Eddy Cue 'wouldn't have lasted a day if Steve was around'

Here's what Om Malik had to say last night about Apple's Planet of the Apps.

On Leo Laporte's This Week in Tech Sunday, a report that Apple had signed rapper Will.i.am and actress Gwyneth Paltrow to co-host a reality TV project called Planet of the Apps was enough to set on fire one of the tech industry's most seasoned analysts.

Om Malik did not mince words:

This is just such nonsense. They should be building better products and not stupid TV shows around these products. You want to do something for the shareholders? Make interesting damn MacBooks which people can buy. You want to do something nice? Make a better phone which people want to keep buying. Nobody cares if you do Planet of the Apps.

This is coming from the so-called celebrity influx into the company, whether it is through the Beats acquisition or Eddy Cue. I mean, look at Eddy Cue. The guy was hanging out at the playoffs when iCloud was burning. For six hours. You know, he wouldn't have survived a day if Steve was around.

I'm sorry, that's what gets me worked up about this company. They have all these wrong priorities. They want to do entertainment content? Buy damn Netflix and move on from there. Do it properly if you want to do it. Don't try to do this stupid penny-ante stuff which adds no value to the company. Absolutely none.

This is where I see the company going wrong.

I couldn't disagree.

Om's rant starts at the 31 minute mark.


  1. John Blackburn said:
    First, there’s every reason to assume Apple is already making the best devices it can, so whining about a particular hardware product is unhelpful; Second, Apple’s a big company—it can do more than one thing at a time; And third, Planet of the Apps ties into Apple’s increasing focus on the ecosystem, which is a perfectly reasonably goal.

    So snark if you like about the value of the show on its own merits, but don’t tie that into any larger-scale gripe you have about the company.

    I do agree about the ill-fitting celebrity influx, though.

    August 8, 2016
  2. Jonathan Mackenzie said:
    I know it’s fashionable to bash Apple, and even more so to play the WWJD game. But let’s remember that Cue had Jobs’s faith when he was negotiating iTunes deals. It’s not like we don’t know what Jobs would think of Cue’s persona.

    But worse, this analyst’s suggestion that Apple may as well buy Netflix if it is going to make a reality show is a bit like saying if you’re going to sponsor your local humane society, you may as well buy Pets.com. And Netflix is without a doubt the Pets.com of the streaming space.

    Suppose Apple did want to buy Netflix. At a mere 10% premium it would cost about $45 billion. They don’t have $45 billion to spend. Issuing stock is a non-starter, so they’d have to repatriate funds at another 25% hit minimum. So now Netflix would cost them between 55 and 60 billion dollars. And what do they get for their money? Why negative $1 billion in cash flow of course. That and some “really great content”.

    This is supposed to be better than spending a few million on a show that promotes an important aspect of their ecosystem? Okay sure.

    Analysts that keep trying to treat Netflix like it has something of value that a company like Apple can’t produce much less expensively on their own should be too embarrassed to open their mouths. But sure, let’s here more about how they know all about how to run the show.

    Has there ever been in the history of business a company which was performing as well as Apple that had to endure such endless prattle from the peanut gallery about all the poor decisions they are making? And then to think that these geniuses suggest buying perhaps the most overvalued $40b business in history? That is some weapons grade idiocy, IMHO.

    August 8, 2016
  3. Thanks, David. Om had the advantage of bringing facts to the fight. I wish I’d had Facebook’s numbers at my fingertips.

    August 8, 2016
  4. Gianfranco Pedron said:
    “You know, he wouldn’t have survived a day if Steve was around.”

    You know Mr. Malik, I’ve been around long enough to remember that nobody could guess what Steve Jobs was going to do while he was alive. I doubt that his death has made it any easier to do so. Please, don’t hide behind a WWSJD construct to express what, in the end, is your opinion.

    Yapping heads who can point out what others do wrong are a dime a dozen – depending on their state of inebriation. The people I respect are those who can SHOW us how it is done correctly.

    August 8, 2016
  5. George Knott said:
    I agree with you OM…..Eddie Cue is an ego driven buffon.

    August 8, 2016
  6. John Kirk said:
    Perhaps we’re asking the wrong questions. It’s not a question of whether planet of the apps is a good product or not, it’s a question of whether Apple is focused on the right things and is avoiding unnecessary conflicts of interest.

    To use another company, take, for example. The Microsoft Surface. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that product and there are many things right with that product. But I have argued — and continue to argue — that it is a Mistake for MICROSOFT to be making that product. Microsoft should not be in the hardware business. It conflicts with their business mode.

    Now I will readily admit that I don’t have enough information to fully judge Apple’s intentions. But from what little I know, I think it is a mistake for Apple to go into content creation. It, in my opinion, conflicts with their business model and is an unnecessary distraction.

    Obviously, some pretty smart people disagree with me, including some people at Apple.

    August 9, 2016
  7. David Gleason said:
    Last I recall, Mr. Malik ran a web journal that failed; it was sometimes useful but didn’t last. Just wondering, what are his credentials? I can’t remember anything that he’s done.

    March 12, 2018

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