Tim Cook: Microsoft is copying Apple's strategy, Nokia died due to lack of innovation

By on September 19, 2013, 5:00 PM

Bloomberg Businessweek published a joint interview with Apple's leadership including CEO Tim Cook, head of design Jony Ive and software chief Craig Federighi today. The three sat down for an extensive Q&A on a number of different topics, one of which was Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone business.

 "Everybody is trying to adopt Apple's strategy," said Tim Cook with regards to Microsoft. "We're not looking for external validation of our strategy, but I think it does suggest that there's a lot of copying, kind of, on the strategy and that people have recognized that importance."

Just two weeks ago, Microsoft purchased Nokia's devices and services unit, pending outstanding approval. The deal brought the Lumia lineup of devices under the Microsoft umbrella at a price of around €3.79 billion plus €1.65 billion in patent licenses.

Cook went on to talk about how he feels the industry should pay close attention to what is happening to Nokia, saying that he thinks the company serves as a perfect example "to everyone in business that you have to keep innovating and that to not innovate is to die."

Although Nokia has never really been criticized for its hardware innovation, its software business struggled to keep up with emerging technologies. There was a point not so long ago when the company had a very firm grasp as leader in global marketshare, but it just couldn't keep up with the iPhone and Android.




User Comments: 29

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1 person liked this | Guest said:

Well he's right. Now, Apple keep innovating and improving on the user experience. And most of all, let's get past the lawsuits and focus on making great products.

JC713 JC713 said:

I think Nokia should have left WP and moved to Android.

2 people like this | OneSpeed said:

There was a point not so long ago when Microsoft had to invest in Apple to keep Apple afloat. This was done for a multitude of reasons, one being the fact that if Apple dies, Combines (a.k.a. Government) would squint a little harder at Microsoft without any competition. Cook is a master of the obvious; No company is immune to obsolescence, including MS and Apple. Also, to suggest that everyone is copying Apple is ludicrous. Apple calling the kettle black.

2 people like this | Guest said:

The buzzword of the year is "innovation". Innovate or die is the mantra. OneSpeed reminds us that Apple was in big trouble. It wasn't lack of innovation (remember Lisa, Newton, MAC Office, etc.). It is getting LUCKY and releasing an innovative product at the RIGHT time.

Remember, Jobs and NextStep were innovative, what happened to NextStep?

Innovation on its own does not mean success. It is all timing.

OneSpeed said:

The buzzword of the year is "innovation". Innovate or die is the mantra. OneSpeed reminds us that Apple was in big trouble. It wasn't lack of innovation (remember Lisa, Newton, MAC Office, etc.). It is getting LUCKY and releasing an innovative product at the RIGHT time.

Remember, Jobs and NextStep were innovative, what happened to NextStep?

Innovation on its own does not mean success. It is all timing.

Yes.

1 person liked this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

"you have to keep innovating and that to not innovate is to die."

"There was a point not so long ago when the company had a very firm grasp as leader in global marketshare, but it just couldn't keep up..."

Hmm, these two quotes seem to be referring to the same company... So, Apple, why are still around? :P

umbala said:

The buzzword of the year is "innovation". Innovate or die is the mantra. OneSpeed reminds us that Apple was in big trouble. It wasn't lack of innovation (remember Lisa, Newton, MAC Office, etc.). It is getting LUCKY and releasing an innovative product at the RIGHT time.

Remember, Jobs and NextStep were innovative, what happened to NextStep?

Innovation on its own does not mean success. It is all timing.

Hindsight is always 20/20. It's easy to look back and say "this is what you do to be successful" once you're already at the top. It's not even just about innovation, luck, and timing, but also marketing. Microsoft tried their hand at a tablet PC way back in 2002, but it just wasn't the right time. Today Apple acts like they invented tablets, smart phones, sliced bread, and everyone is just copying them. Meanwhile Apples hasn't done anything new or innovative. Everything is just an improvement on old ideas and products.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Tim forgot something (speaking half truth I'd say), MS was generation ahead of Apple and rest, when it came to mobile penetration, but they blew it in a very spectacular way, and did nothing for years. WinMo in its heydays was a very good mobile OS and well rest is history as we know it. On the vertical integration side, he is right, but I think it is not copying, it is more like fact of life, since software is the king, and margins in hardware business is shrinking, so only way to survive is to integrate and maximize advantages.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

It does make me laugh. Most of the things Apple is bragging about in the new iOS are just copied from Android...Oh, I'm sorry. I can't say that, can I? Everybody knows that Apple is the innovator that everyone else copies. How blasphemous to suggest that the god of smart phones would copy anything.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

There was a point not so long ago when Microsoft had to invest in Apple to keep Apple afloat. This was done for a multitude of reasons, one being the fact that if Apple dies, Combines (a.k.a. Government) would squint a little harder at Microsoft without any competition. Cook is a master of the obvious; No company is immune to obsolescence, including MS and Apple. Also, to suggest that everyone is copying Apple is ludicrous. Apple calling the kettle black.

