Ahead of his keynote address at next month’s WWDC, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook kicked off All Things Digital’s D10 executive conference, sitting down with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher to talk Apple.
Apple under Tim Cook
“Absolute incredible time to be with Apple.”
“We have some incredible things coming.”
Master of understatement
“We’ve had a few decent quarters.”
“I believe we’re in the first inning with the iPad.”
“It’s not about making the most. It’s about making the best. We’re never going to make the most.”
“When the iPhone came along in 2007 – the world changed for Apple”
Next week’s WWDC
“We’re going to introduce some great stuff. I think you’re gonna love it.”
Blurring the line between PCs and tablets
“The more you look at a tablet as a PC, the more the baggage from the past affects the product.”
How is Apple different with you as the CEO so far?
“I learned a lot from Steve….”
“…sadness was replaced with intense determination.”
“What did I learn from him? We could be here all night.”
“…focus is key.”
“Not accepting good, but only the very best. That’s embedded in Apple. We have a culture of excellence that’s so unique.”
“When I say things are going to change, I am talking about the culture of Apple.”
“Am I going to change things? Of course.”
Apple’s increased Philanthropy
Tim quotes the Kennedys “to whom much is given, much is expected.” “I believe that.”
“The dividend thing”
“I think we did the right thing.”
“We going to double down on secrecy on products” (Is that even possible??)
Less secretive about “what we’re doing with suppliers”. Apple used to do annual reviews; now they are doing monthly reports.
Why isn’t there an Apple factory run by Apple in China?
“We looked at manufacturing and believed someone else could do it better.”
Will there be an Apple product made again the US?
“ I want to be there.”
“The engine for the iPhone and iPad are built in US…. glass is made in Kentucky.”
Tim said that , in order to manufacture in US, you need a fundamental shift in education. There is a lack of availability of tool and die makers in the US but they are plentiful in China.
“This whole segment of the economy didn’t exist a few years ago.”
Are the patent wars a problem for innovation?
“Well, it’s a pain in the ass.” (Gotta love the honesty.)
Tim’s attempt at humor
Walt – “… the Android OEMs are looking to make fewer models.”
Tim – “I wonder where they got that idea.”
Why only one iPhone?
“Our goal isn’t to design for this price point or this schedule, or line up other things or have x number of phones. It’s to build the best.”
Why can’t you make a more affordable new iPhone?
“We could do that. I’m not going to conjecture.”
On offering different price points, ala the iPod
“Whenever we can do fantastic products and they have different price points, we’ll do that. We don’t have a religion about making one product.”
How are you going to change TV?
After talking about sales of Apple TV, Tim says that “this is an area of intense interest for us”
Are you making a TV?
“…most people would say this is not an area of their life they are pleased with. And we’re going to keep looking at it. I’m not going to answer that.”
“I think this is area where Apple partnering well is the right approach.”
“I think we can do more with them. Stay tuned.”
“We continue to buy companies. We don’t talk about it.”
Kara’s attempt at humor
Tim – “I don’t think we wired to buy a company for revenue.”
Kara – “Well, you would have been perfect for Instagram, then.”
“There’s more it can do and we have a lot of people working on it.”
“She become’s people’s best friend. I don’t judge.”
Do you see yourself as a visionary?
“Steve was a visionary. My role was never to replace him.”
What is your vision?
“I just want to build great products. I think if we do that, the other things will follow.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
“incredible respect” for Bob Iger (Chairman and CEO of Disney, Apple board member)