Apple CEO Cook talks privacy, dividend hikes, acquisitions, Apple Car at annual meeting of shareholders

Apple is committed to raising its quarterly dividend annually, CEO Tim Cook stated at his company’s annual meeting.

Speaking at the company’s annual meeting in Cupertino, California, Cook also said Apple was “a staunch advocate for our customers’ privacy and personal safety,” as it fights a public battle with the U.S. government over access to the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. “We do these things because they are the right thing to do,” he added.

Cook suggested the market is ripe for acquiring tech companies. “In times when equity values are falling there’s great opportunity to [acquire companies].” He noted that Apple has bought 19 companies over the last 15 months (not all acquisitions are known).

Cook hinted an Apple Car isn’t something that’s right around the corner. “Do you remember when you were a kid, and Christmas Eve, it was so exciting, you weren’t sure what was going to be downstairs? Well, it’s going to be Christmas Eve for a while.”

26 Comments

      1. Seeing that got me to thinking, every airplane with wheels is a kind of a flying car already. Maybe we’re going about this flying car thing wrong: instead of looking to the car industry take flight, we should getting the aviation industry to make more consumer friendly planes. You can also just start taking flying lessons and save up and to buy a plane now.

          1. A safe vintage used Cessna in reasonable condition can be purchased for less than $50k. What prevents private aviation from most people’s consideration is the fact that aviation is completely unforgiving to owner negligence and lack of attention. Both in very short supply these days.

            1. It also doesn’t help that a Cessna w/basic license is fair-weather only, and not super speedy from point A to B … the pragmatic examination of it as transportation (vs a joy flight) simply doesn’t work out to be particularly advantageous for most folk in the USA.

            2. Sorry, but “utilitarian” doesn’t have the same meaning as what I said, which was “utilitarian FLEXIBILITY”.

              From an engineering standpoint, there’s no doubt that current battery / electric car technology can be made to be very suitable for a fixed N mile route such as what a postal carrier (your example) or mass transit bus may employ. Granted, it still may not necessarily be as cost-effective as the liquid fuel status quo, but it is technologically feasible.

              But this feasibility is predicated on a very clearly defined and FIXED utilitarian objective, and the reason it can be made to work is because it is fixed, the potential for variance in the intended duty cycle is known to be low.

              When a system isn’t as narrowly fixed in its capabilities, the outcome is an increase in its potential flexibility.

              And the engineering specifics of what’s holding back battery-powered transportation platforms is a combination of battery storage technology, as well as the time element for logistical replenishment of the onboard energy supply: the solution today is to figuratively “throw money” at the problem – – which is why one of my battery-based prototypes has a 300+lb battery pack which cost us a mere $130,000 to buy from SAFT: if we wanted to “double our range”, we already know that it would cost us roughly another $100K and another 300lbs platform weight. There’s STILL no such thing as a free lunch.

            3. Oh, and a quick observation on the economics of mail delivery: the USPS’s proposed replacement for the current Grumman LLV has an estimated unit cost of roughly $27.7K, which compared to a Tesla is enough of a cost differential to pay for 100,000 miles of driving at 10mpg at $4/gallon fuel cost (or 200,000 miles at the current $2/gallon).

              From a capital business expense standpoint, a COTS Tesla is very obviously non-competitive.

            4. “which is why one of my battery-based prototypes has a 300+lb battery pack which cost us a mere $130,000 to buy from SAFT”

              I clearly don’t know who you are or what you are working on and I would agree that liquid fueled vehicles can replenish their onboard energy supply more quickly than electric vehicles. But they do it at 10x the cost. You may have caught the mail carriers statement that he was spending over $30 per day when he drove a gasoline powered vehicle and was now spending about $3 per day for electric power to drive the same route. That can add up over time.

              Add that potential energy cost savings to the reality that most (US) vehicles are driven less than 50 miles per day, over largely the same routes, most trucks drive a delivery route and all busses do, theres not a lot of real need for “utilitarian flexibility”. And, adding just 40 gallons of diesel fuel to a vehicle adds 300 lbs of weight, but it’s a lot less than $100k up front. Maybe not so much long term, what with that 10:1 cost ratio.

            5. @quiviran: yes, you are correct in noting that you don’t know what I’m working on. And true, $30 vs $3 per day can add up over time…but not as fast as you may believe.

              For example, your fuel cost ratio of 10:1 conveniently ignores how the fuel-based vehicle is paying highway taxes (roughly 30% of his simple expense) while the electric vehicle is currently getting a free ride: that’s a policy loophole that Engineers & Analysts can’t simply choose to ignore. Normalizing this, 10:1 becomes 7:1, for a cost-of-energy expense differential metric of $5616/year — and while this does appear to sound like then that the $71K difference in vehicle costs would result in a 12 year ROI … because of the time value of money tied up in in capital equipment costs, it really isn’t this good. Modeling this simplistically as a 15 year 2% loan on the $71K cost delta, it works out to a $5484/year delta, which means that the cost savings is $5616 – $5484 = $132/year (42.3 cents per postal delivery day) . Want to look at car insurance expense deltas next? As I said, he’s not really saving any money.

              And in regards to just how many miles that most vehicles are driven per day (50), that’s merely the average, whereas the metric of merit I was using was flexibility, which is effectively an emphasis on variance of the average.

              “…,most trucks drive a delivery route and all busses do, theres not a lot of real need for “utilitarian flexibility…” – – true for said commercial vehicle types, as this has been tested & verified as such through the relative inflexibility of demand on diesel fuel relative to price changes of same … but privately owned vehicles are also known to be the opposite: it is quite well known that changes in gasoline prices invoke changes in demand response, which is empirical validation that the private vehicle transportation set does indeed have substantially higher variance / flexibility in their use case.

              All of this is merely pointing out that commercial vehicles are a more promising product target for electric vehicle solutions than private cars. But what this also reveals is that because they’ve not been broadly adopted for mass transit busses, etc – – the economics of the business use case to justify them as a real & tangible cost savings still isn’t there.

              FYI, I’m not a “Hater” … merely an experienced Engineer who has actually done the math.

            6. while private aircraft are pretty steep nowadays it isn’t necessarily the outright purchase price that is the stumbling block.

              to that you get to add the never ending recurring costs of aviation gas, insurance, moorage, annual inspections, 100 hour inspections, the staggering costs of replacement parts and maintenance and the periodic major overhaul of the engine.

              that and the realization that if you don’t have the time to keep current in your flying skills – and judgement – you are likely to do something stupid and end up nothing more than a memory to your family and friends.

    1. Nope. Thats not an accurate statement At All ….apple did not admit to anything! “admittance” is a word used by reuters reporte…… His opinion!

      Apple has been hiking their dividents every year since they started.. And apple has been growing every year since then as well. So the issue is not even correlated if history is of any indication.
      When apple announced dividends the financial bears jumbed on the bandwagon saying this is admittance from Apple that they are not a growth company any more… Apple went on to break records every year after that.
      Dont confuse the 2014 holiday and following q’s spike due to release of larger phones and huge pentup demand for them, as a indication that this year sales slowed. Normalize across the last few holidays and following qs…..You will easly see that apple would have shown a consistant average growth of 15%ish

      The anomaly was the pent up demand for biggetrvphones in 2014… Not the overall growth of apple.

      1. Right. Some dunderheads have got their bowels in a knot over Apple and that has affected their craniums. It’s hard to reason analytically when your gut feelings are sour, based on the sick mob fear aroused when shares suddenly start moving because someone dropped a pin.

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