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Will Apple CEO Tim Cook make a Game Console?
As many of you know, I’ve often been critical on these pages of Apple’s inability to fully capitalize on the living room. I’m a firm believer that the company has a real opportunity to be a dominant force in home entertainment, and yet, it hasn’t done anything to prove that. So far, the Apple TV is the best offering it has, and most would agree, that that device is still just a “hobby.”
Exactly why Apple has been so loath to fully double down on the living room is anyone’s guess. Maybe it’s because the company is so focused on mobile products, like the iPad and iPhone. Or perhaps it simply doesn’t see any opportunity in the living room.
However, my guess is that Steve Jobs didn’t see a good reason to chase after the dominance of another space until his company could fully cement its position in the mobile market. What’s more, I’m not convinced that Jobs wanted Apple to be another Sony, offering a host of home-theater products that only some people like.
And while I understand that idea, I do believe that the single product Jobs should have launched is a game console.
The way I see it, the game console is the centerpiece of any home-theater set-up. For many folks, it’s the device they use to watch movies, stream Netflix content, and play games. It’s an all-in-one option.
And yet, during his tenure as CEO at Apple, Jobs never provided any indication that he would try and take on Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo in the gaming space.
But will Tim Cook?
I think he should. Looking around the App Store, it has become abundantly clear that Apple is now, at the very least, a game seller. And at the very most, the company is no different from Nintendo, offering a portable device that lets owners play video games, while relying on third parties to develop those titles.
What’s more, Apple’s devices have been stealing significant market share away from other makers of portable-gaming products, thanks to the average consumer’s desire to pick up their phone, check e-mail, play a few levels in a game, and then place a call.
Given Apple’s success in the mobile gaming space, why shouldn’t Tim Cook want to compete in the living room with a game console? After all, Apple has proven that it understands how to build a gamer-friendly device, it has a marketplace in the App Store to offer digital titles to customers, and it has the cash on hand to develop a device that could set a new standard in the gaming market.
At this point, there’s simply no compelling reason for Apple’s new CEO to not at least consider offering a game console. The video games industry is ready for a new entrant to shake things up and start it on a new path.
Why shouldn’t the Tim Cook-led Apple be that agent of change?
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Apple CEO Tim Cook will testify to the House Judiciary Committee today as part of an ongoing investigation into potential antitrust concerns and anti-competitive behavior. Cook will appear alongside Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Head below for the full live blog of today’s hearing.Prepared remarks
All four of the big tech executives have already shared a copy of their opening prepared remarks for today’s hearing. In Apple’s case, Tim Cook argues that Apple is not a dominant player in any of the markets in which it operates and that the App Store serves as a trusted place for users and developers alike.
The House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee has been investigating the digital marketplace since last June.
‘Since last June, the subcommittee has been investigating the dominance of a small number of digital platforms and the adequacy of existing antitrust laws and enforcement,’ House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler and Antitrust Subcommittee chairman David Cicilline said in a joint statement earlier this month.
You can read the full prepared remarks from Cook, Bezos, Pichai, and Zuckerberg below:How to watch the Tim Cook testimony
The US House will stream today’s hearing live on YouTube. All four of the big tech CEOs will appear in the hearing remotely via video conferencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can watch from the US House Judiciary Committee’s YouTube channel. Learn more in our full guide on how to watch right here.Tim Cook’s testimony: Live blog
New stories will be added to the top, so refresh for the latest.
McBath asks the four witnesses if they commit to improving the diversity of its senior leadership. All four say yes.
Neguse mentions Tile item trackers and the idea that Apple takes ideas from developers on its platforms.
“We run the App Store to help developers, not hurt them. We would never steal somebody’s IP.”
There’s no other word to describe this other than lie. Just look at how many of their apps in the AppStore have private entitlements and use private API. The Clips app doesn’t even ask you for camera permission, it gets it by default*
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) July 29, 2023
Rep. Neguse asks Cook about the App Store guidelines and whether developers are told not to clone apps.
