One of the world’s most outspoken telecom CEOs recently talked about how he has seen Apple change under the guidance of Tim Cook. Stephane Richard runs Orange, a leading French carrier and longtime Apple partner. During Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Richard spoke to reporters about how he has seen Apple become “more flexible” and “less arrogant than they used to be.”
Apple has historically been a company that is very difficult to negotiate with, especially when it comes to the carriers. We are talking about the only smartphone maker in the world that demands to independently test a network’s coverage before agreeing to partner. More recently, Richard believes Apple has been “paying more attention to everyone else,” and he thinks “they are probably a little more under pressure, and it is quite nice.” Android market share continues to climb with the growing popularity of handsets from the likes of Samsung.
Tim Cook is definitely a less confrontational personality than Steve Jobs. He’s more soft-spoken in public, and Apple’s PR department has gone on the offensive since he took over as CEO. Richard’s comments aren’t surprising.