While it’s hardly surprising that Apple would make a PR push leading up to the launch of the new iPhones tomorrow, it’s somewhat surprising that Apple decided to go with USA Today as well as Bloomberg Businessweek.
USA Today is behind both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal in print circulation and likely far behind in web traffic. More importantly, it’s without question far behind in terms of tech-oriented reader mindshare. But perhaps they’re trying to appeal to a more mainstream audience.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg Businessweek is ranked 82nd in terms of magazine circulation in the U.S., behind publications such as Boys’ Life. To be fair, with Newsweek no longer in the picture, it’s hard to come up with another publication that would suit Apple — though Time, with over 3x the circulation, comes to mind.
Anyway, publication choices aside, the pieces are both fascinating. The Bloomberg Businessweek piece has a clear focus on Tim Cook, but strongly plays up the relationship between Jony Ive and Craig Federighi. They’re portrayed as sort of the buddy cops to Cook’s police chief.
It’s interesting that it’s only those three executives who were chosen for this PR push — no Phil Schiller, no Eddy Cue, etc — but you can probably write that off as Ive and Federighi being the key cogs for the new iPhones and iOS 7.
The USA Today piece is a little more curious because it only focuses on Ive and Federighi, leaving Cook, quite literally, out of the picture. And oddly, the title focuses solely on Ive, though it’s nearly just as much about Federighi (though perhaps that shouldn’t be too surprising since Ive is much more well-known than Federighi, who is a more recent addition to the Apple executive team).
This piece is even more about the relationship between Ive and Federighi. Either Apple wants to make it clear that after some well-known tensions in the executive ranks a year ago, things are sailing smoothly now — or Ive and Federighi really do get along this well. Of course, both possibilities could be true as well.
If we want to read more into this — taken together, these pieces almost read like Apple is positioning both Ive and Federighi as the future leaders of the company. Co-CEOs didn’t work out so well for BlackBerry, but could it work at Apple? It’s well known that Ive is both soft-spoken and attention-shy — which makes these interviews all the more interesting — while Federighi seems like a natural on stage. They compliment each other so nicely and seemingly get along so well…
Or perhaps it’s setting up more of a Triumvirate between Cook, Ive, and Federighi. It sort of worked for Rome (twice even), until it didn’t. And there’s another tech company which comes to mind that ran the Triumvirate format quite well for many years…
Or maybe Apple just wants to assure Wall Street that all is well in Cupertino and to sell some iPhones tomorrow.