Cook: “I’m not totally familiar but I believe that’s the case. We were getting a number of apps that were essentially the same thing.”
— kif (@kifleswing) July 29, 2023
Rep. Scanlon asks Bezos if Amazon designated its own in-house products as “essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bezos says this was not the case to the best of his knowledge.
Rep. Jordan asks Tim Cook, “is the cancel culture mob dangerous?”
Cook: “It’s something I’m not all the way up to speed on. If you’re talking about where somebody with a different point of view talks and they’re canceled, I don’t think that’s good. I think it’s good for people to hear different points of view and decide for themselves.”
Rep. Raskin asks Cook for clarity about the App Store commission. Cook explains that subscriptions start at 30% in the first year, then drops to 15% in the second year. 84% of apps pay nothing to Apple, Cook says. “There are enormous choices out there. If you’re a developer you can write for Android, Windows, Xbox, or Playstation,” he says.
Nadler asks about the Hey app debacle. Cook says that “Hey is in the store today and we’re happy they’re there.” He emphasizes that Apple receives 100,000 app submissions per day and it does make mistakes.
Nadler questions Tim Cook about a recent New York Times report, which detailed how Apple planned to take a cut from virtual experiences such as Airbnb and ClassPass, which were prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nadler asks if this is “pandemic profiteering.”
Cook: “We would never do that. A pandemic is a tragedy and it’s hurting Americans and all around the world. I believe the cases you’re talking about are cases where something has moved to a digital service which technically does need to go through our commission model. In both cases that I’m aware of, we are working with the developers.
“They’re not. We’re very p[roud of what we’ve done in education and we’re serving that market in a significant way. We will work with people who happen to move from a physical to a virtual world because of the pandemic.”
Steube asks all four witnesses if they believe that the Chinese government steals technology from the United States.
Cook: “I don’t know of specific cases where we have been stolen from by the government. I know of no case of ours where it’s occurred. I can only speak to first-hand knowledge.”
Zuckerberg says it’s a well-documented fact that China steals from American companies.
Johnson goes on to question why Facebook repackaged Onavo as the Facebook Research app and used it to pay teens to take surveys. Zuckerberg says he’s not aware of this.
Johnson asks Zuckerberg about Facebook’s acquisition of Onavo, and its eventual removal from the App Store. Zuckerberg says the app was not kicked out of the App Store, but rather removed when Apple changed its policies.
Rep. Johnson asks Zuckerberg about how Facebook uses things like APIs and the Like button to learn about its competitors. Zuckerberg agrees and says this is common market research.
Rep. Gaetz questioning Pichai on preserving the neutrality of the Google platform. Pichai says that Google would take “strong action” against using political agendas to manipulate any of its platforms.
Cicilline questions Zuckerberg on why Facebook took so long to remove the incorrect and debunked hydroxychloroquine video on Monday.
We’re now moving into the third and final round of questioning. Cicilline kicks things off by asking Zuckerberg if he has a responsibility to remove harmful lies from Facebook. “I do not believe we have any incentive to have this content on our platform, except it’s often the most engaging,” Zuckerberg says.
McBath now questioning why Apple rejected an app from publisher Random House, at the same time Random House was refusing to join the iBooks Store.
Cook: “There are many reasons why the app might not go through the App Store gate. It might not work properly or there might be other issues.”
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) July 29, 2023
McBath goes on to question Apple’s removal of competing screen time applications from the App Store.
Cook: “We were concerned about the privacy and security of kids. The technology that was being used at the time was used MDM and it had the ability to take over a kid’s screen. There’s vibrant competition of parental controls out there.”
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) July 29, 2023
Rep. McBath: Does Apple have the ability to restrict apps from the App Store?
Cook: “If you look at the history of this, we’ve increased the number of apps from 500 to 1.7 million. We want every app we can on the platform.”
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) July 29, 2023
Rep. Neguse questions Bezos on e-commerce market share and AWS. “Does Amazon use AWS data to build competing services,” Neguse asks. “Not to my knowledge,” Bezos responds.
