Apple CEO Tim Cook recently celebrated his five-year anniversary as CEO and the one billionth iPhone sold. Cook argues that his job, however, is not always a bucket of lollipops and rainbows. The self-proclaimed “lonely” CEO recently sat down with The Washington Post to discuss the difficult and controversial topics like the future of iPhones, AI, the Chinese market, possible tax evasion in Europe, Project “Titan”, and the importance of AR.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the interview was the love Cook showed for augmented reality. Apple has largely stayed away from augmented reality, however, it has become more interested in the field thanks to the success of products like Pokémon GO. Cook remarked, “I think AR is extremely interesting and sort of a core technology. So, yes, it’s something we’re doing a lot of things on behind that curtain that we talked about.”
In the interview Cook spoke often about the future of the company. iPhone sales fell by 23% this past year, however, Cook believes that new technologies will keep the device relevant. He commented, “AI will make this product even more essential to you. It will become even a better assistant than it is today. So where you probably aren’t leaving home without it today — you’re really going to be connected to it in the future.” The company recently acquired machine learning startup Turi.
Cook also responded to the recent 33 percent sales decrease in China. The Chinese smartphone market contains many low-cost competitors like Huawei and Xiaomi. Cook insisted that the decrease is a short-term result in a long-term plan. He claimed, “So as I look in the long term, I think China is an unbelievable market — not only from a demand point of view and the revenue potential there, but also as a great source of talent.”
Apple is also currently waiting for the European Union to rule whether or not the company owes billions of dollars in back taxes. There is currently a rumor that Apple and Ireland had a deal that lowered corporate tax liability. The question therefore right now is: Where should Apple’s taxes be going? Cook did not appear to have much of an answer to this question. He insisted that Apple has behaved in a perfectly legal manner and that the United States is due for corporate tax reforms.
Cook was incredibly vague regarding Apple’s rumored electric car, Project “Titan”. He stated, “I can’t answer a question about something we haven’t announced.” It looks like consumers will not be receiving any new information about the Apple car anytime soon.