When MS invested in Apple, if Apple had died, MS would have been hurt a lot. MS didn't do that out of the kindness of their hearts, they knew that if Apple died, a large portion of their revenue was going to die with it.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Tim forgot something (speaking half truth I'd say), MS was generation ahead of Apple and rest, when it came to mobile penetration, but they blew it in a very spectacular way, and did nothing for years. WinMo in its heydays was a very good mobile OS and well rest is history as we know it. On the vertical integration side, he is right, but I think it is not copying, it is more like fact of life, since software is the king, and margins in hardware business is shrinking, so only way to survive is to integrate and maximize advantages.

Apple did it with the Newton, I know we can argue semantics on products and what they are labeled as. So have at it if you want, the Newton was a PDA, years before any other PDAs made it, and ultimately they all failed and smartphones took over.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Fair enough, but then long before Newton project (with all its troubled history and cancellation) there was Psion Organiser (Orgniser I & II), ......... so still Apple can't brag about it, though it is only my personal opinion.

fredderf81 said:

Maybe his next interview should be about how much the 'latest' ios actually copied the android operating system. apple has an excellent business model....until they run out of sheep. people at work are already gathering ipads to trade in for that microsoft surface deal going on soon. the majority have had troubles with the ios 7 upgrade and the majority, when showing off the new OS when it actually did install.....one day and 3 hours later....were actually surprised with others with android and windows phones simply said: " oh, thats nice, my phone has done that since I bought it" three people actually complained about their iphones and said they would never buy them again despite being apple fans for many years. the rest of the world is on a technical incline as far as innovation goes...apple in stuck in a straight line that will eventually point south unless it actually does start to develop something instead of rely on profits from sheep using devices made in other countries by people whom they pay $4400 a year to work 12 hour shifts and live like cattle. .....it will catch up with them. I remember arguing with a sheep at work when apple stock was up near $700 a share. I told him the luster would die and he should sell while he could. he laughed and said the market and company told him otherwise. now he has lost $280 a share. it will continue to slide when people realize how large a piece of crap the new phones actually are.

Guest said:

"Everybody is trying to adopt Apple's strategy"

Correction Tim Cook, Job's strategy, because without Jobs return you wouldn't be working for Apple, because Apple would have been bankrupt a long, long time ago and that's a fact.

Go ahead... keep drooling over your iPhone.... just like Nokia did with their phones....because you're company isn't going to last long if you put all your eggs in one basket....meaning only focusing on iPhone/iPad. Forget about iWatch, we all know that those watches aren't going to carry your company forward.

Guest said:

Here is the pattern that I've seen in the technology industry for many, many years. A Company/Person comes up with a good idea. The market is ready for the idea. The funding is available to create a product out of the idea. Once the idea is successful and other companies realize that a viable market exists, then many companies jump into the fold. After some time, some companies/ideas get lost, fail, merged, bought out, survive, etc. This goes on until we have 2 or 3 main companies producing the products with another 2 or so doing something in the niche markets. This has happened many, many times with just about every technology product. Companies don't always have to be innovators, many just sit back and wait for someone else to create the idea and then they copy it or buy it and claim it as their idea or an improved idea that they created.

Guest said:

"Today Apple acts like they invented tablets, smart phones, sliced bread, and everyone is just copying them. Meanwhile Apples hasn't done anything new or innovative. Everything is just an improvement on old ideas and products."

And the same can be said for every other company out there. Has there really been anything truly innovative? No. Bigger screens and faster chips are not innovative.And useless features as eye scrolling are exactly that. Useless. They are more of an evolutionary process rather than anything revolutionary.

I'm glad we have multiple options out there (mainly Android and iOS) because it forces both to keep improving the process and user experience. In the end, it's us consumers that benefit regardless of which OS you pick.

I agree that Apple didn't invent all of these things, but I will give them credit for setting us on the right path to where we are now. The iPhone may not be the best feature and spec phone out there now, but it sure as hell was when it first launched compared to all the flip and slide phones and things we were using before. In the end, they're all copying each other now. Now, let's just stop the lawsuits and get on with making great things for the rest of us.

Guest said:

Tim Cook ..?

NOkia didn't die, it was bought out. Secondly, phones don't need to be innovative... they just need to WORK!

Kid Kraze of smartphones are over, adult want something simple and constant. I view android as a toy and an iPhone a s specialty. I own a windows phone because it is the logical choice of everything one needs.. without fooling themselves into marketing.

Nokia 928 <--

(I have had the same cell # for 23yrs now.)

gamoniac said:

Let's not forget Apple's most copied innovation is the way they evaded billions of taxes. All Fortune 500 are copying it, including Walmart, Google, Microsoft, and GE.

[link]

[link]

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm always impressed with how delusionally self-important some of these CEOs can be... The hypocrisy you can find in their statements is sometimes staggering.