Demings says she is concerned that “Apple apps always win,” questioning Apple’s removal of third-party screen time apps
Cook: “The use of a technology called MDM placed kids’ data at risk and so we were worried about the safety of kids.”
Demings asks about a specific app used by the Saudi Arabian government that was not removed, despite using MDM technology. “I’m not familiar with that app. I’d like to look into this and get back to your office. We apply the rules to all developers evenly,” Cook says.
“There are over 30 parental controls on the App Store today, so there is plenty of competition. This is not an area where Apple gets any revenue at all,” Cook says.
Rep. Demings questions Zuckerberg about Facebook’s integration of third-party platforms, questioning why Facebook would cut off Pinterest but not Netflix. Zuckerberg “not familiar with that exchange,” but says Pinterest is a social competitor.
Rep. Armstrong asks Bezos about using aggregate data to compete with third-party sellers.
And we’re back after a brief recess.
Rep. Johnson questions Bezos on counterfeit products on Amazon. Bezos says Amazon works hard on this issue and that the company does a lot to prevent counterfeiting.
Rep. Steube is back with more questions for Sundar Pichai. This time, he wants to know why YouTube pulled the debunked hydroxychloroquine video.
Nadler questions Zuckerberg on inflated video views on Facebook and the effects that had on journalists. Zuckerberg “regrets the mistake.”
Rep. Gaetz is back with more questions for Google’s Pichai regarding the company’s dominance in the search industry, attempting to make a connection between Google manually alternating search results, bias, and fringe websites.
Rep. Raskin asks Bezos if Amazon prices the Echo device below cost. Bezos says if it’s on promotion, it might be below cost. “Our vision to this is that smart home speakers should answer to different wake words,” Bezos says.
Bezos’ answers are sometimes surprisingly honest:
Has Alexa been trained to promote buying Amazon products?
Bezos: “I don’t know… We do promote our own products”
— Geoffrey A. Fowler (@geoffreyfowler) July 29, 2023
Rep. Raskin asks Bezos about HBO Max coming to Fire TV. Bezos says it’s simply two large companies trying to negotiate the details.
Rep. Buck asks the four witnesses if they agree that if their respective companies would agree not to use slave labor. “I would love to engage on the legislation with you, Congressman, but let me be clear forced labor is abhorrent,” Cook says. He adds that Apple would terminate a supplier relationship if slave labor usage was discovered.
Jayapal asks Zuckerberg if Facebook has threatened to clone a competitor while also trying to acquire it. Zuckerberg says he is not aware of that happening, but Jayapal reminds him that he is under oath. The congresswoman questions Zuckerberg about copying Instagram and Snapchat, but Zuckerberg dodges and says he doesn’t remember those conversations.
“Facebook is a case study, in my mind, of monopoly power, because your company harvests and monetizes our data, and then your company uses that data to spy on competitors and to copy, acquire and kill rivals,” Jayapal concludes.
Damnnnnn…. On Facebook cloning Instagram pre-sale:
“Instagram’s founder seemed to think that was a threat – he confided in an investor at the time that he feared you would *go into quote destroy mode* if he didn’t sell Instagram to you.”@RepJayapal
— Patrick McGee (@PatrickMcGee_) July 29, 2023
Rep. Jayapal asks Zuckerberg if Facebook copies features from competitors. Zuckerberg says Facebook adapts features that competitors first had.
Rep. Sensenbrenner pushes Zuckerberg on Instagram acquisition again, saying that it was the Obama administration FTC that approved the acquisition. “I have reached the conclusion that we do not need to change our antitrust laws. The question here is the enforcement of those laws,” Sensenbrenner said.
That concludes the first round of questions, and we move immediately into round two. Chairman Cicilline presses Bezos on whether sellers have alternative places to sell online.
McBath asks Bezos if sellers would still flock to Amazon if the company didn’t have monopolistic power. Bezos rejects “the premise of the questions.”
