A breathless glossary of terms for understanding Apple’s earnings call

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Apple reportedly will scan images in iPhones and iCloud for hints of child abuse.
Apple reportedly will scan images in iPhones and iCloud for hints of child abuse.
Photo: Kevin Dooley/Flickr CC

During quarterly earnings calls, many executives deploy language designed to puff up, excuse or obfuscate their companies’ recent performance. The goal is to make investors pant with delight over implied future success. And ultimately to give the company more money. Always. More. Money.

But when you’re Apple — with a mind-blowing market cap and a seemingly never-ending supply of hit products — you typically don’t need to craft hopeful-yet-non-material statements or deflect questions designed to get at the bottom line.

Apple’s next earnings call takes place this afternoon. If it’s anything like the last one, CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri will simply lay out the good news. After all, analysts expect rising revenue overall, continuing services growth and  earnings-per-share of $1.21 vs. $0.73 in Q4 last year.

Today in Apple history: Tim Cook becomes Apple’s chief operating officer

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Cook
Tim Cook was on his way to the top spot at Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

October 14: Today in Apple history October 14, 2005: Tim Cook takes the reins as Apple’s chief operating officer, continuing an upward climb through the company’s ranks that will make him CEO less than six years later.

“Tim and I have worked together for over seven years now, and I am looking forward to working even more closely with him to help Apple reach some exciting goals during the coming years,” Steve Jobs says in a statement.

Let’s close the doors on the Church of Steve Jobs

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Let’s close the doors on the Church of Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was brilliant but let’s stop making him the patron saint of computing.
Photo: Cult of Mac/acaben/Flickr CC

While Steve Jobs died 10 years ago today, he lives on as a way to criticize Apple’s current management.

In some people’s misguided memories, Jobs did no wrong. Ever. And members of this reality-challenged group — let’s call it the Church of Steve Jobs — frequently post comments on social media like, “Apple would be so much better if Steve Jobs were still in charge.”

But in reality, Jobs made plenty of mistakes. Here are some of his worst foul-ups.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs dies at 56

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Steve Jobs, creator of the iPad and created on the iPad.
Steve Jobs leaves an enduring legacy at Apple.
Portrait: Jeremy Martin

October 5: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs dies at 56 October 5, 2011: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dies at the age of 56 in his home in Palo Alto, California.

Jobs’ official cause of death is respiratory arrest arising from complications related to a rare type of pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed with the cancer eight years earlier, and officially stepped down from his role as Apple CEO in August 2011.

Today in Apple history: Apple lays out its core company values

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Cupertino sums up
Cupertino sums up "Apple Values" in an exuberant document.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Sep 23 Today in Apple history: Cupertino lays out its core Apple Values September 23, 1981: Years before Steve Jobs would tell us to “think different” and Tim Cook would say Apple should act as a “force for good,” Cupertino lays out what it calls its “Apple Values.”

Despite being written almost 40 years ago, the values Apple viewed as crucial to its brand remain relevant today. They demonstrate that Apple always has been a company that’s about more than just selling computers.

Apple intensifies its war on leakers

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When will the Apple leaks stop?
Tim Cook says Apple is “doing everything in our power” to find iPhone leakers.
Photo: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook is fed up with employees who leak details of upcoming devices to the press. He sent out a company-wide memo that said, “people who leak confidential information do not belong here.”

The memo was quickly leaked to the press.

Today in Apple history: iPhone 6 is bigger and better than ever

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iPhone
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were massive upgrades for Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew

September 19: Today in Apple history: iPhone 6 is bigger and better than ever September 19, 2014: The iPhone undergoes its biggest upgrade — both figuratively and literally — since the original, with the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets.

The iPhone 6 brings a new 4.7-inch form factor, while the iPhone 6 Plus boasts a massive 5.5-inch design. The previous-generation iPhone 5 measured only slightly taller than its 3.5-inch predecessors. But with the iPhone 6, Apple abandons that strategy for the first time to take on big-screen Android “phablets.”

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Cult of Mac podcast: This week on The CultCast, we talk iPhone 13's satellite secret.
What will iPhone 13's satellite communications feature actually do?
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple AR glasses launch could mark end of Tim Cook era

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2018 interview with Tim Cook suggests Apple was working on iCloud backup encryption
Tim Cook wants to stick around for one more big Apple product hitting the market.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has been Apple CEO for 10 years and he’s considering his exit strategy. But it won’t be soon because the executive will wait until the launch of “one more major new product category,” according to a new report.