The iPhone 5s/c are just the latest rehashes and evolutions of evolutions of evolutions of the first iPhone, which was the last time Apple truly innovated in that sector. Granted, they at least put some NEW stuff into the 5s with the fingerprint scanner gadget, but it's still very remarkably the same as the original iPhone in many respects... Except for the improvements where they copied quite a bit of the Android improvements, but I digress...

Now look at the Nokia Lumia 1020 - a camera/phone hybrid, not just a phone with the best little camera they can squeeze in. Pretty innovative idea there, far more recent than any of Apple's innovative ideas, but conveniently completely left out of Cook's story. It's made even more ironic when you consider that one of Apple's advertising pushes has been about how so many people use the iPhone to take photos......

Guest said:

Tim Cook is right, Nokia failed to innovate, they used Microsoft WP.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Tim Cook is right, Nokia failed to innovate, they used Microsoft WP.

WP was definitely not a step forward for Nokia. But, making a poor software choice for your operating system is an unfortunate mistake, not a failure to innovate. Unless you define innovation like Apple seems to, where incremental improvements are "innovations." In which case you may be right.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

The buzzword of the year is "innovation". Innovate or die is the mantra. OneSpeed reminds us that Apple was in big trouble. It wasn't lack of innovation (remember Lisa, Newton, MAC Office, etc.). It is getting LUCKY and releasing an innovative product at the RIGHT time.

Remember, Jobs and NextStep were innovative, what happened to NextStep?

Innovation on its own does not mean success. It is all timing.

Hindsight is always 20/20. It's easy to look back and say "this is what you do to be successful" once you're already at the top. It's not even just about innovation, luck, and timing, but also marketing. Microsoft tried their hand at a tablet PC way back in 2002, but it just wasn't the right time. Today Apple acts like they invented tablets, smart phones, sliced bread, and everyone is just copying them. Meanwhile Apples hasn't done anything new or innovative. Everything is just an improvement on old ideas and products.

Copying iPads how? By making them rectangular in shape with rounded corners? By putting home buttons on every tablet? By using proprietary connectors? Help me out here im confused.

p51d007 said:

Apple reminds me of Xerox. Back in the 80's...commercials would say "it's just as good as a Xerox".

Other manufacturers, Canon, Toshiba, Sharp INNOVATED, while "X rocks" just got by on their name.

Now, Xerox is a small player in the office machine area, and has pretty much no footprint left in the

New York State area (Xerox PARC is different). Isn't Apple just getting by on their name now?

Railman said:

Last night an IT guru Clay Christensen was interviewed on Newsnight a serious news program on the BBC. He suggested that Apple would fail due to innovated disruption. BlackBerry and Nokia failed due to their adherence to proprietary closed systems.

1 person liked this | SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

^ is an interesting thought. Everyone bitches Apple doesn't innovate anymore, they just copy Android. Well, Android is building off what Apple created... Where is the innovation though? So, my thoughts are, nobody is innovating right now, it is all just upgrades. The thing about innovation, is that most people don't see it coming.

So who is going to have the next 'innovation'? Maybe Apple lost it when they lost Jobs.. Who has a track record of innovating products?

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Absolutely the truth, SNGX! Android is nothing more than a copycat of iOS. Yes they've improved few bits here and there, but that is it. Qualitatively it is the most inefficient and insecure (partly because of all that garbage added by OEMs) OS IMO. The only reason for its success has been its a freeware, anyone can grab a copy, and slap it on their half decent cell phone, and rest is history.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Android is nothing more than a copycat of iOS.

You saying this, is not the same as this:

Android is building off what Apple created

Android most definitely isn't a copycat. Some features, yes, are copied, but no way in hell is it a copycat. It was built from the ground up with a totally different purpose to closed garden iOS. Android was in development a long time before the launch of first iPhone.

inb4 fanboi - but the 'argument' (if you can call it that) that Android is a copycat of iPhone is ridiculous. Of course some elements will be copied, due to popularity, ease-of-use, and the only sane option currently. Care to compare how many Android features have been copied by iOS? Actually, we better not do that, because the results will be inconclusive due to the missing feature set on iOS.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Do you know how android looked like prior to introduction of iOS? By the way, android looked alot like BB at that time. But as soon as Apple launched iOS/iPhone, android quickly 'transformed' itself into a lookalike of iOS. On features, I wasn't referring to them since, both Google, Apple and others keep copying each others' features with each new release.

Guest said:

So WP8 is not more innovative than is iOS? How so? WP looks pretty darn fresh to me, and most people. The iPhone is still using a small and narrow screen, while the rest have long since moved on to bigger and better screens. Colored plastic phones? Isn't is Nokia, having colored polycarbonate body phones sort of a Nokia thing.

Don't get me wrong, the iPhone has potential once they catch up on screens. The software update brings them closer to having all which is Android. If they wish to hold to yesterday, then the iPhoneC is the way to go, should the price lower to $399.

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