontinued the Time Machine and Airport Express and Extreme, which were by far the best wireless routers on the marke

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