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Apple's Tim Cook jokes about secrecy, sapphire glass, and a mythical 'iRing'

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook sat down for an interview with ABC News about the 30th anniversary of the Mac, but the conversation naturally delved into other subjects like future products, on which the CEO was unsurprisingly tight-lipped.

Cook


Reporter David Muir of ABC sat down with Cook, as well as Craig Federighi, Apple's head of Software Engineering, and Bud Tribble, vice president of Software Technology. Though the full interview is set to air tonight, an excerpt from their conversation was played Friday morning on Good Morning America.

Muir quizzed Cook about Apple's recent start of manufacturing the new Mac Pro desktop in Austin, Tex. On that front, Cook teased that he thinks Apple can "do more," which led Muir to ask about the company's new sapphire glass manufacturing facility in Mesa, Ariz.



Cook confirmed that the facility is to build sapphire crystal glass, but declined to go any further when asked whether that glass could be used for a larger iPhone.

As Muir continued to press Cook about potential uses for the glass, the CEO finally said with a laugh: "It's for a ring."

The jovial comment from Cook could be in reference to a so-called "iRing" rumor from last year that gained considerable attention and was the subject of many jokes. Analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets said last April that he believed Apple was working on a ring-shaped accessory that could allow users to control their television set.

While Cook's joke suggests a high-tech ring probably isn't in Apple's near future, the CEO said little else regarding his company's future plans. He said Apple executives believe people enjoy being surprised, and that's part of the company's approach.

Cook


When asked by Muir to comment on Apple's legendary secrecy in developing products, Cook did confirm that some of the stories he's heard are true. For example, there are employees who can't tell their families at home what they're working on, and there really are black drapes that keep secretive products out of view.

"Yes, there are black drapes, and numerous locked doors, and many other things," Cook said. He also warned Muir that although the interview was being conducted at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., the reporter wouldn't be able to access the company's secret labs.

"Your badge probably wouldn't work in those rooms," he said with a laugh.

Finally, the CEO also talked about how he wakes up every day at 3:45 a.m., and reads hundreds of personal emails from Apple customers. He said the ability to see firsthand how his company's products affect people's lives is a "privilege."
post #2 of 70
I think ABC can't count, that's one on three.
post #3 of 70
Love how they said they aren't merging iOS and OS X into one. The future is bright, glad to have been apart of it.

 

 

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The reason why they are analysts is because they failed at running businesses.

 

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The reason why they are analysts is because they failed at running businesses.

 

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post #4 of 70

American TV news is unwatchably-annoying.

 

Cook's approach in interviews is so opposite to Steve's. Steve took no prisoners. That said, I'd prefer to work for Cook; he seems quite fair. I find it very interesting that he mentioned the Sapphire. I feel the investment is such an amount of money that it makes sense that although it could be for an iWatch display cover that it's also very likely for a future iPhone model.

 

Techcrunch:

 

Quote:
What chunk of that increased revenue will be sucked up by Apple? The answer lies in GT’s Q3 release, which notes that Apple will provide it with a $578 million prepayment, which GT will reimburse over the next five years. Apple’s deal length wasn’t mentioned, but it’s likely to last at least those five years. Note that this is only the pre-payment, Apple’s investment in sapphire may go well beyond that.

Edited by Ireland - 1/24/14 at 7:10am
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #5 of 70

The ring comment could just be a more basic, man-on-the-street joke.  If you mention sapphire to a normal human they will think of the precious stone and jewelry.  He could just as well have said necklace or tiara.

 

When I hear iRing, I wince, thinking of the ocular equivalent of a ear ring or nose ring.

post #6 of 70
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Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Love how they said they aren't merging iOS and OS X into one. The future is bright, glad to have been apart of it.

 

Glad to have been a part of it?  Did you just out yourself as a time traveler? ;-)

post #7 of 70
Is not the "ring" around the touch sensor sapphire glass
post #8 of 70
@malax,
"When I hear iRing, I wince, thinking of the ocular equivalent of a ear ring or nose ring."

That reference is to the Hobbit%u2026 "One ring to rule them all." Just a thought.
post #9 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Love how they said they aren't merging iOS and OS X into one. The future is bright, glad to have been apart of it.