Rep. McBath questions Bezos about stifling third-party sellers on Amazon, including a textbook company that says they were restricted by Amazon. Bezos says that such behavior is not “systematically what’s going on.”
Rep. Neguse asks Zuckerberg about Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp. “WhatsApp was also both a competitor and complementary,” Zuckerberg said. “They competed with us in the area of social messaging which is an important space.”
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) July 29, 2023
Scanlon asks Bezos about Amazon’s acquisition of chúng tôi seeking details about Amazon’s pricing and trying to lower the deal cost. Bezos says he “doesn’t remember that at all.”
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) July 29, 2023
It’s Rep. Scanlon’s turn to ask questions to the witnesses: “We’d like to redirect you to antitrust law instead of fringe conspiracy theories,” she says. Rep. Jordan fights back, and Chairman Cicilline tells Jordan to “put your mask on.”
Rep. Demings questions Pichai about Google’s acquisition and the effects it had on user privacy.
Demings asks whether the more user data collected means more money for Google. “Most of the data we collect is to help users,” Pichai says.
Steube now asks Pichai why his campaign emails are being sent to “Junk” folders for Gmail users.
Rep. Steube questions Google’s Pichai about The Gateway Pundit, a far-right news website. Steube says the website was unavailable via Google Search until recently.
Rep. Jayapal questions Bezos about whether Amazon uses seller data to make competitive products. Bezos says it’s against company policy, but unclear if it’s happened in the past.
We’re back with Rep. Armstrong questioning Pichai about censoring conservative views and whether Google’s size protects it from criticism.
We’ve now entered a 10-minute recess while the committee “fixes a technical feed with one of our witnesses.”
Rep. Raskin asks Zuckerberg about election integrity, white supremacy, and social division in the US. Zuckerberg emphasizes that Facebook has hired over 30,000 people to protect against election interference.
Meanwhile, over in Bezos land:
— Claire Reilly (@reillystyley) July 29, 2023
Rep. Gaetz questions Google’s Pichai about working with the Chinese government, but not the US military.
Rep. Johnson asks “what’s to stop Apple from increasing App Store commissions to 50%?”
Cook emphasizes they’ve never raised commissions, and there is a competition for developers. “They can write their apps for Android, Windows, Xbox, Playstation. It’s like a street fight for market share.”
Johnson asks if Apple ever retaliates against developers who speak out about App Store concerns:
“We do not retaliate or bully people. It’s strongly against our company culture.”
Johnson asks Cook about Amazon’s agreement with Apple, is this program available to any developer?
Cook: “It’s available to anyone meeting the conditions.”
Rep. Johnson: Does Apple treat every app and every developer the same?
Cook: “We treat every developer the same. We have open rules. It’s a rigorous process. Because we care about privacy and quality, we do look at every app before it goes on. We apply these rules equally to everyone.”
Rep. Johnson asks Cook about the App Store.
“The App Store is a feature of the iPhone, much like the camera is,” Cook says.
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) July 29, 2023
Rep. Ken Buck questions Google’s Pichai about the company’s ties to China, the reasoning for dropping out of the JEDI military contract, etc.
Rep. Buck also points to the Genius vs Google lyrics disagreement.
Nadler asks Zuckerberg whether Instagram should be broken off as a separate business today if the initial reason for the acquisition was to stifle a potential competitor. Zuckerberg cites unanimous approval from the FTC.
“With hindsight, it probably looks obvious that Instagram would have reached the scale that it has today but at the time it was far from obvious. We invested heavily in building up the infrastructure.”
Rep. Nadler now questions Zuckerberg about Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram.
Zuckerberg says it was a very successful acquisition, Instagram now reaches more people than ever thought possible.
Rep. Nadler references newly-leaked emails that show Zuckerberg was worried “Instagram can hurt” Facebook. “In the space of mobile photos and camera apps, which was growing, they were a competitor,” Zuckerberg says today.
