Apple CEO Tim Cook explains the culture and approach that led to iPhone X, Air Pods, Apple Watch 3, and HomePod

“The only things more impressive than Apple’s financial numbers are the products that generated them. For a company routinely slagged for not having had a hit since 2010’s iPad, Apple, which as of mid-January was valued at more than $900 billion, had a heckuva 2017: Its wireless AirPods became ubiquitous from Brooklyn to Boise, and can now be paired with the best-selling Apple Watch Series 3, which has GPS and cellular connectivity, for a meaningful, new consumer experience,” Robert Safian writes for Fast Company. “Developers embraced ARKit, Apple’s augmented-reality framework, like nothing since 2008’s App Store (which paid out $26.5 billion last year). After a year of whining about what the new iPhone might offer, most skeptics were blown away by the iPhone X, with its facial recognition, camera quality, bezel-to-bezel screen, and new user interface.”

“Now, HomePod, first announced last June, offers a fresh take on the intelligent speaker,” Safian writes. “These category-redefining products don’t just defy the adage that scale hampers agility and creativity–they obliterate it. During a January 10, 2018, conversation at the newly opened Apple Park (itself an impressive product launch), Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with Fast Company to discuss the overarching philosophy behind Apple’s ever-evolving universe and what unites its ambitions and endeavors.”

Some snippets from Cook:

What drives us is making products that give people the ability to do things they couldn’t do before. Take iPhone X, the portrait-lighting feature. This is something that you had to be a professional photographer with a certain setup to do in the past. Now, iPhone X is not a cheap product, but a lighting rig – these things were tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars. And an iPhone X does more than just take pictures. There are so many parts. With ARKit, we created something that essentially took the heavy lifting with [augmented reality] and put it in the operating system, which empowers thousands of developers eventually to be able to build AR into their apps. Some will be very profound, life changing. There is no doubt about that in my mind.

I think about things from a core technology point of view. If you look at the core technology in each of our products, we had to start working on it years before the product shipped. With iPhone X, for example, if you look at the Bionic chip, we started working on that many years before it came out. Because we [design] our own silicon, it puts a level of discipline in our planning process. Now it also gives us an incredible advantage from a product point of view, because we can do things that others can’t.

Think about the production that goes into a recording of a song. Great artists spend enormous time thinking about every detail. If you get this little squeaky speaker, all of that is gone! All of the art and craft of music is gone. [HomePod] is the realization that that is important. Part of the enjoyment in music is hearing the full sound.

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Only Apple – because of the values Steve Jobs instilled in the compnay – can do personal computers, smartphones, tablets, wireless earbuds, smart watches, smart speakers, etc. this well.


  1. God that is the funniest fucking photo of Cook I have ever seen and he takes some funny ones.

    “first we take everything our customers say they want, write it all down (I don’t user a computer, I only have an iPad and I can never get stuff into and out of that cloud…) and we wad the paper up, and Jony sets it on fire.

    1. “bezel-to-bezel screen”

      Still don’t see this claim.. there is a border around the screen on all sides. Small, sure, but there are phones that DO NOT HAVE THIS BORDER. Until you can match them, you just can’t keep making this marketing claim.

      Secondary question of course is why this is perceived as a good thing at all.

      1. “Until you can match them, you just can’t keep making this marketing claim.”

        They can. What are you, the bezel police? I think what you meant to say was “Until you can match them, I don’t want Apple to keep making this claim… because it upsets me and makes me cry.”

  2. A little less of this great religious approach would be nice. Sure, best products on the planet. But way to much religion around it, and stupid ads. May be vice versa would be better. Stupid religion and a great advertisement approach.

  3. I see Apple as iterative rather than innovative under Tim Cook. Most everything they have done in recent years was pioneered elsewhere and they came late to market and have just kept cycling versions.

    Streaming Music
    Networked speakers
    Streaming TV content production

    In other areas where Apple was closer to the head of the line, they have let others take the lead.

    Apple TV

    Looks a lot like Ballmer era Microsoft.
    “I like our strategy, I like it a lot…”

  4. The name of this magazine is Fast Company.

    What evidence do we have to show Apple is fast at anything anymore? Under Timmy, it can’t even keep its legacy products fresh, let alone launching first-to-market, game changer level innovation. Apple isn’t even a fast follower anymore.

  5. Did Cook really compare a phone to a lighting rig?

    I could accept if Apple said it was inspired by professional products or that it did its best to incorporate high end performance and capabilities into its consumer-focused products. All Apple gear is aimed at consumers first, there isn’t any Apple gear that is sold only to pros. But comparison of consumer semi-disposable gadgets with truly professional gear — durable, single-purpose, dedicated pro level stuff— this makes Cook look stupid. No wonder the Pro label means nothing at Apple anymore. Cook has no clue.

    Side story: a kid decided to go to trade school to become a licensed electrician. So he buys the books and takes a look at the tool list he needed to start out. First day of field training the class is gathering, tool belts on and ready to get to work. This kid had a single multitool in his pocket. In his mind, it had all the features and because it was made of stainless steel, it was professional quality in his mind. Do you think he graduated?

    Sometimes buzzwords and feature lists just ain’t enough, Cookie.

  6. Speaking of Air Pods:
    WHY are we still waiting for the long-ago-promised new and improved CHARGING CASE?!

    Is Apple waiting to release the case until after the release of the also long-ago-promised AirPower Charging Mat?


  7. Quoting Tim Cook:
    More generally, if you look at America, the 90-day clock [measuring results by each fiscal quarter] is a negative. Why would you ever measure a business on 90 days when its investments are long term?

    EXACTLY! This continues to be one reason I champion Apple, despite its ongoing blunderfest. How many other companies can we name that have escaped from the bad biznizz Spirit-Of-The-Age known as:

    Short-Term-Thinking; Long-Term-Disaster?

    Apple is the exact opposite, bless them. Thank you for keeping the faith Tim!

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