Monday Mash-Up: It’s All Apple */?> Monday Mash-Up: It’s All Apple

Posted by · March 19, 2012 4:01 pm

Image representing Tim Cook as depicted in Cru...Since the unveiling of its highly anticipated new iPad, Apple seems to be firing on all cylinders. Despite the ongoing concerns over its supplier practices and the somewhat anticlimactic unveil of its latest tablet, Apple is moving full-speed ahead, boring massive holes in the arguments of those who thought that the tragic passing of Steve Jobs would mean an inevitable slowdown for the company.

While this observation is hardly news in and of itself, several Monday headlines have only served to underscore the positive vibes that Apple has been exuding lately.

Apple’s New iPad Breaks Sales Record

Yes, already. After its official launch last Friday, Apple has already confirmed that more than 3 million of the new tablets have already been sold. (One of which, by the way, is going to go to the lucky winner of this Experts Exchange contest, which ends this Thursday.) Speaking in a press release Monday, Apple unsurprisingly used the announcement of its new record to give a quick recap of the new iPad’s features:

Apple today announced it has sold three million of its incredible new iPad, since its launch on Friday, March 16. The new iPad features a stunning new Retina display, Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics, a 5 megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video, and still delivers the same all-day 10 hour battery life while remaining amazingly thin and light. iPad Wi-Fi 4G supports ultrafast 4G LTE networks in the US and Canada, and fast networks around the world including those based on HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA.

Commenting on the news of the new record, Apple senior VP of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller added, “The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold—the strongest iPad launch yet.” According to Schiller, consumers are “loving” the new iPad’s features, specifically the highly covered Retina display.

This only seems to serve those of us—including myself—right after ridiculing the way in which Apple went about presenting its latest tablet.

Apple Stock Soaring, Dividend Imminent

Unsurprisingly, these record sales numbers have only served to boost the value of Apple’s highly coveted stock. Closing just over the $600 mark on Monday, Apple shares served to break yet another company record, making for quite an exciting day in Cupertino.

Such news was complemented by an announcement of perhaps the most anti-Jobs move the Tim Cook regime has made since taking the helm at Apple.

“Apple today announced plans to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program commencing later this year,” declared yet another Monday morning press release.

While the official declaration is yet to be made by Apple’s board of directors, the reported plan is to “initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share sometime in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012, which begins on July 1, 2012.”

“We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure,” explained the Apple CEO. Promising “more of all of these in the future,” Cook continued, “Even with these investments we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program.”

Without delay, the news of Cook’s decision to break from Jobs’ no-dividend lead has resulted in a heap of criticism for the Apple CEO—a man who seems destined to live in his predecessor’s shadow no matter how well he does as the company’s chief executive.

Attempting to mitigate the onslaught, the Apple Gazette’s Robin Parrish reminded his readers, “Let’s temper all opinions and predictions borne out of today’s announcement with this reminder: Tim Cook was Steve Jobs’ friend, confidant, and the man Jobs personally selected to run the company after he was gone.” He then closes with the question, “If he had Steve’s full confidence and trust, then shouldn’t that be enough for the faithful?”

And I’m obliged to agree with her. After all, a Cook-run Apple has already managed to break a couple company records—and that’s just today.