Rep. Sensenbrenner pivots back to censorship. Asks Zuckerberg about censorship of content including hydroxychloroquine, particularly mentioning Donald Trump Jr. Zuckerberg reminds Sensenbrenner that it was Trump Jr.’s Twitter account was reprimanded, not his Facebook account.
Cicilline pushes Pichai on whether Google used web traffic surveillance to find competitive threats:
Pichai: “We try to understand trends from data, which we can see, which can be used to improve our products for our users, but we are really focused on improving our products.”
Now, it’s time for questioning. First up is Chairman Cicilline, who questions Google’s Pichai about whether or not Google steals content and privileges from other businesses.
This is related to allegations from Yelp that Google stole reviews and other content.
Pichai: “With respect, I disagree with that characterization.”
Finally, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is delivering his opening statement.
Statement by Mark Zuckerberg to the US House Committee on the Judiciary
Third, Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is reading his prepared remarks.
“In the more than a decade since the App Store debuted, we have never raised the commission or added a single fee. In fact, we have reduced them for subscriptions and exempted additional categories of apps. The App Store evolves with the times, and every change we have made has been in the direction of providing a better experience for our users and a compelling business opportunity for developers.”
Read Tim Cook’s full opening statement to today’s antitrust committee
“Just as American leadership in these areas is not inevitable, we know Google’s continued success is not guaranteed. Google operates in highly competitive and dynamic global markets, in which prices are free or falling, and products are constantly improving.”
You can read Pichai’s full prepared remarks here.
“Every day, Amazon competes against large, established players like Target, Costco, Kroger, and, of course, Walmart—a company more than twice Amazon’s size. And while we have always focused on producing a great customer experience for retail sales done primarily online, sales initiated online are now an even larger growth area for other stores.”
You can read the full text of his prepared remarks here.
Chairman Cicilline invites the four witnesses to unmute their WebEx stream and swear in:
“I’ll just cut to the chase: big tech is out to get conservatives.”
“If it doesn’t end, there have to be consequences.”
Here’s a look at the WebEx setup for this remote hearing:
“These dominant platforms now comprise the essential infrastructure for the 21st century.
“Being big is not necessarily bad. In America, you should be rewarded for your success. My colleagues and I have a great interest in what your companies do with that accumulated power.”
We also know that the tech marketplace is driven by data — there are
And here we go… kicking off with an opening statement from Chairman David Cicilline emphasizing the bipartisan nature of this investigation.
“Our two objectives have been to document competition problems in the digital economy, and to evaluate whether the current antitrust framework is able to properly address them.”
“As gatekeepers of the digital economy, these platforms enjoy the power to pick winners and losers, shake down small businesses and enrich themselves while choking off competitors”
President Trump weighs in:
If Congress doesn’t bring fairness to Big Tech, which they should have done years ago, I will do it myself with Executive Orders. In Washington, it has been ALL TALK and NO ACTION for years, and the people of our Country are sick and tired of it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2023
Update: The antitrust hearing has been delayed for approximately 30 minutes, so we now expect a start sometime between 9:30 a.m. PT and 10 a.m. PT/12:30 pm and 1 p.m. ET.
For a more Google-focused look at today’s hearing, be sure to check out our sister site 9to5Google.
The hearing is set to begin at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET. The process will start with opening remarks from all four of the CEOs: Sundar Pichai, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos.
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How will Apple spin a larger iPhone 6?
The market has spoken: big phones are in style, and by all accounts Apple will give consumers just what they want with both a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and even a 5.5-inch version. It’s a sizable change in all respects from a company that has until now insisted that its approach to touchscreen dimensions has been the perfect one. So, the question becomes: how does Apple make the turnaround graceful, rather than face accusations it’s playing catch-up?
For a while, big phones looked like they might be a phase. With the increase in availability of 1080p LCD and AMOLED panels, however, the extra power of mobile GPUs to drive Full HD video and gaming on such screens, and high-speed LTE networks to deliver streaming video and other rich internet content, what once were derided as faddish “phablets” now look to be here to stay.
