Apple CEO Tim Cook seems to be taking some heat from his employees following his attendance at a meeting Dec. 14 between President-elect Donald Trump and a number of leaders in the technology sector. An unidentified employee posted a question to Cook on the company’s internal message board addressing the meeting directly, according to a report.
"Last week you joined other tech leaders to meet President-elect Donald Trump. How important is it for Apple to engage with governments?" the employee asked, according to sources at the TechCrunch news site, which reportedly had access to the Q&A discussion.
Indeed, Trump has been unpopular with many in Silicon Valley, both for the criticism he leveled at the industry during the campaign and for certain policies he has championed. Controversy, for example, surrounds his suggestion to create a government registry to help track radical Islamic terrorists, and another potential plan to deport millions of illegal immigrants. Some view these plans as offensive, and potentially detrimental to the tech industry.
Desktops Are 'Strategic' for Apple
Cook (pictured above) also responded, according to TechCrunch, to an employee's question about whether Mac desktops are currently being considered as strategic for Apple.
"The desktop is very strategic for us," Cook said. "It’s unique compared to the notebook because you can pack a lot more performance in a desktop -- the largest screens, the most memory and storage, a greater variety of I/O, and fastest performance."
The current generation iMac is the "best desktop" the company has ever made, he said, adding that its Retina 5K display is the "best desktop display in the world."
"Some folks in the media have raised the question about whether we’re committed to desktops. If there’s any doubt about that with our teams, let me be very clear: we have great desktops in our roadmap," Cook said. Although he didn't get into specifics, Cook advised, "Nobody should worry about that."
Governments Affect Our Business
The Apple CEO defended his decision to attend the tech summit organized by the president-elect based on the fact that Trump, as President, will influence a number of issues such as immigration, government surveillance, and censorship laws that are crucial to the tech sector.
"Governments can affect our ability to do what we do. They can affect it in positive ways and they can affect in not so positive ways,” Cook wrote in response.
Trump has been known to chastise some companies publicly and that could be cause for concern. For example, he recently attacked Boeing and Lockheed Martin on Twitter, which drove the stock prices of both businesses down. Lockheed may have lost as much as $4 billion in stock value following the president-elect’s attack.
During the presidential campaign, Trump also threatened to take unspecified action against Amazon, saying that the company "is going to have such problems" once he is in office. Trump has been critical of Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post newspaper. Some feel Trump's criticism of Bezos stems from the Post’s politically skewed coverage of him on a number of issues.
But despite the threats, Bezos was one of the tech leaders in attendance at the meeting, along with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Facebook COO Sharon Sandberg, and Alphabet (Google's parent company) CEO Larry Page and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. The meeting included Trump and three of his adult children.
Not Much Choice?
Although Cook himself has been clear about his concerns regarding a Trump presidency, he may have felt he had little choice in attending.
Apple recently experienced a 17 percent decline in year-on-year revenues, driven party by weakness in its once-core desktop business. The latest update of the MacBook Pro was met with disappointment from consumers who were hoping to see more significant upgrades and even some new desktop models.
Apple has also been experiencing increased competition in the market for creative professionals -- a market it dominated for many years. Microsoft has made major headway in developing tools for artists and other professionals, causing some core Mac users to switch systems. Others have complained that traditional desktop and laptop products are being deprioritized by Apple in favor of devices like the iPhone and iPad.
Cook has promised to wow the public with major new product launches in 2017, but the company is nevertheless facing increased scrutiny. On the positive side, the president-elect made it clear to Cook and other executives at the summit that he wants their companies to succeed, and help spur U.S. economic growth.
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Posted: 2016-12-25 @ 12:08am PT
Tim Cook did the proper thing in attending the meeting. It is always better to be on the inside than on the outside. The employees that are unhappy will have to understand that our culture changes and mental and physical adjustments are necessary.
My word to them is take your frustrations out on developing a WOW PRODUCT.
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 11:44pm PT
More like they are scared of losing the giant profit margins from their overseas slave labor....
Just the Facts Ma\'am:
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 9:30pm PT
I take exception to your quote "Some feel Trump's criticism of Bezos stems from the Post’s politically skewed coverage of him on a number of issues."
Reporting the truth and sticking to facts define good journalism. The new boy-king lies consistently, doesn't believe in science, and has an exceptionally thin skin and outsized ego. It's going to be hard not to piss him off in the next few years.
