Tim Cook, Apple Pay, Thanksgiving, iPhone

9 things Tim Cook has to be thankful for


Tim Cook bores the world with even more amazing Apple products. Yawn. Photo: Apple
Tim Cook has a lot to be thankful for. No wonder he looks happy. Photo: Apple

In between dessert and the traditional food coma on the couch, Thanksgiving offers everyone a great opportunity to take stock of the past year’s accomplishments.

When it comes to looking back at the previous year, sure you can stew over your failures and missed opportunities, but that’s for losers. And coming off one of Apple’s most successful years in history, Tim Cook is no loser.

So what’s Apple’s CEO going to be thinking about when he sits back in a carbohydrate-induced daze? Here are our best guesses.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users on iOS 8.0.1 could not get a cellular connection. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 6 is a massive success

What can be said about the iPhone 6 that hasn’t yet been said yet? Apple’s most successful iPhone ever, the 6 and 6 Plus racked up an astonishing 10 million sales in their opening weekend, and are predicted to sell 71.5 million units over the holidays.

True, the implosion of GT Advanced Technologies means we didn’t get the sapphire display many of us were expecting, but that certainly doesn’t seem to have done anything to dull interest in Apple’s best ever iPhones. When your biggest problem is that your suppliers are having trouble keeping up supply to meet the enormous demand you know you’re onto a good thing.

Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

iOS 8 adoption is finally starting to speed up

Seeing as it was accompanying the most successful iPhone launch of all time, iOS 8 adoption was admittedly disappointing early on. Fortunately, with the disastrous 8.0.1 release now behind us, and tools like Apple Pay helping spread the good word, iOS 8 adoption has started to pick up.

Earlier this month, well over half of all eligible iOS users had upgraded, with increases of around 2% per week. It won’t match iOS 7 by the end of the year, but there’s no accusing iOS 8 of being a flop.

Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

AAPL stock is going through the roof

If Tim Cook’s not paying for the turkey this year we really don’t know what to say!

Shares of AAPL are up a massive 50 percent since the start of the year, and on Wednesday this week crossed the $700 billion market cap threshold. Having audaciously split 7-to-1, Apple stock just keeps going up and up. Next stop? $1 trillion if certain analysts are to be believed.

Photo: Apple

Apple has its most exciting product lineup in years

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that naysayers (presumably those who sold their AAPL shares before they hit their current all time high) were talking about Apple under Tim Cook as a company that no longer innovates.

That was before we started seeing evidence of what Apple’s got planned. Some of it is is software-based: tighter integration between iOS and OS X, for example. Some of it is tweaking existing products like the iPhone and iPad to make them the best they’ve ever been. And some of it is tantalizingly exciting new product categories like Apple Watch.

Eddy Cue has called it “best product pipeline” in a quarter century. It’s hard to disagree with him.

A war for mobile wallet dominance is on the horizon. Apple Pay. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Pay is revolutionising mobile payments

What were we saying about exciting product line-ups? Apple Pay is so exciting, it more than deserves its own entry on this list.

NFC payments might have been around for years now, but with Apple Pay, Apple did what it does best: swooping in on a promising-but-underutilized technology and making it easy and accessible enough for everyone to use. Just one month after it launched, Apple Pay is already making up a percentage of multiple retailers’ transactions. It can only go up from here.

People queue for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus all across China. Photo: People's Daily/Weibo
People queue for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus all across China. Photo: People’s Daily/Weibo

Apple’s gone global

For a company that promotes its products as “Designed in California,” there hasn’t been another year in Apple’s history when its felt quite as global as it has in 2014. The year started with Apple signing a deal with China Mobile, opening up the iPhone to the company’s 763 million customers. It only picked up from there: with growing demand in China, Japan, India and various other markets not previously viewed as Apple stomping grounds.

Things aren’t looking good for Samsung right now. Photo: Samsung

While Apple thrives, competitors are failing

Sure, it’s not the most benevolent thing to say thanks for your enemies failing, but it’s pretty inescapable these days that Apple’s major rivals are hitting one stumbling block after the next. Most notable of all is Samsung, which has been stung by dismal quarterly earnings, a collapsing mobile division, and stacks of unsold flagship phones piling up in warehouses.

For the amount of times Samsung has taken shots at Apple, it’s difficult not to hope that somewhere in Cupertino, Tim Cook isn’t raising a glass of eggnog to fallen rivals, and wishing them better luck next time.

Photo: Jackee Chang / Twitter
Photo: Jackee Chang / Twitter

Apple has continued to fight for gay rights

Tim Cook publicly came out as gay this year, prompting an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the public. As the civil rights issue of our time, Apple has been an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights for a number of years. From campaigning Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto the controversial religious freedom bill SB1062, to joining in San Francisco’s Gay Pride parade, Cook can be thankful of the fact that Apple is doing its bit to promote equality.

Photo: Apple Insider (screen capture)
Photo: Apple Insider (screen capture)
Photo: Bloomberg

That, at age 54, he’s still got some impressive biceps

My workout-obsessed colleague Killian Bell was the one who pointed out how buff Tim Cook’s looking these days. Now I can’t help but notice. Being the popular 54-year-old head of the world’s biggest company — and still having time to lift weights like a madman? Yep, that’s something to be thankful for. Maybe he’s getting some help from muscular employee Dr. Dre.