In comparison, the iPhone has increasingly started to look diminutive.
The flagship Android phones from HTC, Samsung, and – soon – LG are all 5-inches or greater. LG’s upcoming G3 is expected to use a 5.5-inch display running at a hefty 2560 x 1440 resolution; only a year ago, that sort of screen size was considered an outlier for the niche Optimus G Pro, but now it’s considered mass-market.
Apple’s argument has always been that it designs for hands, not fashion. The iPhone’s display is ergonomically better, so the Cupertino firm claims, because it allows for single-handed use. You can hold the phone and reach across with your thumb, and still hit controls in the corners.
Try that with a One M8 and you might just end up dropping it. Samsung even has a miniaturized version of its UI for the Galaxy S5, that can optionally be switched on for single-handed use. It’s hard to imagine Apple putting iOS into a sub-window and saying it makes usability sense, and yet the rumor-mill signs are pointing to a considerably bigger iPhone 6, and one that would seem to be at odds with the company’s historic attitude.
That’s not to say we’ve not seen a turnaround from Apple before: where the company has vehemently insisted something is Officially A Bad Idea… right up until the point when it does it itself.
Nobody would want to watch video on an iPod, for instance; that is, until Apple added video support to the iPod. The perfect size for an iPhone is 3.5-inches and no larger; until the 4-inch iPhone 5. A tablet smaller than the 9.7-inch iPad would demand you take sandpaper to your fingertips, Steve Jobs memorably argued… now the 7.9-inch iPad mini is a best-seller.
Whether it’s hypocrisy, misdirection, or attention to detail – Apple always has a valid-sounding justification for its new product, after all – depends on where you sit on the “Apple knows best” scale. Easier, maybe, to agree that Apple takes no decision that won’t benefit it in some way.
Find all the latest news, rumors, and reviews in our Apple Hub
The challenge is to occupy those gaps while quietly pre-empting the observations that you’re suddenly embracing what was previously declared anathema. Perhaps iOS 8 will put even greater stock in voice control, bringing Siri further to the fore to aid those without super-stretchy thumbs who still want to use their big-screen iPhone 6 with one hand.
WWDC is likely to give us the first inklings of how that refreshed OS will work, though Apple will presumably play it cautious so as not to give too much away that could lead to hardware assumptions.
One thing is clear: Apple can’t afford to sit things out in the big-screen phone space any longer. At the most basic level, it’s missing out on selling people handsets – people who may instead be looking to Android or Windows Phone to get their large device fix. A bigger iPhone 6 seems like a case of “when” not “if”; question is, how will Apple make it magical?
As the CEO of your startup, you should already be promoting open communication within your company, as well as increasing engagement with your customers. While most startups are already social media-savvy, it’s important for you as the CEO to promote a social environment for your company.
A recent study by DOMO and chúng tôi revealed 70 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are not active on social media. To take an even closer look, only 28 of these CEOs have Twitter accounts, and only 19 are active. Now, although your startup is on a smaller business scale, it’s important to see how there is a need for more social media engagement from CEOs. Social media is changing the way businesses increase revenues; therefore, as the CEO and public face of your startup, you yourself — not just your startup — need to be known in the social media realm.
Whether you already have a social media strategy in place or you’re looking to become a more social CEO, here are some ways you can engage more with your employees and customers online:
Create a brand for yourself. As the CEO of your startup, it’s important for you to create a personal brand for yourself so your employees and customers can interact with you on a more personal level. When you create a brand for yourself, use it to make your interests outside your company known so you can better relate. Whether it’s your passion for surfing or traveling abroad, do something to show your audience you are a real person, just like your customers and employees are. By creating a personal brand for yourself, you will be able to attract the type of customers you want to engage.
Start blogging your journey. As you begin to brand yourself, use this as an opportunity to share your journey with your employees and customers. By starting a blog, you can write about your successes with your startup, as well as your lessons learned. Your blog can also be a great way to share news about your company as well as stories from your personal life.
