How Apple’s Operations department works [Cook book outtakes]

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Two Apple operations workers in a factory
Apple's operations, which Tim Cook headed up, is one of the company's secret weapons.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook book outtakes: How Apple's Operations department works This post was going to be part of my new book, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level, but was cut for length or continuity. Over the next week or so, we will be publishing several more sections that were cut, focusing mostly on geeky details of Apple’s manufacturing operations.

Apple is famous for design and marketing, but a large part of the company’s success is due to the incredibly complex and efficient manufacturing organization Tim Cook masterminded with Steve Jobs.

No matter how beautiful its products are, the company would go nowhere without a world-class manufacturing and distribution operation that can make millions of devices in the utmost secrecy, to the highest possible standards, and deliver them efficiently all over the globe.

It’s an operation unprecedented in the history of industry. When Jobs and Cook started in 1998, Apple was doing $6 billion in business annually. It now does that every 10 days.

Apple News+ brings you all the magazines for $10 a month

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Apple News+
Some aren't happy with Apple's tactics.
Photo: Apple

You can now find your favorite magazines inside Apple News.

A new subscription provides access to a wealth of periodicals from the likes of Vogue, Rolling Stone and The New Yorker. It also features content from The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times.

You can read as many as you like, as much as you like, for just $9.99 a month.

Please, Apple, sort out your product naming nightmare [Opinion]

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Jumbled letters
Apple's new iPads underline its problem with product naming.
Photo: Lucille Pine/Flickr CC

As thrilling as new Apple devices are, this week’s surprise hardware updates really screwed the pooch on one important front: product naming.

The “new” iPad Air and iPad mini join a lineup of tablets with a variety of features and price points that will boggle the minds of even the most ardent Apple fanatics.

How did Apple’s naming strategy go so far off the rails? For the sake of the average customer, Cupertino’s once-brilliant branding needs to kick into gear. Because right now, the toxic hellstew of Apple product names is utterly confusing.

AirPods art challenge turns classic works on their ears

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AirPods art challenge
David needs music to get psyched up for his battle with Goliath.
Photo: @SCOTUSPlaces/Twitter

Vincent Van Gogh might have been kinder to his ear if only AirPods were around when he was alive and painting.

Art already gives us so much to ponder. As does Twitter, which a New York City creative agency used to call on followers to Photoshop Apple AirPods into famous works of art.

Can Apple keep cannibalizing its core creations? [Opinion]

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Galaxy-Fold-inside
Folding smartphones could threaten both iPhone and iPad sales.
Photo: Samsung

Apple built its world-dominating status by being brave. Not only did it create hit products, but it never worried about “cannibalizing” existing products to make way for the future.

Will that same strategy hold true at a time when Apple’s dominance is faltering? If the company is going to thrive through the next wave of tech, it’s going to take a whole lot of Dutch Cupertino courage.

Apple has signed ‘many publishers’ for its subscription news services

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Apple News
Will Apple's subscription news service be a hit?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is reportedly having no problem signing up publishers for its proposed 50-50 revenue split deal for its news subscription service.

Despite the massive cut Apple is demanding, a new report claims that it has “already signed many publishers to deals.” These companies are banking on Apple being able to pull off an iTunes-style rescue of the news business. As such, they believe they’ll get a smaller piece of a big business, rather than a big piece of a small one.

How Apple could fix the iPad home screen in iOS 13 [Opinion]

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Ipad home screen
It this really an appropriate home screen for the powerful 2018 iPad Pro?
Photo: Apple

According to rumors, iOS 13 will bring a redesigned home screen to the iPad. It’s about time. The grid of apps might have worked fine on the iPhone before the App Store, but after nine years of using the expanded version on the iPad, the joke is starting to get old.

So, if Apple is finally ready to make a home screen worthy of the iPad, we have a few suggestions.