Nearly one year after taking over for Steve Jobs, a report card for the new CEO. The company has never been more efficient, or fun, but some are wondering about the future of the products:
The ultimate ‘tell’ of tectonic changes at Apple will be the quality of its products. Those looking for deficiencies have found them in Siri, a less-than-perfect product that Apple released with the rare beta label in late 2011, a signal that the service shouldn’t be viewed as fully baked. Siri’s response time has been slow, meaning the servers and software powering it are inadequate. ‘People are embarrassed by Siri,’ says one former insider. ‘Steve would have lost his mind over Siri.’
Obviously, no one can say for sure how Steve Jobs would have reacted to anything that’s going on at Apple, and Cook seems increasingly comfortable leading the company where he thinks it should be going. Jobs was opposed to dividends and stock buybacks, for example. Yet Cook repeatedly prepared investors for a coming dividend by stating publicly that he had no ‘religious’ opinion about them. Apple announced on March 19 that it would begin paying a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share and buy back $10 billion worth of stock.