Why are you glad not to partake in a bright future?
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #10 of 70
Whenever I see interviews with Apple execs in magazines or on TV it makes me wonder what Scott Forstall is thinking. In the past year or so Federighi has received more media time than Forstall ever did at Apple.
post #11 of 70
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Originally Posted by malax View Post
 

 

Glad to have been a part of it?  Did you just out yourself as a time traveler? ;-)

 

No... he said "apart". He's been keeping his distance from the whole thing.  8-)
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post #12 of 70

That "media" clip is a perfect example of why I don't subscribe to that nonsense. I cannot watch their uneducated, flippant, hypnotist-envying ways. There is absolutely no journalism in mainstream media...it serves as nothing more than advertiser-sponsored mental programming for the belligerent of America.

post #13 of 70
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Originally Posted by matrix42 View Post

Is not the "ring" around the touch sensor sapphire glass

No, but the cover over the sensor is.

post #14 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Love how they said they aren't merging iOS and OS X into one. The future is bright, glad to have been apart of it.

 

I think it's a shame if they aren't. They're slowly making OSX more iOS-like, so it seems silly to maintain these two disparate operating systems. I hope Google merge ChromeOS and Android as they appear to be doing, and Microsoft sorta merged w8 already but nobody really cares :)

post #15 of 70
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Originally Posted by pmz View Post
 

That "media" clip is a perfect example of why I don't subscribe to that nonsense. I cannot watch their uneducated, flippant, hypnotist-envying ways. There is absolutely no journalism in mainstream media...it serves as nothing more than advertiser-sponsored mental programming for the belligerent of America.


Try Al Jazeera and the BBC.

post #16 of 70

Based on this comment

 

Quote:
As Muir continued to press Cook about potential uses for the glass, the CEO finally said with a laugh: "It's for a ring."

 

I becoming more and more convince the whole iWatch rumor has been a red herring design to get the competition wasting time, resources and money on things which Apple know is not going to make money. 

 

Business competition is like war, so you have to battle on all fronts even the one's you make up and provide miss directions about. There has been so many product and idea rumors coming out of apple (well not directly) that many of them never seen the light of day only to have some competitor claim victory since the beat apple to the mark only to have the product fail.

post #17 of 70
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Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post
 

 

I think it's a shame if they aren't. They're slowly making OSX more iOS-like, so it seems silly to maintain these two disparate operating systems. I hope Google merge ChromeOS and Android as they appear to be doing, and Microsoft sorta merged w8 already but nobody really cares :)

They're not really two disparate operating systems.  From the core / architectural level, iOS & OSX share a lot of the same technologies and are, for the most part, fundamentally the same.  They're only different at the UI level.  One is optimized for touch-screen, the other is optimized for keyboard / mouse.

post #18 of 70
Wake up at 3:45? Wonder at what time he goes to bed.
post #19 of 70
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Originally Posted by CanukStorm View Post
 

They're not really two disparate operating systems.  From the core / architectural level, iOS & OSX share a lot of the same technologies and are, for the most part, fundamentally the same.  They're only different at the UI level.  One is optimized for touch-screen, the other is optimized for keyboard / mouse.

Agreed. There are some more fundamental differences though, such as OSX having access to the open dialog and allowing the user to browse their filesystem, wheras iOS has a much more limited approach.

 

I hope that Apple move their OSX 'bookmark' type facilities into iOS and do merge them. That gives them power above all their competitors, because a well sandboxed and locked down Desktop OS basically hasn't been built yet.

post #20 of 70
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Whenever I see interviews with Apple execs in magazines or on TV it makes me wonder what Scott Forstall is thinking. In the past year or so Federighi has received more media time than Forstall ever did at Apple.

Forstall is fine with it. After all, he has a bright future in modelling.

http://gizmodo.com/ousted-apple-exec-scott-forstall-finds-new-career-as-ci-1502010362

post #21 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post
 

 

I think it's a shame if they aren't. They're slowly making OSX more iOS-like, so it seems silly to maintain these two disparate operating systems. I hope Google merge ChromeOS and Android as they appear to be doing, and Microsoft sorta merged w8 already but nobody really cares :)

It doesn't seem silly at all, except to someone that absolutely no idea what they're talking about.

post #22 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post
 

It doesn't seem silly at all, except to someone that absolutely no idea what they're talking about.

 

If you want to point out somewhere I am wrong I welcome corrections.

post #23 of 70
@malax,
Is not the "ring" around the touch sensor sapphire glass?

I believe the ring is metal and serves to sense the finger. The sapphire glass covers the sensor cause strong and thin are its requirements.

Just a thought.
post #24 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post

I think it's a shame if they aren't. They're slowly making OSX more iOS-like, so it seems silly to maintain these two disparate operating systems. I hope Google merge ChromeOS and Android as they appear to be doing, and Microsoft sorta merged w8 already but nobody really cares 1smile.gif

They are talking about Mac vs touch devices, not exactly Mac OSX vs iOS alone. These devices are different in form factor, UI, power, price points, use cases, distribution, etc. they are optimized differently.

