Everything Apple CEO Tim Cook opened up to in an interview This week, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a revelatory interview to Bloomberg Businessweek’s editor Megan Murphy and we got a rare insight into the mind of the person who heads the most valuable tech company in the world. He spoke at length about the legacy he is building at Apple and his relationship with the Donald. He also somewhat justified Apple’s push for a music-centric home speaker and how big AR is really going to be. 1/4 Of leaving a legacy at Apple Tim Cook is not a man trying to replace the legacy and ethos of Steve Jobs at Apple. Instead, Apple is leveraging the momentum Jobs gave to the company since the start.
“Steve’s DNA will always be the base for Apple. It’s the case now. I want it to be the case in 50 years, whoever’s the CEO. I want it to be the case in 100 years, whoever’s CEO. Because that is what this company is about. His ethos should drive that—the attention to detail, the care, the simplicity, the focus on the user and the user experience, the focus on building the best, the focus that good isn’t good enough, that it has to be great, or in his words, “insanely great,” that we should own the proprietary technology that we work with because that’s the only way you can control your future and control your quality and user experience,” Cook told Bloomberg. 2/4 On the HomePod and AR Now that there is the iPhone in people’s hands, the AirPods in people’s ears, the iPads in their bags and the MacBooks in the desks, Apple finally has the platform to connect every aspect of our lives. Cook said Siri receive requests from 375 million devices and he thinks that has made Siri the largest digital assistant out there. So when quizzed about why the HomePod is being marketed more as an audio device than a smart home device, Cook said the iPhone is already present in homes. Using Siri on the iPhone, the user can control everything in his home but so far, Apple has not paid that much of a focus on music in homes. Hence the homepod, which “combines great sound and an intelligent speaker.”
But more than the HomePod, the technology that Cook is pumped about is augmented reality. Apple launched the ARKit during WWDC this year which allows for AR features baked in iOS 11. It is a feature that Apple can only introduce to the creator. It can’t control where it will go.
“You’ll see things happening in enterprises where AR is fundamental to what they’re doing. You’re going to see some consumer things that are unbelievably cool. Can we do everything we want to do now? No. The technology’s not complete yet. But that’s the beauty to a certain degree. This has a runway. And it’s an incredible runway. It’s time to put the seat belt on and go. When people begin to see what’s possible, it’s going to get them very excited—like we are, like we’ve been,” Cook said. 3/4 On working with Trump Cook openly acknowledged the differences he has with Donald Trump on topics like immigration and climate change, but he remains optimistic. He does agree with Trump’s focus on jobs in America. In fact, Cook claimed that Apple has created 2 million jobs in the US, a million and half of which are app developers. Apple also came out with a simpler programming language called Swift and built curriculums around it for elementary schools. Apple is also bringing Swift courses for community colleges to give students the opportunity to build apps for Apple.
But as far as climate change is concerned, Tim Cook is totally against Trump’s move of pulling out of the Paris agreement. “Pulling out of the Paris climate accord was very disappointing. I felt a responsibility to do every single thing I could for it not to happen. I think it’s the wrong decision. If I see another opening on the Paris thing, I’m going to bring it up again,” he said.
However, despite making it clear about his reservations against Trump, Cook said he is extremely passionate about America. “I care deeply about America. I want America to do well. America’s more important than bloody politics from my point of view,” he quipped. 4/4 On innovating for the long term While many feel Apple isn’t as innovative as it was before, Cook was quick to put those thoughts aside.
“We invest for the long term. We don’t feel an impatience to be first. It’s just not how we’re wired. Our thing is to be the best and to give the user something that really makes a difference in their lives. When you look back in time, the iPod was not the first MP3 player. The iPhone was not the first smartphone. The iPad was not the first tablet. I could go on,” Cook revealed.
Apple does not want to get caught up in race for short-lived publicity. It wants to focus on the bigger picture of providing a holistic and comprehensive experience of a technology to the user.
“When I think about the big things, I think about AR. We’re not the first people talking about AR. Nor was it our objective to be. We wanted something well thought out that we could integrate into the platform and unleash a lot of developers to do some really cool stuff with it. We’ve got a great initial start there. Same thing on the home speaker. We’ve been working on this multiple years. We didn’t feel an urgency to get something because somebody else had it. It’s actually not about competing, from our point of view. It’s about thinking through for the Apple user what thing will improve their lives,” he said.