Whatever you can do to make yourself more relatable to your employees and customers, the better. These people want the opportunity to know who upper management is. By blogging, you will be able to inspire more of your employees and provide an outlet for your employees to interact with you.
Use social media to build your culture. Social media is more than just tweeting about your opinions or sharing industry content. It’s also more than just a tool to promote your product. If you are active on Twitter or LinkedIn, use these social media platforms to build a culture for your company, engage with your employees, and connect with your customers. By sharing your company’s news and an “inside scoop” of the culture, you will be able to give people an inside look at what your passion is all about and provide real-time conversation with employees and customers.
Make yourself known on your company’s website. By making yourself visible on your company’s website, you can enhance your startup’s credibility. This can be done by promoting your blog on the company’s website and even posting links to your social media accounts. The purpose of being a social CEO is to build engagement with your employees and targeted audiences. When you make yourself available on your company’s website, you are improving the reputation of your company and making your company more personal for customers.
By building your reputation as a social CEO, you will be viewed as good communicator by your employees, as well as your customers. As the CEO of your startup, it should be your goal to promote positive and open communication between yourself and your employees. When you open your connections and allow yourself to be available to your employees on social networks, you will see an improvement in the inspiration, innovation, and culture of your startup.
What are you doing to become a social CEO for your startup?
Pressured by the relentless crusade of state-owned media in China which have been dissing Apple in headlines for days over its warranty practices, Tim Cook yesterday issued an open letter.
Published on Apple’s Chinese web site, the letter is basically a public apology addressed to the company’s customers and fans in the 1.33 billion people country, now Apple’s second-largest market. It’s done its job (for now) as the iPhone maker appears to have earned back the media’s respect in China.
The same major print and broadcast media that have been bad mouthing Apple throughout last week over its supposedly “unparalleled arrogance” is now singing praise to the company, with the country’s Foreign Ministry officially approving Apple’s apology…
Cook’s letter highlights that Apple is very well aware “that a lack of communication led to the perception that Apple’s attitude was arrogant and that we do not care and attach importance to consumer feedback.”
The Apple CEO announced that a repaired iPhone 4/4S will now be covered under warranty for one year after it’s been repaired. And the company will no longer replace parts on broken iPhones and will instead issue new devices, like it does elsewhere.
Reuters now quotes China’s Foreign Ministry who told reporters at the daily news briefing:
We approve of what Apple said.
It gets even better as the country’s popular tabloid, The Global Times, published by Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, wrote Tuesday:
The company’s apology letter has eased the situation, softening the tense relationship between Apple and the Chinese market. Its reaction is worth respect compared with other American companies.
This is certainly good news for California-based Apple which has found itself under coordinated attacks by state-run media, with one salvo after another scolding the company’s business practices in China.
That Tim Cook bothered to publicly apologize has underscored just how important China is to Apple’s global success. China is now Apple’s second-largest market, with sales up almost 40 percent to $6.8 billion in the holiday 2012 quarter.
“I believe it will become our first – I believe strongly that it will,” CEO Tim Cook said during his second trip to China.
Blogger Mike Elgan opined in his column over at Cult of Mac:
Whatever the reason, it has become clear that the Chinese government intends to hurt Apple’s business in China. They certainly have the power to do it.
And that changes everything for Apple’s longterm future.
Conspiracy theorists theorized that the government’s nasty swipes at Apple foreshadow a looming trade war while others speculated that China successful Western tech brands dead in their tracks in order to help local phone vendors like ZTE and Huawei, both on the rise in a major way internationally.
Notably, the United States government last year banned the purchase of Huawei and ZTE networking gear over fear of espionage through that equipment.
Michael Clendenin, managing director of technology consultancy RedTech Advisors:
They’re out of the woods and into the weeds. Things will rarely be smooth for Apple in China – even if consumers love it there will always be factions in and out of government that are trying to take it down.
Apple made it easy this time, but they have learned to be more proactive. The next time they stumble, it will be easier to recover.
