Just now the annual meeting of Apple shareholders, held at the Steve Jobs Theater, inside the Apple Park complex in Cupertino. And, as expected, several issues related to the company’s operations were discussed among those present – among them, some of Apple’s top executives.
Below, we will highlight some of the most important points of the meeting.
After years of speculation, Tim Cook spiked the meeting: Apple will open an online store on India in 2020, and will inaugurate its first store country’s official physics next year.
The news is great for Apple’s consolidation plans in the second most populous country in the world. As is well known, the company has struggled to persevere in the difficult Indian market, especially with the protectionist measures applied by the current government; with an expanded presence, Apple may be more palatable in the eyes of the local (and government) population, selling more iPhones (in addition to other products and services).
There is still no more information about the opening of Apple’s physical and online stores in India, but we will, of course, stay tuned.
For the second year in a row, a group of Apple shareholders put to a vote – and lost – a controversial proposal, which, if approved, would compel Apple to release a report determining whether or not it disrespected free speech as human right.
The proposal is related to the withdrawal of applications from Chinese App Store by Beijing guidance. There are several famous cases, such as the controversy surrounding the GPS app used by Hong Kong Protestants last year, or the banning of VPN apps from the store in 2017.
In other words, if accepted, the proposal would compel Apple to admit (or at least analyze the possibility of) that it bowed to the Chinese government’s guidelines, disrespecting the human rights so celebrated by the company itself.
The proposal, however, was overturned for the second consecutive year – but with a much higher “yes” vote ratio: 59.4% of the shareholders were against the proposition, while 40.6% of them were in favor of the possibility. We will see how it will look next year, therefore.
Cook and Apple’s directors have avoided specifying new company sustainability plans, merely commenting on a goal, say, somewhat utopian:
Our goal is to eventually create an Apple product without taking anything from Earth. This is one of those things that people say is not possible, but we will find a way to do it.
Obviously, nobody knows exactly how the Apple will conquer this magic. Who knows, maybe they are developing some kind of witchcraft in the basements of Cupertino? ?
Apple’s chief software officer Craig Federighi asked shareholders if their software iPads it would remain the bottleneck for the impressive power of the tablet hardware. The answer lies in this tweet from Mark Gurman:
That is, Federighi did not say much besides promising more news for the iPadOS at the same pace that we have seen today. According to Gurman himself, however, we can wait seated:
In other words: big changes may remain for next year. Let’s wait.
Some other points of interest of the meeting:
- One of the participants asked whether Apple would be interested in holding the meeting in a location larger than Steve Jobs Theater – which has 1,000 seats and did not include all shareholders interested in attending. Cook replied that he did not, considering that the space is the largest among those owned by Apple itself – and the whole thing “would lose some of its peculiarity” if it were done in a third party space.
- Over the Coronavirus, Cook said that “Apple’s top priority is to ensure the health and safety of its employees, partners and communities” where the company is. The CEO gave no further details on these actions, saying only that the outbreak is “a challenge” for the company.
- About Apple’s new controversy with the FBI, this time involving the terrorist of the bombing in Pensacola, Cook said Apple was “extremely collaborative” with the agency, but would never consider creating an backdoor on iOS – because “there can never be a backdoor only for the good guys ”, according to him.
- Cook was still, as usual, extremely vague when asked about the future plans from the company: “We are investing in a lot of things; I still can’t talk about most of them, but they are pretty cool. ”
If other discussion points of the meeting are informed, we will update this post.