Salkever on a stronger Apple

MacMinute points to a BusinessWeek Online article by Alex Salkever wherein he lays out his wish list for a stronger Apple.
I have to say that Salkever is dead-on in two of his three points: better corporate governance and improved quality control. As an investor, I agree with Salkever’s analysis of the board and its lack of control over Jobs and the lavish awards it showers him with. The board does need to act more independently, but still let Steve do what Steve does best. It can only help Apple in the long term.
The second point, improved quality control, is a must. Granted, every tech company, every computer manufacturer, is going to have bugs, flaws. But to my mind, at least, 2003 lowered the quality bar in what we saw from Apple, both in its hardware and its software. Apple used to have, even in those “dark days” of the mid-1990s, a top-notch quality-control division, and the company was consistently rated tops in that area. Apple needs to reclaim that title, even if it’s only result is greater mindshare.
On Salkever’s third point, of more hardware upgrades, I have mixed feelings. Yeah, I’d like to see every system in the platform get upgraded once a year, and I believe Apple is more than up to that. I think Salkever misses the mark in his analysis over why Apple wasn’t shipping upgrades in earnest in 2002, however. Apple didn’t “chill out” because of the economic downturn; Apple was still having problems getting faster procs from Motorola to put in their systems. That was the driving force behind the move to IBM’s PowerPC chips, and voila! now we have G5s.
All in all, though, some totally reasonable analysis of Apple on the part of someone in the business/financial world. It’s about time.

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