Kara Swisher of the New York Times interviews Tim Cook on her podcast this week:
In this episode of “Sway,” Ms. Swisher presses Mr. Cook on the motivations behind Apple’s privacy push, the power the company has over app developers, and potential future Apple innovations, from augmented-reality headsets to autonomous cars. They also discuss the decision to remove Parler from the App Store after the Capitol attacks — and why Mr. Cook hopes that the right-leaning social media company will “come back.”
Swisher is a great interviewer and she and Cook clearly have a rapport. Most headlines will be about Cook’s comments regarding Facebook, tracking, and privacy—that’s a hot story and Cook’s answers are forceful. But as always, there’s stuff to be gleaned by how Apple’s CEO approaches specific topics.
Apple’s recent reduction of the fees it takes in from smaller App Store developers clearly helps his talking points. Just as in the run-up to the announcement of the Apple Watch (in which the wrist was an “area of interest”) Cook did not shy away from endorsing categories that Apple is heavily rumored to be building new products in. He’s excited about AR (sounds like a man with a product getting close to being a reality) and enthusiastic but noncommittal about smart cars (sounds like a man investing a lot of money in the category, but not yet convinced there’s a product there).
Perhaps most notably for Apple watchers, Cook felt comfortable in saying that he doesn’t expect to be CEO of Apple in a decade. Cook would be 70 in 2031, and as he points out, a decade’s a long time. But Cook also said he can’t see the end in sight, which should quiet down talk of succession planning at least somewhat. I don’t think anyone will begrudge Cook his chance at retirement when he takes it.