A new report claims Apple’s Board of Directors is concerned about the, “pace of innovation,” at Apple under the leadership of Tim Cook.
Given what we know about the Apple Board of Director’s access to un-released Apple products the source of these rumors is either mis-informed, or Apple is in bigger trouble than fans could imagine.
Charlie Gasparino of Fox News, claims his sources tell him that the Apple Board of Directors are concerned with the, “pace of innovation,” at Apple. Gasparino states that this is building as pressure on Tim Cook to innovate, but that Cook is not out of a job, nor is Apple looking for a replacement at this time.
The biggest concerns come down to the new Apple products, which we think are the iPhone 5S, iPad 5, iPad mini 2, a possible iWatch and a rumored iPhone 6 for 2014. Gasparino describes the concern about Apple’s new products for 2013 from his source, telling viewers;
“The board is now worried about what’s in the pipeline. Do they have the right stuff in the pipeline? Do they have innovative stuff in the pipeline? Do they have stuff to keep the momentum going that Jobs started in the pipeline?
Gasparino states that his, “sources are solid on this,” that the Board is concerned about innovation at Apple.
The claims come as Apple approaches 300 days since the last completely new mobile product announcement, the iPad mini in October 2012. In this time we’ve seen a T-Mobile iPhone, a new MacBook Air and a cheaper iPod touch. While the new MacBook Air is innovative in terms of all day battery life, the Apple Board of Directors is reportedly concerned about what is in the pipeline.
So yes, it has been a while since Apple launched a new mobile product, but Tim Cook is promising an “army of new products,” and hyping new Apple products in the pipeline for the fall and into 2013 in the Q3 2013 earnings release.
“We are really excited about the upcoming releases of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, and we are laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014.”
At WWDC 2013 in June Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing took a shot at Apple’s critics while showing off the new Mac Pro.
Claims that Apple’s board is not satisfied with the rate of innovation at Apple are interesting, and especially startling if they are true because of comments made by Arthur D. Levinson, Chairman of the Board earlier this year.
According to Fortune, Levinson told the Stanford Graduate School of Business that the Board of Directors knows about new Apple products well in advance of a public release, stating,
“New products are presented to the board between 6 to 18 months prior to launch. If presented early enough, some board insights are taken into account, and those on the board with expertise in certain product areas may have more influence”
At the bare minimum this means the Board of Directors is aware of Apple’s plans for this fall including the iPhone 5S, iPad 5, iPad mini 2 and whether or not we will see an iWatch in 2013.
Going further out, Apple’s Board of Directors may know what is in the pipeline all the way out to the end of 2014, which arguably would include an iPhone 6 with a larger screen and a better shot at an iWatch release.
There are several possibilities here. Either the Board of Directors doesn’t see any innovating products, it isn’t happy with how fast Tim Cook and Jony Ive are bringing them to market or the sources aren’t correct
We’ve already seen Apple speed up product release cycles in 2012, when it rushed out the iPad 4, but since then, new hardware is back to a slower release cycle. If the board wants Cook to hurry up, it may face issues as Cook repeatedly talked down larger, higher resolution displays rumored for an iPhone 6, and he is well aware of the challenges of getting a customer to put an iWatch on their wrist.
In this case, investors and Apple watchers should ask themselves whether it’s more likely that a source is wrong, or that Apple’s Board of Directors believes the next year’s worth of Apple products aren’t innovative enough and that they are also unwilling to take action against Tim Cook if that is the case.