In last night’s interview, Tim Cook didn’t reveal new Apple products or hint at new software features specifically (not a surprise), but he did share his thoughts on the “grand vision” for TV, opening up iOS APIs to third-parties, and letting Jony Ive contribute to the next version of iOS. I am watching this today.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook will be joining Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher tonight for D11′s opening session at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference begins today on May 28th and ends on May 30th, inviting on stage several industry tech titans such as Dick Costolo of Twitter and Elon Musk of Tesla to discuss the impact of today’s technology and what’s in store for the future.
Tim Cook, having spoken at D10, has stayed the course at Apple by introducing a brand new iPhone, a more powerful iPad, and the incredibly successful iPad mini. New, industry changing Macs were also introduced in the form of the MacBook Pro with Retina display and nearly razor thin iMacs. But he’s also been hard at work pushing Apple in new directions, switching up assumed product release dates and hinting at new opportunities, suggesting new product lines during fiscal conference calls. Although Apple had an incredible 2nd fiscal quarter for 2013, publications like the Wall Street Journal have tried to rewrite the narrative, suggesting that demand for Apple products is falling in the face of strong competition and that innovation is stale due to the lack of new products. Rumor has it, however, that the company is remaining steadfast and focused on bringing to light a new look and feel for their flagship operating system, iOS, re-imaging the appearance of a core interface that’s been a mainstay on the iPhone since 2007.
Much of the interest around new product lines and iOS’ expected rethinking has been driven by Tim Cook’s management switch up that occurred last October, where Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall and Senior Vice President of Retail were let go as Jonathan Ive stepped in to oversee Human Interface design across the company. Bob Mansfield, instead of retiring, was promoted to Senior Vice President of Technologies while Craig Federighi would take the helm of Senior Vice President of Software Engineering. It was an unexpected simplifying of Apple’s core management structure, the conclusion of which likely awaits at WWDC’s opening Keynote on June 10th.
Then there’s Apple’s doubling of the capital return program, as well recent Senate hearings, where Tim Cook has defended Apple’s tax policies concerning the large amounts of cash Apple keeps in safe havens overseas.
With these events in mind, tonight’s D11 should bring forward Tim Cook’s perspective on the current condition of Apple and where it’s headed. At D10, Tim Cook was asked about his relationship with Steve Jobs, what that meant to him, and figuring out who he was as a person. This time, we should expect a lot of talk focusing on his vision, how he’s reigning in the company as his own, and how he views the competition as it currently stands.
Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, announcing Tim Cook as a speaker for D11:
There’s lots to talk about, from the explosive growth of the mobile market to intense competition from a range of rivals, most especially Google’s Android, as well as innovative offerings from Korea’s Samsung. It will also be interesting to talk about the changes at Apple under Cook’s leadership, who took over from the late co-founder and industry legend Steve Jobs, as well inquiring about what new products are in the pipeline and how the company is faring in an increasingly high-pressure market.
D11 will take place in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on May 28-30, 2013. Cook joins a list of speakers that includes Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, and Google’s Sundar Pichai.
Last year, Tim Cook spoke at D10 and covered topics such as Apple’s growth, leading the company without Jobs, and the post-PC era. Here’s our recap from last year’s interview, and here’s the full video.
Tim Cook Speaks With Businessweek In A Wide-Ranging Interview
Josh Tyrangiel of Bloomberg’s Businessweek has a terrific and in-depth interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook. In it, Cook is asked a whole swathe of questions from transparency, to the recent executive changes, Apple’s competition, US manufacturing and a lot more. The whole article is available online and in the latest edition of Businessweek. NBC will also air an interview with Tim Cook today on it’s Rock Center program at 10pm/9c in the US.
Talking of Apple Maps, Cook is asked whether Apple took on an approach of doing something for strategic company purposes, rather than something that would make the product better. Cook rebuffs this suggestion and suggests that they wanted to enable certain features such as directions and voice integration and set upon accomplishing them.
We set on a course some years ago and began to do that. So it wasn’t a matter of saying, “Strategically it’s important that we not work with company X.” We set out to give the customer something to provide a better experience. And the truth is it didn’t live up to our expectations. We screwed up.
Asked about manufacturing and whether Apple might bring back some manufacturing efforts back to the US, Cook responds that they will begin to do so in 2013 for certain Mac products. It lines up with recent reports of the new iMacs arriving with “Assembled in USA” engravings. You can also see an excerpt of the Rock Center interview here in which he discusses this transition back to the US.
And next year we are going to bring some production to the U.S. on the Mac. We’ve been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013. We’re really proud of it. We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it’s broader because we wanted to do something more substantial. So we’ll literally invest over $100 million. This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people, and we’ll be investing our money
These are just a few snippets of the interview, be sure to read the entire interview over at Bloomberg Businessweek, it’s a must read.
Apple has just posted on its website a letter from Tim Cook to Apple’s customers, apologizing for not delivering the best experience with its new iOS 6 Maps. In the letter, prominently link to from the front page of Apple.com, Cook describes how Apple “strives” to make products the “deliver the best experience possible“, but that the new Maps app has fallen short of this standard, frustrating millions of customers.
