Apple CEO Tim Cook will attend this year’s Sun Valley conference at the Sun Valley Resort in Idaho, according to a report from Reuters. This is not unprecedented as Cook made a surprise appearance at the conference last year.
Other notable executive attendees include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sergey Bring and Larry Page, Disney CEO and Apple Directory Bob Iger, and News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch.
The conference is well-known as being a place where major deals, acquisitions, and partnerships will be formed. Time will tell if Cook plans to make any deals at this year’s event.
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Update: We just got our hands on the iPad 5 cases. A couple images above and a full gallery is after the break.
This certainly isn’t the first time that an iOS accessory maker made a bet on making cases for an unreleased Apple product. In fact, it has become somewhat the norm for CEO of case maker Gumdrop, Tim Hickman, who for many recent Apple products decided to make an investment and start accepting orders for cases of yet to be released products. It’s not always a losing game– Gumdrop sent over its iPad mini case the day before the iPad mini was even announced and, when we finally got out hands on the device, it fit perfect. However, this time around, there is a good possibility Gumdrop is betting on a rumored product that won’t be announced any time soon: the iPad 5.
We spoke with CEO of Gumdrop Tim Hickman about the bet he’s making on seeing an iPad 5 next week at WWDC and just how far into production the company is. We also got our hands on the first images of the three new cases the company is launching today for iPad 5, including: the Drop Tech Series, the Drop Tech Designer Series, and the Bounce Skin, all of which include the rumored slimmed down iPad mini-like design that is rumored for the iPad 5.
Back in 2011 Hickman’s Hard Candy cases company started accepting preorders for iPhone 5 cases based on rumored designs leading up to the iPhone 4S launch, spending around $50,000 to create cases and accept preorders. Hickman points out that it was actually the only occasion that the company was wrong on its bet to manufacture cases prior to Apple announcing a product.
As for how far along the company is into the process, Hickman tells us the company started making molds for the new iPad 5 cases several months ago and already has 15,000 cases completed with another batch preparing for production as we speak. Hickman also notes that, “business has been good to Gumdrop and we can afford to take a pretty big bet, because the pay off is massive if we are right.”
Below is a side-by-side comparison of GumDrop Drop Tech designer series case vs an older iPad 4 case: Continue reading
When asked about staggered product launches during the Q&A of Apple’s Q2 2013 earnings call today, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that he wished Apple would have postponed the launch of the new iMac until after the holiday season in order to avoid the significant delays that customers experienced in the initial months of launch:
I don’t spend a lot of time looking back… If we could run it over, i would have announced the iMac after the turn of the year… we felt our customers had to wait too long for that specific product… Where the iPad mini was in shortage in the December quarter, I would not have done that differently because we were able to get the product out to many customers that wanted it. In retrospect, I wish it [iMac] was after the turn of the year so customers would not have had to wait as long as they did.
When Apple first launched the all new, slimmed down iMac lineup leading up to the holidays in October of last year, Tim Cook quickly confirmed that Apple would run into some significant component constraints and delays for the product. The months following launch saw major delays with customers ordering the product having to wait weeks to receive their shipments and some models pushed back as far as December.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is currently answering questions from the press following the company’s live Q2 2013 earnings call. Here are some of the highlights:
Cook on growth in China:
We had our best quarter ever in greater China. Revenue came in at 8.8B. That’s up 11 percent y-o-y. It’s the same as Apple’s growing… iPads grew 138% y-o-y… set new records for sell through for iPhone…
Added about 8000 iPhone point of sales, plan to add more and further grow our distribution. Innovating with our online store there and adding different functionality to the store. China has an usually large number of potential first time smartphone buyers… We’ve seen a significant interest in iPhone 4 there and recently made it even more affordable to make it even more attractive to first time buyers.
Cook on competition:
“In the beginning RIM was the strongest player. Of course today our top competitor from a hardware point of view would be Samsung, and married to Google on the software side. They’re obviously tough competitors but we feel we have the best products by far… continue to feel very confident about our product pipeline. We have the best ecosystem by far. We’re going to keep augmenting it and making it better and better. I feel very good about our competitive position.”
On new product pipeline:
“I’m just saying we’ve got really great stuff coming in the fall, and across all of 2014.”
Cook on confidence level in supply chain and moving to new vendors:
“I have incredible confidence. We exited the March quarter with no shortages. The December quarter you’re referring to is the largest for Apple.. The reality is the work we do to create truly innovate products is hard… I would assure you we are working very closely with our manufacturing partners for what we feel is a very exciting roadmap.”
On a larger screen iPhone:
My view continues to be that iPhone 5 has the absolute best display in the industry. We always strive to create the very best display for our customers. Some customers value large screen sizes. Others value other factors such as resolution, white balance, color, portability, clarity, compatibility with apps… Our competitors have made some significant trade offs in many areas in order to ship a larger display. We will not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade offs exist.
On Mac market:
The reason we were down last quarter, we were down 2%, is because the market is incredibly weak. It’s the largest decline I remember from being in this industry for a long time. It’s certainly true that some iPads cannabalized some Macs. I don’t think it was a huge number but i do think it was some… That said, i don’t think this market is a dead market or a bad market by any means… We’re going to continue to innovate in it… if anything the huge growth in tablets might end up benefiting the Mac… People may be more willing to buy a Mac… We’re going to continue making the best personal computers. Our strategy is no changing. we delivered some incredible innovation last year with the Retina Display MacBook Pro.
If you already feel a little hard done by when it comes to your pay check, brace yourself. Bloomberg reports
that four of the five best-paid executives across the whole of the US
are employed by Apple—and just wait until you hear how much they earn. More »
Last year we posted a photo that originated from a Pixar employee showing the animation company had renamed its main facility “The Steve Jobs Building” in honor of its co-founder and former CEO. Today, PixarTimes points us to the image above showing a tree on the Pixar campus just outside The Steve Jobs Building that has been recently dedicated to Steve:
Dedicated With Love And Gratitude To
Our Partner, Mentor, And Friend
Pixar has honored Jobs’ contributions in others ways too, such as the credits of the 2012 film ‘Brave’ which happened to include the same text as the plaque above.
Steve Jobs was CEO of the animation studio until being acquired by Disney in 2006, in turn making Jobs the largest individual shareholder with a seat on the board of Disney. Jobs was also credited as an executive producer of the 1996 blockbuster Toy Story.