Tim Cook: Pro users remain incredibly important to Apple

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There's reportedly been a death at Apple HQ.
This is the last shareholders meeting at Apple's old campus.
Photo: Ryan B/Flickr

Apple hosted its annual shareholders meeting today at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino where a number of new proposals were presented by investors before Tim Cook took questions from the audience.

During his Q&A session, Tim Cook discussed how Apple plans to fight for net neutrality. He also assured shareholders that Apple plans to come out with new products that appeal to professionals and creatives, but insisted that the Mac and iPad aren’t destined for a merger.

“You will see us do more in the pro area. The pro area is very important to us. The creative area is very important to us in particular,” Cook told the crowd. “You can expect to see us do more and more that people will view iPad as a laptop replacement, but not a Mac replacement. The Mac does so much more.”

Q&A with Cook

Apple hasn’t updated its Mac Pro, iMac and Mac Mini products in years. Even though the company came out with a new MacBook Pro at the end of 2016, many professionals panned the new machine for lacking enough power to be a true pro laptop.

Cook also talked about US manufacturing opportunities and job creation. The Apple CEO explained that the company has created 2 million jobs in the US. About 1.4 million of those jobs are app developers.

“We love this country, and we’ll continue to look for ways to expand and help in any way that we can,” said Cook.

Other Q&A topics included how Apple will respond to Donald Trump’s plans to end net neutrality. Although Cook didn’t have an immediate plan of action, he said Apple thinks all content should be treated the same.

Shareholders demand more diversity

Before Apple opened the meeting for questions a number of proposals were presented by shareholders, including a push to force Apple to have more diversity in its senior management and board of directors.

The proposal for more diversity was presented by Antonio Avian Maldonado who has requested Apple add more women and people of color to its ranks at every shareholder’s meeting since 2015. Apple advised shareholders to vote against the proposal, but not before others voiced their concerns about Apple’s whiteness.

Corey Webb, an Apple shareholder from Florida, supported Maldonado’s proposal, saying he experienced lack of diversity in Apple at the executive level in retail. Other investors said they were worried about the diversity problem in Silicon Valley, but are against putting language into Apple policies requiring it.

Other proposals presented by shareholders included one that would have forced Apple execs to hold onto 75% of their stock until retirement. Another proposal requested that shareholders get to nominate two members to the board of directors.

None of the proposals from Apple shareholders passed.

Deals of the Day

  • Greg_the_Rugger

    If I can get a new Mac mini in gold…. i’d be golden. ;-p

  • David Kaplan

    Putting language in basically to have affirmative action is a terrible idea. Putting education practices in place to encourage a more diverse group to get into tech and hire from a broad range of sources makes sense.

  • Publius

    Bovine Excrement. If “Pros” were so important why would core functions of the OS languish while Apple crams in the iOS candy every annual update? Removing RAID functionality from disk utility? Sad fact is, a lot of the creatives I know are leaving the Apple ecosystem, and I am as well. A lot of talk Tim, but Apple’s actions speak volumes.

  • TCinGA

    If Pros were important, the MBP would have been updated sooner with something other than a touch bar which require dongles to be functional, the iMac that is little more than a prosumer machine and a new version of the Thunderbolt/Cinema Display would have been updated. What about the MacPro? Apple is a mainstream consumer electronics manufacturer, has forgotten about it’s roots and concentrates on selling iPhones, iPads and not machines that help creatives do their work.

  • Deplorable Lance Corvette

    “The pro area is very important to us”

    Their actions the last 6,7 years say otherwise. Pages is a well-documented joke of a word processor, Numbers is a joke even for me a simple user. I just tried Keynote for the first time the other day, and while I was able to kludge a presentation, it was not easy to do things that instinctively I felt I should have been able to do much more easily.

    Even basic apps like Contacts, Mail and Calendar aren’t all that good anymore.

    And ten years on, my MacBook still flags “MacBook” as misspelled.

  • Protogon

    Money is very important to US (no one believes in the pro apple user…shhh)

  • This guy talks some amount of s**t. If pros are important to you Mr. Cook stop talking about them and put some f**king product on the shelves already.

  • Ancient

    how about making your operating system better rather than allowign them to conitiue to degrade as they have been, rather than being blackmailed to have a perverse obsession with affirmative action over genitals and skin colour in terms of employment, merit merit merit is whats needed to reverse the current retrograde devolution of things, because regardless of current sales – the product is getting worse.

  • Marthinus Swart

    This song pops up in my head everytime Tim talks about something

    Meghan Trainor
    If your lips are moving, if your lips are moving
    If your lips are moving, then you’re lyin’, lyin’, lyin’, baby
    If your lips are moving, if your lips are moving
    If your lips are moving, then you’re lyin’, lyin’, lyin’, baby.

  • Tim Cook’s remarks are only mildly reassuring. I note the tacit limitation of “pros” to the “creative community,” and Tim Cook is a VERY precise speaker when on the record. Apple’s concept of what a Pro user is, may vary from many Professional’s own opinions, who’s needs may not be in sync with what Apple offers us.