Mac OSX and iOS will likely merge where it makes sense, and diverge where it's appropriate. No need for any company policies dictating that. The users (like us !) can appreciate and tell the differences.
post #25 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by patsu View Post


They are talking about Mac vs touch devices, not exactly Mac OSX vs iOS alone. These devices are different in form factor, UI, price points, use cases, distribution, etc. they are optimized differently.

Mac OSX and iOS will likely merge where it makes sense, and diverge where it's appropriate. No need for any company policies dictating that. The users (like us !) can appreciate and tell the difference.

No argument here, but talk like the 'iPad Pro' makes sense to me. I have an old Asus Transformer TF101 somewhere. It's slow and low resolution with incredibly slow storage, but it has a detachable keyboard with integrated battery that folds up into a netbook sized solution (nowhere near as thin as an Air but the new one is closer)

 

It's not bad, and I can definitely see Apple moving in this direction.

post #26 of 70
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Originally Posted by iMat View Post

Wake up at 3:45? Wonder at what time he goes to bed.

 



That was my first thought. That is a seriously early morning. My guess is around 9pm. That'd get him close to 7 hours. Still, 3:45am requires a good bit of coffee I'd imagine. That's some serious dedication. Very impressive.
post #27 of 70
The mention of sapphire glass is truly fascinating.
He confirmed that they are using it for something, apparently something big.
My bet is indeed the iWatch. The smaller the screen, the more annoying a scratch is, and watches often scratch.
post #28 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post
 

That "media" clip is a perfect example of why I don't subscribe to that nonsense. I cannot watch their uneducated, flippant, hypnotist-envying ways. There is absolutely no journalism in mainstream media...it serves as nothing more than advertiser-sponsored mental programming for the belligerent of America.


Try Al Jazeera and the BBC.

The BBC?!

 

Yikes, the home of condescending liberals.

 

(Sorry, off-topic. But couldn't resist).

post #29 of 70
How much you wanna bet that sometime next month, Samsung introduces the new Galaxy Ring to their Gear collection?
post #30 of 70

Quote:

Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

The BBC?!

 

Yikes, the home of condescending liberals.

 

(Sorry, off-topic. But couldn't resist).


If you think the BBC is liberal, then reality must have a liberal bias to you. The world is more liberal than the US.

 

 

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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Magical. When you’ve something relevant to discuss, let us know.

 

Coming from you, that’s a great compliment.

I did discuss relevant things, and no, it isn't a great compliment. You seem to just troll new users and insult them until they give up posting. I guess you don't want challengers with real facts disputing your position.

post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post
 

 

I think it's a shame if they aren't. They're slowly making OSX more iOS-like, so it seems silly to maintain these two disparate operating systems. I hope Google merge ChromeOS and Android as they appear to be doing, and Microsoft sorta merged w8 already but nobody really cares :)


Federighi and others gave a great interview to Macworld explaining why Mac won't merge with iOS. You can disagree with them, but it's amazing to see, once again, how clear it is in their minds what a Mac is and why it should exist, and how clear their vision for the future is. Very few companies do that, and most of Apple's competitors just don't. They clearly don't want to follow trends just for the sake of it.

I'd like too to have one single system. Because I would want to be able to use my bluetooth keyboard with my tablet using windowed apps when I get home if I need to do a lot of work, or use a mouse if I need to do some photoshop or 3D. But that would for sure make them more complicated to use. I like that they are taking it relatively slowly and thinking a lot about what they do.

post #32 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post
 


Federighi and others gave a great interview to Macworld explaining why Mac won't merge with iOS. You can disagree with them, but it's amazing to see, once again, how clear it is in their minds what a Mac is and why it should exist, and how clear their vision for the future is.

Any chance of a link? Sounds an interesting read.


 

Quote:

Very few companies do that, and most of Apple's competitors just don't. They clearly don't want to follow trends just for the sake of it.

I'd like too to have one single system. Because I would want to be able to use my bluetooth keyboard with my tablet using windowed apps when I get home if I need to do a lot of work, or use a mouse if I need to do some photoshop or 3D. But that would for sure make them more complicated to use. I like that they are taking it relatively slowly and thinking a lot about what they do.

 

Wait, I thought you could use a keyboard or a mouse. I know people sell keyboard cases but is there no mouse support there? That is something that definitely should be added, being able to plug in a mouse has all sorts of minor advantages. I like to play ScummVM games that take advantage of it for example. Seems silly to have no support (if that's indeed the case)

post #33 of 70
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Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMat View Post

Wake up at 3:45? Wonder at what time he goes to bed.

