Apple CEO Cook shuts the door on iOS, Mac OS X merging — again

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple’s Tim Cook encourages corporate action to improve human rights.

Just 10 years ago, a little startup called Box premiered with the idea that it could make a business out of storing people’s documents on servers they don’t have to maintain, otherwise known as the cloud.Tim Cook has told a conference of business executives that American corporations have a responsibility to help improve equality, the environment and public education because of a lack of government progress in the past few decades.

Businesses accounted for $25bn of Apple’s $200bn sales in the year to the end of June, but Mr Cook said the company was aiming to play a bigger role in the corporate IT industry. Now, Box BOX -0.40% is a public company that boasts over 40 million users and roughly 50,000 business customers, CEO Aaron Levie said on Tuesday at his company’s annual conference in San Francisco. The tech giant’s enterprise technology sales reached $25 billion for the twelve month period ending in June. “This is not a hobby,” Cook said on stage Tuesday at the annual conference hosted by cloud storage and work collaboration company Box. “This is a real business.” To be fair, $25 billion is just a fraction of the $200 billion in sales Cook projects Apple AAPL -3.04% will collect this year. In a sign of the determination to serve more corporate customers, he delivered the message at a third-party event, BoxWorks, run by the online collaboration service Box.

BOX, -0.40% “It’s a very small amount compared to what the opportunity is.” Apple has pushed to get its products into the business world beyond its traditional base of consumers. It’s free,” said Cook. “Business has an important responsibility to society and that has grown markedly in the last couple of decades as government has found it more difficult to move forward and get as much done. A more contextual interpretation of that statement could be that Apple hasn’t really started in enterprise, but that’s certainly what’s coming next for the Cupertino-based tech company. “We’ve always been about making tools,” Cook continued. “For a while, we were bifurcated between consumer and enterprise.

To reinforce the notion that the company is no longer the small startup it once was, executives from Microsoft MSFT 0.35% , IBM IBM -0.04% , and Kaiser Permanente took to the stage to tell the audience how they used Box or integrated its technology with their own software. Cook’s appearance at an enterprise software conference was intended to drive home the point that Apple wants to be taken seriously as a company that can sell to businesses. So you have to transform your business.” “When you look at the penetration of mobile in enterprise, it’s shocking how low it is, and then when you look at what people are doing with it, it’s shocking how many people haven’t gone beyond emails and browsing and these kinds of things,” he said. “I’m not sure anyone at this point that I’ve seen, including ourselves, deserves a really high grade compared to the opportunity that’s there.” Under Mr Cook, Apple has latterly been seeking to bury the hatchet with old industry foes to help it crack the enterprise market. Levie and other Box executives showed off new features, like an upgraded video player for businesses to share and watch videos, the ability for healthcare companies to share and edit medical images like X-rays, and support for 3D images.

They’re in essence born with a built-in headwind and things aren’t equal.” Research published in June by the bipartisan advocacy group First Focus found that the US government has consistently decreased spending on education, falling from 1.27% of overall spending in 2011 to just over 1% in 2015. Last year it signed a major development and distribution partnership with IBM and at this month’s launch of the new iPad Pro even invited Microsoft on stage to demonstrate its Office software. The CEO mentioned Apple’s recent partnerships with IBM, Cisco, Microsoft and Box as ways to tap into the “deep vertical knowledge” and expertise required to make business-specific apps for different industries. “If you think back in time, Apple and IBM were foes,” Cook said. “Apple and Microsoft still compete, but we can partner on more things than we compete on. Mr Cook said: “Just as in the consumer area, where we have built an ecosystem that has so many apps… we needed that expertise on the enterprise side, so we partnered with people to do that.” The iPhone is increasingly emerging as the dominant smartphone for corporate IT departments, as the decline of BlackBerry continues.

And that’s what customers want. [Apple users] love Office, and they want it to work on Mac better than it works on Windows, and it should.” “I’m not a believer of holding grudges,” Cook continued. “Having as many friends as you can, you can deliver much better solutions, and that’s what the enterprise wants us to do. Manufacturers such as Samsung, which use Google’s popular Android operating system, have meanwhile struggled to gain a foothold in businesses, partly due to the array of versions of the software that are in use.

He said Apple’s data centres run on 100% renewable energy and that almost 90% of its supply chain now uses renewable energy too. “In some areas I don’t want anyone to copy us but in this one, I want everybody to copy us.” Cook was talking to Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box, which provides cloud storage for businesses. The island days are gone.” Cook also noted that today customers are “inherently blending” their personal and work lives together, and that’s why features like Handoff and Continuity were implemented to work seamlessly between Macs, iPhones, iPads and even now the Apple Watch. The fact that the app is built specifically for Apple mobile devices underscores how Box believes that partnering with Apple could win more customers as more workers use their personal iPhones and iPads in the office.

Levie explained that Box could not have gotten to where it’s at without the help of the companies that it’s partnered with, and he singled out Microsoft as a prime example. However, because Apple has not traditionally sold to businesses, it lacks the relationships required to land big business deals. “We don’t have deep knowledge of all the verticals that enterprise is in,” Cook acknowledged, referring to selling to specific sectors like the financial services and energy. Cook also mentioned that Apple’s new iPhone Upgrade Plan was off to an “incredible start,” but would have to wait until the company’s earnings report next month to disclose the exact figures. And just to show it’s not just inking deals with these old-school tech businesses, it has also partnered with Box and electronic document startup DocuSign to make its iPad more attractive to businesses.

Because developers need to use Apple computers to create the software (although there are some workarounds), the company’s PC sales could increase too. It’s a trend nowadays for technology companies to partner with one another, explained Cook, because customers don’t want to buy all their products from one producer. When Cook said this, Levie couldn’t resist an opportunity for a joke, and asked Cook “Is that a reference to Larry Ellison’s island?” Ellison, of course, owns most of the Hawaiian island of Lanai.

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