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Tim Cook's iPhone 4S Launch Presentation: What the Media Are Saying

Apple iPhone 4S Tim Cook
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Reactions from some of the experts were mixed, ranging from "smart" to "dull" with only muted praise.

On Tuesday morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook walked on stage at the company’s Cupertino headquarters and introduced himself: “Good morning, this is my first product launch since being named CEO. It is a pleasure to host you today. I love Apple.”

Cook introduced Apple’s new iPhone 4S, updated iPods and several new exciting software features, including the voice assistant program Siri. But unlike past Apple product launches where Steve Jobs dominated the stage, often handling the whole event solo, Cook seemed happy to share the spotlight. He let iOS product chief Scott Forstall demonstrate Siri’s natural language voice recognition features -- just the kind of cool feature Jobs would have handled in previous years. Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing boss, detailed the upgrades to the new iPod line and detailed the technical specifications of the new iPhone 4S.

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But Cook is the new CEO, so the spotlight is on him now. What did the media think of Cook’s performance?

Many publications followed CNN’s lead implicitly downgrading his performance by noting the absence of Jobs:

“The Apple co-founder who recently resigned as CEO amid health concerns, did not take the stage at the press conference and was not seen by CNN reporters at the event.”

The San Francisco Chronicle wrote:

"The update of Apple's best-selling product marks an early test for Tim Cook, CEO since Aug. 24, who hasn't yet shown he can match his predecessor's skills at product design and marketing."

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The Chicago Sun-Times observed:

”Those in the audience clapped as he entered, but the reaction seemed more muted than what Jobs had recently received.”

On the Cult of Mac blog:

"Cook did it his own way: quiet, steady and a little bit dull. Never mind. Perhaps he will get more animated as time goes on. ... Perhaps the biggest problem was turning over the presentation to a team of presenters. He was joined by Tim Forstall, Phil Schiller and Eddie Cue. But that has been Jobs’ practice for a while. And this is the new Apple. It’s a team effort now, not a one-man-show."

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Carmine Gallo on the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog:

"Cook did something very smart when Apple introduced the new iPhone 4S on October 4th. He didn’t change the plays. In my book “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs,” I make the case that anyone can significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of their presentation by applying the Steve Jobs template to their presentation. . . . Cook, along with several other Apple executives, stuck right to the playbook."

The BBC News:

"Tim Cook's dull debut."