News: With Samsung's Overnight Success, Apple Adds Secret Weapon To Staff
Friday, Sep 27, 2013 4:34PM
After a successful summer partnership with Jay Z and his Magna Carta Holy Grail album release, Samsung may have some competition on its hands as reports claim Apple has added a heavyweight tech-savvy guru to its team.
According to reports, former Nike design director Ben Shaffer is now down with Team Apple.
A move that's perhaps the most obvious step toward the possible introduction of the long-rumored iWatch, Apple has reportedly hired former Nike design director Ben Shaffer. While at Nike, Shaffer served as the Studio Director for the Swoosh's storied Innovation Kitchen, which was most recently responsible for the development of Flyknit and, previously, the FuelBand - expertise that will obviously come in handy for any so-called "wearable technology" from Apple. This marks just the latest in the development of the iWatch as Apple hired renowned fitness expert - and longtime Nike consultant - Jay Blahnik, who was instrumental in the development of the FuelBand, just last month. (Hype Beast)
Shaffer's addition to Apple will likely see him in the heart of its fitness division.
9to5Mac posits that Shaffer will use his experience with the Fuelband to implement some fitness-tracking options in Apple's future wearable device, though at this point there's no official word on what Shaffer will be doing at Apple. It's also near-certain that if Apple does introduce a wearable device this year, it likely will have little or no influence from the company's new hire. However, a recent report indicated that Apple might not release such a device until 2014, which means there may be time for Shaffer to exert his influence on the company's entry into the market. If the rumor of Shaffer's hire is correct, it appears he'll join fitness consultant Jay Blahnik, another former member of Nike's Fuelband team. (The Verge)
Back in June, Bad Boy Records CEO Diddy talked about Jay Z teaming with Samsung and just how worried Apple should become
"While I was out here I called Jay and me and him been talking back and forth about the network and about his deal and how proud we were of each other. We're actually changing together the business model of the music industry. As far as our power, you can see the power that we have, not me and Jay-Z, the power that we have as a culture that Samsung now is going to give Apple a run for its money. People actually believe and we believe in our leaders in hip-hop. What they say is cool and what they say is next and we recognized that what Samsung is doing is moving forward. We were like "Hey man, we may need to give this Galaxy joint a chance" and that's a lot of power, man." (VIBE)
As the competition heats up, Apple's sales continue to be examined even more closely.
Apple (AAPL) Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has taken plenty of flack for running a company that is supposedly well past its glory days--and the iPhone smartphone franchise is sometimes dismissed as a spent force, losing ground to more innovative brands such as Android and Samsung (005930:KS). Well, here's a little perspective for the Apple-haters. The iPhone 5s and 5c sold a record 9 million units during the first weekend after its launch. Consider this: The brand's sales haul over the last four reported quarters eclipses that of such companies as Home Depot (HD), Microsoft (MSFT), Target (TGT), Goldman Sachs (GS), Amazon (AMZN), PepsiCo (PEP), Comcast (CMCSA), Dell (DELL), Google (GOOG), Pfizer (PFE), and UPS (UPS). (Business Week)