    But I’m inclined to dismiss every word of that condescending PR Horseswallop until they, not announce, but actually SHIP something worthy of professional attention. The Mac Pro is effectively a DEAD computer no professional in his right mind should buy now, and they’re losing high-end pros in DROVES.

    When Apple talks about “Pro” machines they are more than not pushing the iMac, MacBook Pro and iPad Pro as platforms. What’s more telling is that on Apple’s own Mac Page, the “Compare Mac Models” hero image does not show the Mac Pro or Mac Mini, and they are also not mentioned on the page’s copy.

    Tells you all you need to know about how Apple feels.

  • Bennie The Bouncer

    Pro users important? Is that why they discontinued Aperture? Is that why the trashcan requires vertical space to cool and so wastes rack space? Is that why the trashcan’s drives can’t be internally expanded, but instead expansion requires insecure and inconvenient desk warts? Is that why I can’t upgrade/update the stock graphics hardware like I can in every tower previous? Is that why the thing doesn’t fit on my desk without wasting space around it?

    Boy, you learn something every day!

  • JohnnyF1ve

    “The proposal for more diversity was presented by Antonio Avian Maldonado who has requested Apple add more women and people of color to its ranks at every shareholder’s meeting since 2015.”

    Good god, what is wrong with these people???

    Do they honestly believe that Apple is turning away qualified women and black people?

    Apple is hiring every single qualified person they can get their hands on. They’re dying for more talent. It’s not Apple’s fault more women and “people of color” aren’t seeking the skills they would need to get hired at Apple.

    I hope Apple is smart enough to ignore these idiotic pleas to discount people’s merit and start hiring based on genitalia and color of said genitalia, but I doubt it, because Tim Cook seems intent on politicizing and kowtowing to these moronic requests for more #diversity.

  • Feanor22

    I have been someone who’s given Tim Cook the benefit of the doubt for a long time. You know, Apple had Jobs’ DNA woven into it and that was never going to be an easy thing to change. The expectations for Apple had gotten sky high by the time Jobs’ passed and Tim was at the helm. So for lots of reasons, I waited several years before complaining about anything, and even the last few years, have been hoping for some sort of surprise out of Cupertino that would get me excited again. But I’m out of patience. All we’ve gotten is a huge focus on the damned iPhone and little else. MacPro? What’s that? MacMini? So much wasted potential sitting right there in a small form factor… iPad Pro 12.9″? Yes, I bought one, as someone interested in design I thought it would be great. You’d think it was never released the way its jammed in with the comical smaller iPad Pro (with better specs in many areas) and the non-pro models. What exactly is PRO about the MacBook Pro anymore? Nothing, that’s what.

    I love macOS but it’s not going anywhere interesting. iOS and tvOS seem to get more love, and iOS is a mess for pro apps trying to sync with their counterparts on macOS. Yes, they share documents well, iCloud finally isn’t broken, etc, but can you actually DO much on iOS devices other than view your Adobe/Microsoft/CAD documents? It’s a pain in the rear. They’ll happily sell you a keyboard case and a pencil, but then you’re over a grand $$ if you got the big screen with enough storage memory. I hate to say this but if I were in the market for a tablet right now I’d be looking at the Surface. Laptop? Not sure…but definitely none of Apple’s current offerings. And though I have a 2011 iMac 27″ i7 that I LOVE, and was planning on upgrading it soon to a iMac 5K with all the fixings, now I’m hesitant because how do I know the iMac won’t be phased out or dumbed down as soon as I make my purchase. It says something that I’ve been pricing building a hotrod PC (maybe dual booting Winblows for gaming and Linux for everything else) lately. FOR FUN, I thought, because I’m in my mid 40s and I haven’t been into the DIY PC thing in about 15-20 years. Macs have been so easy and “just work”. But at some point it gets ridiculous to pay thousands of dollars for a desktop computer with an iffy screen, slow HDDs, a crappy mobile GPU, and so on when for the same money I could build something twice as fast using components from good companies like Corsair, ASUS, and so on.

    Apple isn’t so luxurious anymore that it’s worth the extra money, IMO. The one actual new product released in the Cook era has been a f*cking watch, for chrissake. Who the hell cares about a smart watch? Not me. It appears Apple cares about making a ton of money, but that’s about it. Whatever vision Steve once had to put professional tools in the hands of creative people is now gone. Walk into Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, LucasArts, or any company doing professional graphics & animation work and what are they using? Not Apple! Likely a big farm of HP or Dell workstations using NVIDIA Pascal or ATI FirePro based cards and running 10-core Intel CPUs. Where can I get an Apple machine that uses those cards or processors. That’s right, there aren’t any at the moment. I’ll probably always be an Apple fanboy at heart because I had an original Apple II that I learnt to program on, as well as a 128k Mac and onwards up to the present…but I doubt I’ll be investing any serious money in them again. Maybe keep an iPad around to read on or watch Netflix or check email in bed. But that’s probably it.

    Sorry, long rant!