Tim Cook’s NBC Rock Center interview breakdown

Despite being the head of what is perhaps the most corporately powerful and influential company on the planet, Tim Cook has shied away from public attention. Apart from his public appearances during Apple’s keynote product release, Tim Cook hasn’t taken any time to speak to the public in this way before. Today, I’d like to bring to you a brief breakdown of everything that was said in the interview, ranging from topics like Apple, its secrecy and its inner workings to Tim Cook’s daily routine, let’s get started.

Will Apple Fade away?

The interview began by documenting how Apple had changed the face of electronics, and was currently at an all time high. It’s well known that most companies will experience something of a “boom and bust” cycle when it comes to success. Would Apple be the first company to buck this trend and carry on growing? Or would it fade away like the rest…?

Cook essentially said “Don’t bet against us”, he claimed that Apple’s goal was to create brilliant products that enhanced people’s live so radically that they couldn’t live without these devices. He emphasized the importance of laser focus, staying true to oneself, and not trying to be good at everything, claiming that Apple could only do great things with a few products. Not a bad start…

How is Apple different without Steve Jobs?

Following Steve’s death, many fans and onlookers believed that Apple would struggle to maintain success without the guiding hand of the brilliant Steve Jobs, who was essentially Apple personified.

Whilst Tim didn’t really answer this question directly, he did give one important piece of information. Shortly before his death, Jobs told Cook to be his own man, he told him to never ask himself: “What would Steve do?”. I think this shows us that Tim Cook desires to run this company his way, rather than emulate the methods of his predecessor. Is that a good thing? Personally, I think it’s too early to tell, but I also think that it would be unfair to compare Jobs to Cook directly because they are different individuals with different ideas.

What happened to iOS maps?

When confronted with the inevitable “mapsgate” question, Tim Cook did very well to hold his own. He admitted that it didn’t meet expectations, going so far as to say “We screwed up”. When Brian Williams suggested that Apple had fired executives following the maps blunder, Tim simply ignored the question, and rightfully so. Regardless of the motive behind the exit of those executives earlier this year, I don’t think it would be professional to disclose the nature of their departures. To close, Cook reassured Williams that the “full weight” of the company was behind fixing iOS 6 maps.

Why the Lightning connector?

Many regular Apple customers were outraged at the prospect of having their 30-pin accessories rendered useless by the new Lightning connector, labelling Apple as greedy and too exclusive. In Apple’s defence, Cook claimed that without the Lightning connector, it would have been impossible to create the iPhone 5.

Why so secretive?

In short? Because people love surprises. I suppose that is true actually… Touché.

Thoughts on Samsung’s advertising campaign?

It’s certainly true that Samsung has really socked it to Apple in recent months, using satirical ads to mock the iPhone and the people who buy them. Tim Cook vowed to defend Apple’s customers, and he also claimed that Apple loved competition. I was satisfied with that answer, but then Cook dropped a rather controversial bombshell.

We also want people to invent their own stuff

Where’s your advertising campaign now Samsung?

How tough is it at Apple?

Really tough. Cook explained that he was faced with daily threats from hackers and people trying to leak confidential information.

When did you realise Steve was at the end of his life?

Obviously a sensitive subject, Tim Cook described Steve’s death as the saddest time of his life. Throughout their relationship, Cook had always seen Jobs bounce back from illness, for example his earlier fight with cancer. When Steve was taken ill for the last time, for a long while Tim held on to his expectations that Steve would be okay, and that it was not until very close to his death that he realised Steve wouldn’t recover.

A word about Foxconn

Following countless controversies over working hours, conditions and more, Tim Cook brought the encouraging knews that more and more parts of the iPhone were being made in the USA, and that indeed next year Mac production lines would be moving to the USA. When asked why the iPhone wasn’t made in the USA, he claimed that it wasn’t to do with cost, rather the migration of the particular manufacturing skills and methods required to create the product the way Apple wanted it to be.

Cook visiting Foxconn early this year.

Why did you move from Compaq?

When Cook moved to Apple, times were very hard at Cupertino. In contrast, Compaq was a highly successful company at the top of its game. Furthermore, Cook had only been at Compaq a short time when he was approached by Steve Jobs. Warily, he went for an interview with Steve, and claims that after 5 minutes, he had decided that he wanted to move to Apple. Good choice Tim… good choice.

Where do you go to get away from it all?

Heading up the worlds largest corporation must be pretty stressful. In his downtime, Cook told us how he liked to visit national parks to clear his mind. He also has a very intense fitness program, that has him in the gym at 5 o’clock every morning.

Will there be an Apple TV?

In typical Apple style, Cook refused to give anything away. However, he did tell us that the TV market was an area that had been “left behind” and that it was an area of “intense interest” to Apple.

From that, I think it’s safe to say Apple is working on a television, and the notion has got me really excited when considering the potential capabilities of an Apple TV. Seriously, It’s like being five all over again. I’m picturing iPad control, Siri, holograms, streaming, live TV, iTunes, dedicated TV apps, internet surfing and more. I also picture the Apple TV as an entertainment hub of the home from which you can monitor countless other aspects of daily life. For example, utilities like water, gas and electricity, internet usage, lighting, audio and security.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts on this interview? Were you satisfied with Cook’s answer? Why or why not? Are there any other questions you would have liked to ask him? And what are your early thoughts on an Apple TV? Be sure to leave a comment below and check me out on Twitter @TiP_Stephen

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