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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    I think ABC can't count, that's one on three.
  • Reply 2 of 80
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,402member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 80
    irelandireland Posts: 17,522member

    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.


  • Reply 4 of 80
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member

    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.

  • Reply 5 of 80
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    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.

     

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

  • Reply 6 of 80
    Is not the "ring" around the touch sensor sapphire glass
  • Reply 7 of 80
    @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.
  • Reply 8 of 80
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    emig647 wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 9 of 80
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 80
    Quote:

    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-)
  • Reply 11 of 80
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member

    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.

  • Reply 12 of 80
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,974member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by matrix42 View Post



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

    No, but the cover over the sensor is.

  • Reply 13 of 80
    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 :)

  • Reply 14 of 80
    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.

  • Reply 15 of 80
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,414member

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 80
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,777member
    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 :)


    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.

  • Reply 17 of 80
    imatimat Posts: 150member
    Wake up at 3:45? Wonder at what time he goes to bed.
  • Reply 18 of 80
    Quote:

    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.

  • Reply 19 of 80
    gustavgustav Posts: 823member
    Quote:

    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

  • Reply 20 of 80
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    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.

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