Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday that his company is “made up of people who want to spend their lives making things that enrich the lives of others.” He described Apple’s identity at length in response to a question during the company’s annual shareholders meeting. Cook also answered questions about privacy and other topics during the virtual meeting.
Tim Cook lays out Apple’s optimistic vision
The iPhone-maker’s chief executive holds very optimistic views, and they’re reflected in his thoughts on the company’s DNA.
“Apple is about technology made by people and for people and with people’s wellbeing in mind,” he told shareholders. “At its best and most hopeful, technology should help us leave the world better than we found it.”
He said he wants Apple to make products employees can be proud of “because life is too short to do anything else.” One simple goal is to create products that make users more creative and more fulfilled.
As Cook points out, the challenge is not getting distracted. “That means being comfortable saying no to a lot of things, and staying laser-focused on the areas where we know we can have the greatest impact,” he said. If the latest rumors are to be believed, that includes a virtual-reality visor, augmented-reality glasses and even a self-driving car.
Cook: ‘Innovation and privacy go hand in hand’
Shareholders used Tuesday’s meeting to ask other questions, too. One of these gave Cook an opportunity to speak about one of his favorite topics: privacy. In his response, he made it clear that developing new products doesn’t inevitably mean exposing the personal information of users.
“We believe innovation and privacy go hand in hand,” said Cook.
He cited the privacy “nutrition labels” Apple recently added to the App Store. And the the option iPhone and iPad users will soon have to prevent apps from tracking them.
But Apple’s CEO also pointed out that even a company as huge as Cupertino has limitations on what it can accomplish alone. He then called on the U.S. government to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation.
“At Apple, we believe our goals should always be to make things that help people live better, more fulfilled and more human lives,” said Cook. “We see privacy as fundamental to that, and we’ll always stand up for our principles in this area.”
Apple will keep acquisitions small
A shareholder at today’s meeting tried to get Apple management to talk about possible future mergers and acquisitions. Cook refused to get specific, but he apparently tried to lay to rest speculation that the company plans any big buyouts.
“We’re not afraid to look at acquisitions of any size, but our priority is on valuation and strategic fit, and our focus is generally going to be on small, innovative companies exploring technologies that complement our products and help push them forward,” said Cook.
This is likely aimed at those who’d like Apple to purchase a movie studio, or perhaps even Netflix, to boost its streaming video service, Apple TV+.