Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I left the house before the sun came up, just to make sure I was one of those who got into the main auditorium for today's Apple Stockholder Meeting at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino.

Traffic moved along and I was there an hour before the doors of Building 4 opened. Already, there were people lined up in front.

Fortunately, it was a clear sunny day today, so we were not standing out there in the cold.

I got talking to two interesting men from Sebastapol who even made room for me to sit on their bench with them. Being of about the same "vintage," and with our love of all things Apple and a some tech backgrounds, we had a lot to talk about and the hour passed quickly. A woman standing next to us had flown up from Los Angeles this morning, taking a day off of work just for the meeting; she was heading back home in the afternoon. I also met local folk, a man from Delaware, another from Minnesota, all of whom planned today around attending the meeting. Everyone I talked with had a story about why they were here and how many Annual Meetings they had attended. It certainly was a meeting of the Clan of Apple.

At 9 a.m., the door were opened. We checked in, showing IDs and proof of stock ownership. Then we went through security.

Next it was coffee/tea muffins and bagels and another wait for the auditorium doors to be opened at 9:30 a.m. Those who arrived too late to have seating in the auditorium, got to watch a live screening in another part of the building.

The entire Board of Directors, minus Steve Jobs, was present...I was seated three rows behind them, so got to see Al Gore, among other Board members close up.

Tim Cook, COO, welcomed us and then turned the formal part of the meeting over to Bruce Sewell, Senior VP, General Counsel, and Secretary. Those of us who had not already voted on the matters presented for vote, got to do so; there was limited discussion before the vote was taken.

Then it was on to Q & A, with Tim Cook, Phil Schiller (Sr. VP, Worldwide Product Marketing) and Peter Oppenheimer (Sr.VP, CFO) on stage.

The Q & A period lasted about 45 minutes, with those asking questions given two minutes to speak. A few items of interest to me included a response to the question about Apple doing a 70/30% split with their Apps sellers while some other companies are doing a 90/10% split with their App sellers. Phil Schiller clarified this by stating that the only 90/10% split that the competitors are claiming has to do with website-use subscriptions. An example of this is that if you are already a subscriber to a magazine in print version and you decide that you also want to get it online, then, this is not an App, but a subscription and it would come directly from that publication's web site and Apple or Google or Amazon or whomever would have nothing to do with selling it directly to you; it would be the publication. Another interesting discussion had to do with work conditions at supplier facilities. Tim Cook stated that Apple, in the past five years, has done extensive investigation of work conditions at facilities in other countries and has taken significant remedial action and has been more transparent than any other company in reporting conditions and actions taken. He referred us to Apple's web site (see Investor relations section) to read reports from the last several years.

The meeting ended about 11:30.

I did a little shopping at the Company Store, which sells not only the merchandise that is sold in our local Apple retail stores but a lot of Apple logo clothing for men, women, and kids (even babies), and other miscellaneous Apple logo items.

This SMART car photo is an on-campus car, of which there must be several as there were several parking spots for them. Guess, they are for employees to travel from building to building on campus.

Of course, there were more news trucks just off the main campus than one could imagine. Apple events are always EVENTS.

And, the "One More Thing" that Steve Jobs often ends his public conferences with is that on March 2 (next week) there is a big media event at which there are sure to be some intriguing product announcements...stay tuned; perhaps a new iPad?

This Girl can Dream...

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