Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Interview At D11 Conference: Talked About Rivals, Products, Google Glass, Taxes, Facebook Home, iCloud, Mobile, Maps, Content, iOS

Posted on May 29 2013 - 6:47am by Editorial Staff

Tim Cook

Q: In the last year and this year, both Samsung and Google’s Android are ahead and making their places in the wild?

Tim: We’re a product company and we think about products. We’ve sold 85 million iPhones. 42 million iPads. Most importantly the products we are offering customers love them. Satisfaction ratings are off the charts.

Q: What about competent rivals now? And What about the stock?

Tim: We’ve always had competent rivals. We fought against Microsoft, hardware companies, like Dell. Further, if you look over on the stock, its been frustrating for investors and all of us. You guys have seen many cycles — you’ve been around as long as I have.

Q: What about products? Apple been known well for being a gamer player like that of iPad Mini which was a good move?

Tim: It wasn’t a new category — many people define innovation as a new category.

Q: Are you still the company?

Tim: Yes, we’re still that company. We have some incredible plans as well as incredible ideas on which we are working on.

Q: What about the television project you talked last year. Where is the project right now?

Tim: We’re still playing in TV through Apple TV. For many years, we were selling a few hundred thousand but now we’ve sold over 13 million. I don’t want to go into detail, as you might have guessed. But it continues to be an area of great interest for us.

Q: What about TV experience?

Tim: When you look at the TV experience, it’s not an experience that I think many people love.

For further details Tim clearly said he is not intended to share at the moment or getting into more depth.

Q: Is there a grand vision?

Tim: Yes, there is.

Q: Google Glass — what’s your take on it?

Tim: There are some positives in the product.I think wearables is incredibly interesting. It could be a profound area.

Q: Will Apple be a part of exploration on discovering new products – the new gadgets?

Tim: I don’t want to answer that.

Q: Kara further trying to let words come out from Tim asking which one you think to opt for? Glasses, clothing?

Tim: Tim over which said only Great Products. I think other wearable ideas could be interesting. The sensor thing is exploding.

Q: Taxes and Android? Android swamped Apple in a big way in terms of units and carriers.

Tim: For us, winning has never been about making the most. Arguably we make the best PC, we don’t make the most. We make the best music player, we wound up making the most. We make the best tablet, we make the most. We make the best phone, we don’t make the best phones. What I’m pointing out to you is that the market share isn’t twice as much as all of these combined. But the usage is.

Q: So what you think that people are buying Android phones and doing nothing with it?

Tim: (Answered very well) On global scale, there are a lot of phones which been called as smartphones and combining them together they termed as featured phones and people using them as featured phones. No matter what business you’re in, ultimately the customer is the judge.

Q: Demographics? New changes if the company bringing to iPad and iPhone?

Tim: Demographics – I don’t have to worry about it as our (Apple) customers are of all ages. On what’s new, when it is coming – I am not going to answer that today.

Q: On talking about iOS, the question asked is this is what Jony Ive has been working on?

Tim: Yes. The key in the post-PC era for having a great product is incredible hardware, incredible software, and incredible services

Q: What kind of leader are you? Did you change the system Steve put in place?

Tim: I’ve never viewed a system to be fixed — and by the way, he didn’t either. I always ask myself what’s in Apple’s best interest. I’d never describe myself.

Q: How are you different than Steve?

Tim: In different ways, we are not same, but for the most important ways, we are the same as for us keeping the Apple’s culture alive. That’s most important.

Q: Does a large screen or a stylus, are those different enough?

Tim: At a macro level, a large screen today comes with a lot of tradeoffs. The white balance, the reflectivity, battery life, the longevity of the display is a bunch of things that are very important.

Q: Taxes?

Tim: For Apple, it was like an opportunity. The company came in with a proposal. We think there should be comprehensive reform but it should be revenue neutral. We think we should bring all offshore profits back to the US.

We pay six billion dollars, and that is the highest in the US. We pay more taxes than anybody. We’re not saying we should pay less. But we’d have unlimited ability to pull our capital back from offshore. People think we have a special deal with the Irish government. But in real we have nothing.

Even you found some people thinking that company which develop products in the States and sell them around the world should also pay taxes in the US. Apple’s divisions around the world have their own profit and loss statements. If everything developed in the US will be taxed here on worldwide profits, I worry about where development will be. I want to make sure that people are thinking through the logical next steps.

Q: So congress asked you tough questions?

Tim: You don’t have that feeling. It was great to be part of the process and tell our story. I hope it helps the reform process.

Q: Environmentally friendly Apple?

Tim: We hired Lisa Jackson to be their… environmental something. “I forgot what they called her. She’ll be reporting to me.”

I think when you’re large, they’ll be looking at you. This tax thing, I didn’t see anything different about Apple from others.

Q: What are you doing with all of that money?

Tim: In earlier years, we were on a pace of acquiring a company… around six per year. This year we’ve already acquired nine companies (with name undisclosed).

Q: Is there an area that you’re missing? Social?

Tim: We do some things that are social but we don’t have our own social network, but Facebook and Twitter are integrated into the OS. I’ve never felt like we’ve needed a social network. 

Q: What about Control? Facebook did Facebook Home, which hasn’t done very well.

Tim: On the general topic of opening up APIs, I think you’ll see us open up more in the future, but not to the degree that we put the customer at risk of having a bad experience. Customer pay us so as we can make the decisions on their behalf.  

Q: Facebook is making mobile ad money. What about Apple?

Tim: We got into it to make money for developers, not for Apple to make money. We want developers to make money; we want them to flourish.

Q: iCloud doesn’t support other platforms. Should it support other platforms like Android or Windows?

Tim: If it made sense for us to do that, we would do that. You could apply that to every area of Apple.

Q: When do you think the right age for a kid to acquire an iPhone?

Tim: I don’t think technology in and of itself is bad for youth. I like kids to learn very young, but I want that experience curated by the parent.

Q: Google running and bringing on different services like search, Maps etc. Don’t it harm Apple as it just having iTunes with it? What kind of services are coming from Apple?

Tim: I think iMessage is an interesting service, we deliver two billion messages per day. We are making huge investments in services although I don’t want to announce anything today, but it’s an area we’re really focused on.

Q: What about Maps?

Tim: I think it’s very important. Mapping is complex. Not just the underlying data of the map. We’ve made many, many improvements over the last several months, including a very significant change in Japan.

Q: What about content?

Tim: I’ve never believed we needed to own content; we just need access to great content. We don’t have the skill to produce and direct.

Q: Apple Vs Samsung is here. With involvement in patent litigation, but it has not accomplished anything yet. Samsung is differentiated now, they can’t seem to stop making weird features.

Tim: Google suing us, Samsung suing us on standards-essential patents. Generally, I don’t like lawsuits any more than I did last year. But, I don’t want copying. It’s a values thing.

Q: What do you have for iOS?

Tim: Our contribution was getting iWork on there, and as it turns out, Pages is the most popular paid app of all time on iPad.  

We are done with the interview live blog. Thanks everyone.

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