This is Eddy Cue. He runs Apple’s software and Internet services, and also has some fantastic eyebrows.
That includes services like iTunes and, as most recently has come into the spotlight again, Apple’s book store.
Cue was in court this week to discuss whether Apple’s deals with publishers had caused e-book prices to artificially rise, harming consumers. Yesterday, he noted that prices of certain digital books, such as New York Times best sellers, increased after Apple opened its iBookstore in April 2010 and remained elevated through 2012, according to a report from CNet.
1. Cue, like many of Apple’s top employees, has a bit of an odd background
He’s been with Apple for more than 20 years and played a big role in creating the iTunes Music Store in 2003 and the App Store in 2008. He’s known for bringing Apple into new areas patiently and slowly, focusing on what customers want.
2. He’s a graduate of Duke university, where he got a degree in computer science.
3. Cue has earned a reputation for “fixing” things within Apple, hence his nickname.
For example, Cue took over MobileMe, a floundering service that synchronized data for Apple users, and turned it into iCloud. At WWDC this week, Apple unveiled a whole new suite of iCloud-related products — coming a long way from when Apple CEO Steve Jobs trashed his employees for making MobileMe so atrocious.
4. He also was recently put in charge of two of Apple’s most important new services: Siri and Maps
As of earlier this week, Apple has basically purged the all remnants of Scott Forstall, its former head of iPhone software, from its iPhone services. After the disastrous launch of Apple Maps, Cue took over Maps and the iPhone’s voice assistant Siri. The voice assistant got a big update in the latest version of the iPhone operating system.
5. More famously, Cue advised that Apple build a smaller version of the iPad
In an email to top Apple executives in 2011, including current CEO Tim Cook, Cue said a 7-inch tablet (like the ones made by Samsung at the time) offered a very compelling experience in certain situations — particularly books. Apple would go on to make a 7.85-inch tablet, the iPad Mini.
6. Cue actually had to convince Steve Jobs to start a book store
Cue wanted to have a book store on iPhones and Macs, but Jobs didn’t think they would be good products for reading. He had to outline the benefits of having e-books on those products and the iPad.
7. Now Apple is in hot water over its e-book pricing
Apple actually considered a setup where it would control the music market, while Amazon would monopolize books, Cue said on the stand, according to CNet. That didn’t happen, and now there are questions as to whether Apple is charging too much for e-books.