He re-emphasises the previous Apple statement on Maps, by saying that as time goes on and more people use Maps (there have already been nearly half a billion location searches), that the Maps app will get better. But in the mean time, Cook suggests that users try alternative map apps, and actually names some third-party apps available in the App Store such as “Bing, MapQuest and Waze” or alternatively to use “use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app”. Whilst that is certainly far from ideal, it’s quite extraordinary to see Cook actively name and recommend third party mapping solutions.
Cook explains that since they first shipped the original iPhone, they’ve been wanting to add new features such as “turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps“. Cook claims that they had to create a new version “from the ground-up” to achieve these – there is no mention of Google’s role in the letter.
Tim Cook’s full letter to customers:
To our customers,
At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.
We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.
There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.
While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.
Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.
A dapper Tim Cook will be sitting down with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher this evening in Racho Palos Verdes, California, where AllThingsDigital’s D10 Conference will be held for the next three days as tech industry heavyweights are invited to speak and demo new products. Since last August, Tim Cook has continued to drive Apple’s success with new product launches of the iPhone 4S and the iPad 3. Apple has given stock dividends, joined the Fair Labor Association, and has reported its best quarter ever since Cook was promoted to CEO. We expect most of tonight’s interview to focus on his tenure at Apple, what’s in the company’s future, and how Cook views the tech industry and the pace of innovation that’s currently happening.
All Things Digital has made available an iPhone/Android app so readers can stay updated on upcoming events and interviews during the conference. Livestreams will be made available for certain speakers, and Twitter users can follow the conversation around D10 through the hashtag #atd10. A livestream for Tim Cook’s talk will not be available, but there should be a recorded session available by Wednesday.
As the conversation with Tim Cook gets underway, we’ll be highlighting some of the key takeaways and sharing thoughts and opinions from around the web that occur as a result of what Tim Cook says or doesn’t say. We’re looking forward to the interview, and hope you’ll tune in with us at 9:00 EST as we quietly follow along with the live transcripts.
Update 9:23: Tim Cook is on stage! We’ll be posting highlights past the break.
Apple CEO Tim Cook will be the opening night speaker at the D10 Conference, AllThingsD confirmed today. Taking place at the end of May (May 29-31) in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, the D10 conference, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, includes names like Zynga’s Marcus Pincus, Sean Parker, and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg among the list of confirmed speakers.
Walt Mossberg and I could not be more thrilled to announce that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, will be the opening-night speaker at our 10th D: All Things Digital conference.
It will be Cook’s first appearance at D, as well as his first time being onstage at an event not run by Apple or for investors since he was named CEO last August.
AllThingsD’s “D” conferences saw a number of important speakers sharing their views on the world of technology on stage. As AllThingsD describes it, one of D’s greatest strengths is the focus on unscripted conversations:
D is different from other conferences: no canned speeches, no marketing pitches, and no bull. Instead, creators and executive producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher put the industry’s top players to the test during unscripted conversations about the impact digital technology will have on our lives now and in the future. The results are unprecedented glimpses into the ideas and strategies of the industry’s most creative thinkers.
In Apple’s case, Steve Jobs made a series of appearances at D over the years, including one at D8 two years ago, where he famously discussed Apple’s stance on Flash, the lost iPhone 4 prototype, Apple’s internal culture, and more. The D10 conference will certainly be a good opportunity for Tim Cook to calmly and publicly go on the record about recent controversies and debates such as the one about China workers at Foxconn, the dividend, or more simply, the direction where Apple is heading.
In February, Tim Cook also spoke at the Goldman Sachs Technology Conference.
Tim Cook Visits Foxconn in China
Bloomberg reports on a visit by Apple CEO Tim Cook to Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou, China, where iPhones and iPads are made, among other devices.
Cook’s trip to Zhengzhou followed a meeting with Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong on March 26 and with Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang on March 27. Apple’s Wu said earlier those meetings were “great,” without providing details on their content.
Vice Premier Li told Cook Chinese authorities will make an effort to strengthen intellectual rights, but also asked for more attention in caring for workers in Chinese factories. Apple recently found itself in the middle of a debate surrounding working conditions in China — a debate spurred by false allegations by performer Mike Daisey, and a series of investigative reports by The New York Times. In February, the Fair Labor Association began an inspection of Apple’s suppliers.
Tim Cook On Mountain Lion
Mr. Cook said he already thinks of Apple’s iOS and OS X operating systems “as one with incremental functionality.” He said both laptops and tablets will continue to coexist, but he didn’t rule out that the technologies could converge further. When asked if Apples iPhones, iPads and Macs might run the same microprocessor chips, he said: “We think about everything. We don’t close things off.
“Incremental functionality” is a nice way to put it. Whenever a new feature is released on iOS, you can most definitely stay assured it’ll show in some form or another on the Mac as well, and vice versa. The operating system is seen as “one” in Cook’s vision.
Also interesting: whilst The Wall Street Journal was the only publication to get an interview with Tim Cook, others like Daring Fireball’s John Gruber were invited to private presentations by Phil Schiller and Apple PR. A few weeks ago, a Japanese blog reported Apple would have a “strange” or “unusual” media event in February. Apple’s strategy for the Mountain Lion announcement has surely been unusual and different from the past, as Gruber noted multiple times in his article this morning.