 



That was my first thought. That is a seriously early morning. My guess is around 9pm. That'd get him close to 7 hours. Still, 3:45am requires a good bit of coffee I'd imagine. That's some serious dedication. Very impressive.

 

I've known a few people (and I mean "few") who go to bed between 11 pm and midnight and get up every day around 4:00-4:30 am... 5 or 6 days a week. Most, if not all, were very subdued but seemed to work at a level comparable to everyone else... even better in some cases.

Myself... if I did that, I'd be dead by week 2.

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post #34 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post
 

Any chance of a link? Sounds an interesting read.


 

Wait, I thought you could use a keyboard or a mouse. I know people sell keyboard cases but is there no mouse support there? That is something that definitely should be added, being able to plug in a mouse has all sorts of minor advantages. I like to play ScummVM games that take advantage of it for example. Seems silly to have no support (if that's indeed the case)

 

Yes, you can use a keyboard, but not a mouse. But my central point were the windowed apps anyway. But as they imply in the article...

 

http://www.macworld.com/article/2090829/apple-executives-on-the-mac-at-30-the-mac-keeps-going-forever.html

 

...it certainly isn't a good idea to use windows on a small tablet screen. A big screen like on a Mac is much better. But here come into play the rumors about the iPad Pro...

post #35 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

The mention of sapphire glass is truly fascinating.
He confirmed that they are using it for something, apparently something big.
My bet is indeed the iWatch. The smaller the screen, the more annoying a scratch is, and watches often scratch.

I have a 25-year-old watch with saphhire crystal "glass."  That's probably one of the most common uses of the material.

post #36 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post
 

 

Yes, you can use a keyboard, but not a mouse. But my central point were the windowed apps anyway. But as they imply in the article...

 

http://www.macworld.com/article/2090829/apple-executives-on-the-mac-at-30-the-mac-keeps-going-forever.html

 

...it certainly isn't a good idea to use windows on a small tablet screen. A big screen like on a Mac is much better. But here come into play the rumors about the iPad Pro...


Thanks for the link. I actually kinda like Microsoft's approach. It's a sorta pseudo tiling window manager. I think that has potential in future, but yeah iOS should definitely gain mouse support for the rare circumstances where it's useful.

 

Might comment more after reading the link but I already feel like I'm spamming this thread.

post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post
 


Thanks for the link. I actually kinda like Microsoft's approach. It's a sorta pseudo tiling window manager. I think that has potential in future, but yeah iOS should definitely gain mouse support for the rare circumstances where it's useful.

 

Might comment more after reading the link but I already feel like I'm spamming this thread.

 

As an occasional iOS developer, I say "no thank you" to "supporting" a mouse.  iOS is fundamentally a multitouch OS.  Every app is designed around that paradigm.  Making multitouch apps work with a single-touch device would be more than a PITA, it would makes apps worse (as developers either dumb down or complicate their apps so it would work for the occasional mouse user).  iOS needs mouse support as much as my toaster does.

post #38 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post
 

 

As an occasional iOS developer, I say "no thank you" to "supporting" a mouse.  iOS is fundamentally a multitouch OS.  Every app is designed around that paradigm.  Making multitouch apps work with a single-touch device would be more than a PITA, it would makes apps worse (as developers either dumb down or complicate their apps so it would work for the occasional mouse user).  iOS needs mouse support as much as my toaster does.

 

I disagree. Multitouch is a useful extension to the single touch paradigm, but I don't think it replaces it. There are very few multitouch gestures I find 'intuitive' at all and making your app require a multitouch interaction for functionality seems a bit of a mistake to me.

 

Can you give me an example of a multitouch integration where single touch would be absolutely unacceptable? Zooming has been done via mouse wheel for forever, alternate options via right click. It still seems pretty relevant to me.

post #39 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post
 

I have a 25-year-old watch with saphhire crystal "glass."  That's probably one of the most common uses of the material.

 

I had heard about that. I wonder if it can easily be cut to a curved form though.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post
 

 

As an occasional iOS developer, I say "no thank you" to "supporting" a mouse.  iOS is fundamentally a multitouch OS.  Every app is designed around that paradigm.  Making multitouch apps work with a single-touch device would be more than a PITA, it would makes apps worse (as developers either dumb down or complicate their apps so it would work for the occasional mouse user).  iOS needs mouse support as much as my toaster does.

 

Totally. A mouse should never be needed for iOS.

I'm convinced that there are very simple rules that Apple follows to define their products.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Mac is the machine made to be used with a mouse. I mean, that's the simplest differentiator between the two.

 

 

post #40 of 70

Will this be on World News or 20/20?

 

Edit:  World News.  Found the info on MR.


Edited by John.B - 1/24/14 at 9:38am

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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