Why Apple needs outside help to create hit products [Opinion]

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Apple’s first AR headset could launch in 2022, AR glasses in 2023
Apple may need a little help polishing its glasses
Concept: Taeyeon Kim

Recent rumors suggest that Apple is leaning on another company to help develop its highly anticipated augmented reality headset. At first, I thought that sounded crazy. Apple Glasses look set to be the company’s biggest new product launch since Apple Watch. Surely Cupertino would keep development of something that important in-house?

But when you look back over Apple’s history of joint ventures, it starts to make more sense. Apple tends to partner with third-parties in very specific circumstances — and Cupertino knows exactly what it’s doing.

Today in Apple history: iPad Pro makes its big debut

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iPad Pro
The iPad Pro was a big step forward for the iPad.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

November 11: Today in Apple history: iPad Pro debutsNovember 11, 2015: Apple’s first iPad Pro goes on sale after months of speculation about the giant-size tablet. With its much larger screen, professional-oriented targeting and dreaded (optional) stylus, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro represents Apple CEO Tim Cook’s cleanest break yet from Steve Jobs’ vision for iOS devices.

And it turned out all the better for it!

Today in Apple history: Turnaround artist Gil Amelio joins Apple’s board

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Bringing on Gil Amelio was viewed as a big coup for the Apple board.
Bringing on Gil Amelio was viewed as a big coup for the Apple board.
Photo: Apple

November 9: Today in Apple history: Gil Amelio joins Apple board of directors November 9, 1994: Gil Amelio, a businessman with a reputation as a talented turnaround artist, joins Apple’s board.

Coming off his impressive revitalization of National Semiconductor and Rockwell International, Amelio’s appointment at Apple sparks widespread celebration. Many Apple watchers think his arrival means the company’s dark days are over. Sadly, Amelio’s turnaround tricks won’t work in Cupertino.

Today in Apple history: iTunes sales hit astonishing new heights

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iTunespic
iTunes coming to Windows proved a smart move for Apple.
Photo: Apple

November 6: Today in Apple history: After porting iTunes to Windows, iTunes sales hit 1.5 million downloads in one week November 6, 2003: After porting iTunes to Windows, Apple sets a new record for digital music sales: a massive 1.5 million downloads in one week.

Bringing iTunes to PC users opens up a new, lucrative market for Apple. The record-breaking sales clock in at five times more than the 300,000 downloads Napster (remember it?) achieved in its debut week. And 1.5 million is double the 600,000 iTunes downloads per week Apple reported selling to Mac users prior to the Windows release.

Apple’s outside ad agency cuts 50 jobs

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TBWA/Media Arts Lab
Geoff Edwards (left) has already left after he was tapped to run marketing for Apple services in May.
Photo: TBWA/Media Arts Lab

The outside ad agency dedicated to Apple marketing was hit with a big round of layoffs this week.

Media Arts Lab cut about 50 employees across multiple divisions of the company. Owned by Apple’s longtime ad partner TBWA Worldwide, Media Arts Lab counts Apple as its only client. The Los Angeles based company helps Apple come up with advertisements for many of its popular products, but is facing changes as Apple’s needs evolve.

Today in Apple history: Fortune names Steve Jobs ‘CEO of the decade’

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Steve
Steve Jobs was rounding out a brilliant 10 years at Apple.
Photo: Stanford University

November 5: Today in Apple history: Fortune magazine names Steve Jobs CEO of the decade November 5, 2009: Fortune magazine names Steve Jobs “CEO of the decade.” The accolade comes just four months after Jobs returned to Apple after undergoing a liver transplant.

The business publication credits Jobs with transforming multiple industries, as well as continuing Apple’s meteoric rise. These achievements seem particularly noteworthy considering the tough economic conditions of the 2008 financial crash.

Today in Apple history: Apple begins retail venture inside CompUSA

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Desiring more control over how Macs got sold, Apple turned to CompUSA.
Desiring more control over how Macs got sold, Apple turned to CompUSA.
Photo: Coolcaesar/Wikipedia CC

November 4: Today in Apple history: Apple CompUSA November 4, 1997: Apple unveils its plan to open small “store within a store” sections inside CompUSA outlets around the United States.

In a step toward the flagship Apple stores that would launch four years later, Cupertino-trained employees staff these mini-stores. The move gives Apple a bit more control over the way its products get displayed and demoed to consumers.

Today in Apple history: iTunes video takes world by storm

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Kanye West
Artists like Kanye West helped drive music video downloads past 1 million in less than 20 days.
Photo: Rodrigo Ferrari/Flickr CC

October 31: Today in Apple history: iTunes video takes world by storm October 31, 2005: Less than three weeks after launching video downloads with iTunes 6, Apple reveals that it has already sold more than 1 million music videos.

Apple’s dive into the online digital video market — with 2,000 music videos, Pixar short films and a selection of hit TV shows for $1.99 — looks like the logical next step after selling individual songs on iTunes. Passing the 1 million download benchmark so quickly suggests the plan is a roaring success.

The secret to Apple’s sales success [Live from Cupertino book excerpt]

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All great presentations begin with a Sharpie and then a Mac. A
All great presentations begin with a Sharpie (and then a Mac).
Photo: Michael Hageloh

Excerpted from Live from Cupertino: How Apple Used Words, Music, and Performance to Build the World’s Best Sales Machine by Michael Hageloh and Tim Vandehey.

Prologue: What were once devices are now habits

When I set out to write this book, one of my goals was to see if I could insult fifty million people in one sentence. Here goes. Years ago, before I was excommunicated from New York City and became a resident of Texas (a state so backward that someone in our town once asked my wife and me if being Jewish was like being Catholic), I lived in Florida, which is so appealing to the unbalanced that when I took the “Florida Challenge” (where you google “Florida man” and your birthday to see what kind of headlines pop up) for April 24, the first result read, “Florida man kisses venomous snake and is immediately bitten on the lips.”

Mission accomplished. Now, let’s move on.