If Tim Cook recapped Apple's 2012
The Apple CEO’s (hypothetical) holiday letter to family and friends, recapping the company’s eventful 2012
Greetings, friends and loved ones! Here’s hoping that this letter finds you in good health and having a wonderful holiday season - and not reading this on an Android device. Ha! Just kidding (sort of).
I’m writing to recap the events of this momentous year for my company - though I’m already working on a better version with Retina Display which should be available in six to eight months.
Apple’s 2012 was year full of highs (like what I must’ve been when I approved Apple Maps) and lows (like where our is stock is headed).
The year started on a somber note, as it was our first new year since the passing of our friend and leader, Steve Jobs. Since I took over as CEO I’ve left his executive bathroom exactly as it was when he died - partly out of tribute and partly because he didn’t leave me the key! Such a kidder, Steve was. Seriously, though, if you have the key or can pick a lock, please let me know.
2012 really was the year of the iPad for us, starting with the release of the third generation version in March. This one came with Retina Display, our new A5X chip and about 50 grams more weight than the iPad 2 - which came in handy once we made the iPad 3, essentially, a paperweight by releasing the fourth generation version in November. But hey, all of those people with an iPad 3 can take solace in the fact that their purchase led to us to announce our first shareholder dividend in 16 years!
To further rub salt in the wound of those iPad 3 rubes - sorry, loyal customers - we also released the iPad mini in November. The iPad mini was a big hit, with 2 million units sold during its opening weekend of sales - which, I believe, was the biggest opening weekend for a mini since Tom Cruise’s last movie. The iPad mini was such a big hit two thieves stole 3,600 of them from JFK airport . Police still haven’t caught the perpetrators but they say that the suspects should be considered armed and very hip. Keep your eyes peeled!
Aside from the iPad mini, our other big success of the year was the release of the iPhone 5 in September, which was also a chance for us to break out our new executive team dress code. The iPhone 5 is made of glass, aluminum and (as I recall) fairy dust and sports a bigger screen, better color saturation (don’t worry, I don’t know what that means, either) and LTE support. One of its key new features is support for panoramic photos - which I personally tested by taking a picture of all our patent lawyers at once. Rest assured that I won't be posting it on Instagram. Note to self: hire away some of those Instagram lawyers!
Speaking of patent lawyers, the iPhone 5 was also the first device to use our new 8-pin Lightning connector. In conjunction with this, we also initiated a patent infringement lawsuit against the National Weather Service; I’m glad to say we reached an amicable settlement and they will now refer to lightning either as a “massive electrostatic discharge” or be forced to pay us a licensing fee.
The release of the iPhone 5 was accompanied by the release of iOS 6 in which we made the goofy decision to replace Google Maps with our own mapping application. In retrospect, I should’ve known this was a bad idea when I saw that Apple Maps’ turn-by-turn guidance just took you to the nearest gas station to ask for directions. While some consider Apple Maps to be a debacle, I think it’s just misunderstood. For example, when Taiwan complained to us that Apple Maps revealed satellite images of Taiwanese radar facilities, I tried to point out that this was actually a feature to protect them, since it actually showed the Taiwanese facilities being in Peru.
Nevertheless, in the wake of the release of Apple Maps I did what a good leader should do: I wrote an apology letter to our users - and then promptly forced out the two people most responsible for the whole mess. Scott Forstall and Richard Williamson. While they’ll be missed (not), they each said they were looking forward to spending more time at home, getting their own families lost.
2012 also saw us release our latest version of OS X, Mountain Lion (though I was talked out of my first choice of release name, Garfield), a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display but no optical drive (glad I already ripped all of my Weird Al CDs), new iMacs (our engineers told me they're built with a process called friction-stir welding, but I think they were yanking my chain), as well as a new Mac mini (BTW, don’t even think of naming anything “mini” or our patent lawyers will be on you like anodized aluminum on a MacBook). Both the new iMac and the new Mac mini feature fusion drives, which are a combination of a traditional hard disk drive, flash storage and, I believe, a flux capacitor.
On the financial front, you probably heard that we won a little patent infringement lawsuit against our former friends at Samsung. Sadly, rather than just pay up, they’ve vowed to appeal the decision all the way to highest court in the land - Judge Judy. Stay tuned.
No matter how that turns out, thanks to the iPad and iPhone, it was still an amazing year, financially, for us but, to be our honest, we fell a bit short of our goal for 2012 of obtaining all the money in the world. But, hey, thanks to China, we may actually achieve that in 2013! Anybody know how to say “six month release cycle” in Mandarin?
Well, time for me to scoot and get back to reviewing mockups of the iPhone 5s, the iPad micro-mini and the MacBook Pro with IMAX Display (all coming in 2013!). Happy holidays to you and yours and have a great 2013, everyone!
Apple CEO / Time's (runner-up) Person of the Year 2012!