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 5:48pm PT
Apple made many of the best things in our lives possible. I've tried other computers, other systems, you can have them! I'm sticking to Apple products. One reason being, they wouldn't unlock that one phone, right on for privacy, Apple! Good on you. Also, just you wait, to see how the orange cheeto man makes your life better. Life's going to get very ugly, and much harder. Are you aware of how he severely underpaid MANY of his workers? And bought inferior chinese pot steel for his buildings? That he borrowed mony from the Russians to be able to build? And that he leases his name out, like it's a harbinger of quality?
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 9:00am PT
Trump called out Boeing so that they would compete with Lockheed Martin for pricing on jets. This is basic capitalism that the Obama-fuhrer doesn't grasp. Trump has conservative ideals that haven't been promulgated in many years. That's why so many of our latest generation don't even understand the concept of conservatism. Trump is a self-centered man, but it just so happens he's a conservative one, which works for me. Better than the alternatives. And which moronic tech leader wouldn't want to attempt to see Trump's views and attend an invite by the president-elect??
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 8:54am PT
Creative professionals... stop paying Apple premium prices for underpowered products with poor build quality! The old Apple is dead. Apple has no idea what it's doing anymore. No vision. They will rush some iMac upgrades for next year in an attempt to respond to the response to the MacBook pro, and this too will be a mediocre product at best. Truly professional level machines are only available for Windows platforms now. Even if Apple truly cares and wants to get back on track for creative professionals, it will take them years to figure out what is wrong, try things, and then finally produce a result. By then we will all be long gone. And once trust is broken, it takes a lot to build it back, especially if said product is no better than the competition yet still overpriced. Goodbye Apple, it was a nice ride while it lasted.
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 8:54am PT
Cook and other businessmen did the right thing to meet with businessman, President Trump. That is what businessmen do. Trump set aside his businesses to try and straighten out what the Liberal Elites have done to this great country under everyone's noses. I do not recall any past president or president elect calling together sessions like this. I am hopeful that we can have a little more nationalism vs Globalism to make this country great and We The People do not have to fear so much about job loss. We need to make more products here. When you visit Europe, everything, for the most part, is made there. In the USA everything, for the most part, is made in China, a communistic country. Everyone needs to make a profit but greed is out of control. Boeing is a perfect example. You can buy an airbus 380 for 250 million, but 4 billion for Boeing's plane. I hope Trump can shake down the Elites of Washington that have lost touch with, We The People. Believe me there are many more We The People, that did not vote because they felt all is lost in the country!!!!
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 8:27am PT
If Apple isn't coming out with a new iMac in spring, I will jump ship to the new Microsoft desktop...
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 8:14am PT
Come on people!! Trump is all about making profit at all costs to fund his pompous lifestyle.
Let's wait and see if his family and business partners dabbled in the shares of Boeing and Lockheed Martin before and after tweets.
Trump is not leading, he is profiteering!
A person of his age and privilege does not care about the working class....by all means feel free to dream, but don't force others to be delusional just so you can try to feel good about the next 4 years!
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 8:02am PT
Cook did the right move and choice and the answer. These liberal people in the media have proven to be haters, immature, selfish, childish, unprofessional, insecure and have not much respect for the people who voted for this president. These people in the Media and liberal across are bad losers and need to grow up and care about this country and its future.
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 7:53am PT
Get rid of that trash bin powermac!
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 7:31am PT
They need to bring back the 17" MacBook Pro. Show some commitment to Creative Professionals. Dumping it, because "it only sold 500,000 units" was stupid - those 500,000 included MANY in the entertainment field who used them for Field Editing. The 15" doesn't cut it. 4 of my people have since switched to PC's because of that.
BRING BACK THE 17" MACBOOK PRO!!
James M Guthrie:
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 7:26am PT
The Bush's and Clinton's almost ruined this Republic. So I hope that TRASH is not there on the 20th of next month.
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 7:23am PT
@David: Agreed... Trump called out those companies and told them they could do better. Not an attack at all. In fact, he's doing them and us taxpayers a huge favor.
David La Freniere:
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 7:16am PT
"he (Trump) recently attacked Boeing and Lockheed Martin on Twitter," Trump did not attack these companies. What Trump did was call out these companies to get them to rethink and lower their costs. Trump did it to benefit the tax-payer (you & me). Please tell me what's wrong with that?
Posted: 2016-12-24 @ 3:36am PT
I think Trump is going to make the world his stage and He will change policies to fit his needs. America will build his future. The attention! The world's attention! He's not concerned about Americans!