Apple CEO Tim Cook will be joining Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher tonight for D11’s opening session at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference begins today on May 28th and ends on May 30th, inviting on stage several industry tech titans such as Dick Costolo of Twitter and Elon Musk of Tesla to discuss the impact of today’s technology and what’s in store for the future.
Tim Cook, having spoken at D10, has stayed the course at Apple by introducing a brand new iPhone, a more powerful iPad, and the incredibly successful iPad mini. New, industry changing Macs were also introduced in the form of the MacBook Pro with Retina display and nearly razor thin iMacs. But he’s also been hard at work pushing Apple in new directions, switching up assumed product release dates and hinting at new opportunities, suggesting new product lines during fiscal conference calls. Although Apple had an incredible 2nd fiscal quarter for 2013, publications like the Wall Street Journal have tried to rewrite the narrative, suggesting that demand for Apple products is falling in the face of strong competition and that innovation is stale due to the lack of new products. Rumor has it, however, that the company is remaining steadfast and focused on bringing to light a new look and feel for their flagship operating system, iOS, re-imaging the appearance of a core interface that’s been a mainstay on the iPhone since 2007.
Much of the interest around new product lines and iOS’ expected rethinking has been driven by Tim Cook’s management switch up that occurred last October, where Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall and Senior Vice President of Retail were let go as Jonathan Ive stepped in to oversee Human Interface design across the company. Bob Mansfield, instead of retiring, was promoted to Senior Vice President of Technologies while Craig Federighi would take the helm of Senior Vice President of Software Engineering. It was an unexpected simplifying of Apple’s core management structure, the conclusion of which likely awaits at WWDC’s opening Keynote on June 10th.
Then there’s Apple’s doubling of the capital return program, as well recent Senate hearings, where Tim Cook has defended Apple’s tax policies concerning the large amounts of cash Apple keeps in safe havens overseas.
With these events in mind, tonight’s D11 should bring forward Tim Cook’s perspective on the current condition of Apple and where it’s headed. At D10, Tim Cook was asked about his relationship with Steve Jobs, what that meant to him, and figuring out who he was as a person. This time, we should expect a lot of talk focusing on his vision, how he’s reigning in the company as his own, and how he views the competition as it currently stands.