Apple Inc has vowed to hire more women as executives and consider people from minority groups as board candidates. Although the company has not made an official statement on the matter, Apple has decided to change its bylaws to allow more diversity in its board of directors.
According to Bloomberg, Apple has added new language to committee chargers after some shareholders pressured the company to diversify the board. Sustainability Group and Trillium Asset Management expressed disappointment and pointed out that Apple Inc had only one female board member, former Avon CEO Andrea Jung.
In Apple's executive team, former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts is the only female executive. Bloomberg also reported that representatives from the two Apple shareholders have met with Apple's representatives to discuss the issue before the company shareholder meeting in Feb. The shareholders eased the pressure after Apple changed the words to include women and minorities as part of the board.
Apple's conference earnings call on Jan. 27
Meanwhile, Apple Inc has announced it will reveal its sales figures from the first fiscal quarter of 2014 on Jan. 27. The company will also have an earnings conference call to discuss Apple's sales performance during the holiday season. More accurate sales figures of the iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display are also expected.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer will be around to answer questions in the conference call. The company usually makes the conference call available on live-streaming on its Investor Web site.
Samsung vs Apple in China
Rival Samsung Electronics has recently revealed its profits went down 6 per cent as smart phone competition intensifies. According to a report by the Associated Press in Seoul, the Korean electronics giant said in a profit preview that its operating profit was estimated at US$7.8 billion for the last three months of 2013.
Despite the drop in profits, Samsung's sales rose by 5 per cent from Oct. to Dec. 2012. According to analysts, the company's Galaxy smart phones and Galaxy Gear smart watches were not as profitable as thought because of high marketing costs.
Samsung will also face stiffer competition in China as Apple Inc begins selling iPhones via China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier. Apple's entry could be a threat to Samsung's growth in the Chinese market.
Samsung will reveal more details of its earnings later in Jan based on AP reports.