We recognize that we have much to learn about operating and communicating in China, but we want to assure everyone that we bring the same deep commitment and passion to China as we do to any other part of the world.
This commitment, a desire to delight all of our customers and provide them with an extremely high-quality experience, is deeply rooted in the culture of our company. And we will not rest until we achieve this goal.
Interestingly, the Chinese news site My Drivers reported that Apple dispatched its op-chief Jeff Williams who arrived yesterday in Beijing to deal with the PR crisis in China.
Whatever the reasoning behind China’s crusade against Apple, here’s to hoping the short-lived war was actually over Apple’s warranty practices rather than a sign of a large-scale trade war that would no doubt screw the company and seriously damage its reputation.
Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and that means Americans are about to gobble up some 46 million turkeys. But in addition to being notoriously dry and flavorless, this traditional fowl serves up several potential hazards for home chefs unaccustomed to wrestling such large birds. Here are a few tips to keep in mind (and myths to throw away once and for all) if you don’t want a lot of bellyaching to ruin your festive feast.Don’t rinse that bird
If you’re feeling bad about sins of past Thanksgivings, well, don’t. As the Associated Press reports, even the famous chef Julia Child told her viewers that rinsing off a bird before cooking it was safer than taking it straight out of the store packaging (that’s likely where your grandparents got the idea). But it’s time to kick this misguided habit for good.
Also note that brining doesn’t have any bearing on food safety, but the USDA urges caution when transporting and disposing of the giant basin full of raw-turkey juice that will soon be sitting in your house.Defrost turkey like a pro
Though thawing a big ol’ bird in the fridge can take ages, letting it sit out on the counter is not an option. Any temperature higher than 40º Fahrenheit and lower than 140º turns your turkey into a breeding ground for the kinds of bacteria that cause food poisoning. So unless you keep your kitchen near-freezing, that giant hunk of frozen fowl has no place outside the fridge. You can use an online calculator to determine how many days of fridge-chillin’ your turkey needs to thaw out.
If you’ve run out of time, those same calculators can tell you how long it will take to soak your frozen turkey into squishy submission in water—a process that will take hours instead of days. But if you’ve removed the bird from its packaging, you’ll have to put it in a sealed plastic bag or some other airtight container before dunking it. Otherwise you’re creating the same opportunity for sink and counter contamination described above.Wash all your turkey-juiced surfaces (including your hands)
You needn’t splash turkey water all over your kitchen to risk food poisoning: It’s enough to drip juices on the counter or touch other foods with hands or utensils after contact with the raw bird. The Food and Drug Administration recommends washing all food-prep surfaces with hot, soapy water between uses, and giving your hands a thorough, 20-plus second scrubbing with soapy water pretty often.Cook your turkey to a safe temperature
The secret to cooking turkey is that you’re probably doing it wrong. Put away the deep fryer and throw out your roasting pans, people—it’s time to spatchcock. (Side note: If you absolutely insist upon deep frying a bird, here’s our guide to doing so without also deep frying your hands and setting your house on fire.)
You might be irritated by all the buzz around spatchcocking, but it’s not hipster nonsense, friends. It’s science. This method (check out the complete guide to it here) won’t just make Thanksgiving tastier: By pushing your turkey into a shape that cooks faster and more evenly, you lower the risk of accidentally leaving some portions raw. Spatchcocking also solves the problem of stuffing, which can linger at dangerously cool temperatures inside a roasting bird. By squishing your fowl flat, you can let delicious fat drip down onto your dressing during the cooking process without creating a ball of moist, lukewarm bread full of multiplying bacteria.Save your leftovers—or don’t
Nobody likes to waste food, and people tend to end up with a lot of leftovers after Thanksgiving. But most foods sitting in your fridge have the potential to grow dangerous pathogens. While there are ways to keep proper tabs on your globs of cold mashed potatoes and hunks of turkey, if you really don’t want to risk having to toss piles of lovingly crafted foods, consider planning your Thanksgiving feast specifically to minimize waste.
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