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Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Tim Cook Is Trying My Patience

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When Tim Cook succeeded Steve Jobs as the chief executive officer of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), , I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.

The burden of following the legendary Jobs, while promising riches beyond belief, looked like a no-win situation for Cook. His accomplishments would inevitably be traced to Jobs and Cook’s failures would be a result of his own poor performance.

Apple Inc. (AAPL), Inc. (AMZN), Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS)

But now I am running out of patience with Cook.

Like much of the rest of the civilized world, I am waiting for Apple to come up with a new “wow” innovation, something that was a hallmark of the tenure of Jobs, who passed away Oct. 5, 2011. Cook has chosen to recycle existing successes.

The U.S. media suggest that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may announce the birth of iRadio at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10-14 in San Francisco.

But this has been described as a “Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P)-like” innovation because users can customize the music to meet their tastes.

Hmmm. Well, I can remember back during the good old days, when every tech company was scrambling to concoct an “Apple-like” product.

Maybe Cook will drop a bomb at the conference and change my perception of him. Perhaps he will ignite Apple’s stock price and send it back to the stratosphere. Or maybe he will deliver a dud.

The company’s stock market performance has been desultory.

And most discouraging of all, Cook can appear to be insensitive to the plight of his stockholders, as he mouths vague observations about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s performance and prospects.

I used to think that Cook was being shrewd and wily to keep the information close to his chest, aware that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and other Apple rivals hang on his every word. Now, however, I wonder if Cook actually has anything to say at all. Of course, people can argue — with a measure of reason — that it would be foolish of Cook to say anything, in the fear that he could allow his foes to beat Apple to the next tech breakthrough.

It’s also a fair point to say that Cook deserves more time than just a few years to make his mark. After all, Jobs didn’t present the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad overnight.

But I’d contend that Cook is hardly a rookie at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) — and this kind of scrutiny, fair or not, goes with the turf of running what is widely considered the most dynamic company in Silicon Valley, if not the entire United States.

Wall Street apparently seems to wonder about that, too.

Since Cook became CEO on Aug. 24, 2011:

  • Apple is up 20%.
  • The S&P 500 is up 39%.
  • SPDR Technology Select Sector ETF is up 35%
  • Google is up 65%.

Since Cook announced a management shakeup on Oct. 29, 2012:

  • Apple is down 25%
  • The S&P 500 is up 16%
  • SPDR Technology ETF is up 10%.
  • Google is up 28%.
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