Cook, other Apple execs open up on company's future in extensive '60 Minutes' feature

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2015
A "60 Minutes" special that aired Sunday saw interviewer Charlie Rose gain rare access into Apple's Cupertino headquarters, where he discussed a wide range of topics with company execs and snagged behind-the-scenes looks at Jony Ive's design studio, a next-gen Apple Store mockup and the Campus 2 construction site.


Source: CBS


The special, pieced togetether from interviews conducted over the past few months since September's iPhone announcement, started off with a discussion of the company's transition to Cook from co-founder Steve Jobs. The late tech guru was, in Cook's words, unlike anyone he had ever met before.

"It's a bar of excellence that merely good isn't good enough. It has to be great. Insanely great," Cook said of the legacy Jobs left behind. "This is still Steve's company. It was born that way."

Rose was able to attend the pre-game of Apple's weekly Monday morning executive meeting, though Apple expectedly declined to have the actual proceedings recorded. Alongside Cook, executives like CDO Jony Ive, content chief Eddy Cue, marketing and App Store head Phill Schiller, newly appointed COO Jeff Williams, and others gathered around a large wooden table to discuss strategy.

Rose also met with Jony Ive in his famed -- and ultra secretive -- design studio. There, among wooden tables covered with black cloth to hide prototype devices, Ive walked Rose through the design process of several products. The segment included extensive footage of the prototyping process Ive and the Apple design team went through in building Apple Watch. Ive showed off sketches and electronic blueprints of the initial Apple Watch prototype and demonstrated how the aluminum case was made from a CNC machine.

"All of these things, I think, in aggregate, if we manage to get them right, you sense that it's an authenticate, really thoughtfully conceived object," Ive said.




Ive and head of hardware Dan Riccio also discussed the process behind the battery of the new MacBook and the design challenges inherent in fitting a battery large enough to last all or most of the day into such a slim case.

"Every tenth of a millimeter in our products is sacred," Riccio said. "With this design, it involved mechanical designers, toolmakers, chemists, and it also brought software engineers that could design a pack that would fit within the surfaces of the product but still work reliably."

Detailing the great effort that goes into Apple's devices, Rose took a look at an iPhone 6s Plus camera module, which, according to Apple Senior Director of Camera Hardware Graham Townsend, contains over two hundred individual parts and took a team of 800 engineers to create. Townsend showed off the optical image stabilization system that helps steady the camera while you're taking a picture, mentioning that iPhone is processing over 24 billion operations at any given point to get the right shot.




Retail chief Angela Ahrendts gave Rose a quick tour of a mockup Apple Store located in an unmarked warehouse off of Apple's main campus. With the new store design, imagined in collaboration with Ive, Ahrendts is attempting to create a dynamic experience that actively shows off Apple's latest wares.

In a separate segment, SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said Apple intentionally pits one product against another. Device cannibalization is "almost by design," he said.

"The iPhone has to become so great that you don't know why you want an iPad," Schiller said. "The iPad has to be so great that you don't know why you want a notebook. The notebook has to be so great that you don't know why you want a desktop. Each one's job is to compete with the other ones."

The subject then turned to the Apple Watch, as Rose tried to glean some insight into how the product was doing in light of what some describe as lackluster interest and demand. No sales figures were shared but when asked if the Watch was a product that needed improvement, Cook punted: "I think all products need improvement. And I think the Watch is no exception to that."

Cook also was vague and dismissive when asked about two industries Apple has reportedly been working on for some time: the TV and the car.

"One of the great things about Apple is that we probably have more secrecy here than the CIA," Cook said.

The second part of the interview focused on a number of more politically-charged issues Apple has found itself in the middle of for a number of years. Those include the ongoing privacy debate, including the subject of government backdoors, as well as issues like Apple's corporate tax burden and its (largely) Chinese manufacturing workforce overseas.

On the subject of taxes in particular, Cook was visibly heated, calling claims of Apple's intentional avoidance of taxes through overseas subsidiaries as "total political crap," and placing much of the blame on the American tax code, which he said was "built for the Industrial Age, not the Digital Age."




The interview concluded with a walk around the construction site of Apple's new corporate headquarters: a multi-billion dollar complex designed to be eco-friendly and was described by Rose as "the most ambitious project Apple has ever done."

You can see the full interview, including online exclusives not shown during the TV presentation, at the 60 Minutes website.
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 95
    I'd like to know the difference between an industrial age tax code and a digital age tax code. To me, it just sounds like Tim and Company don't like paying taxes. But, maybe others can explain his thoughts. 
    acgmphmdriftmeyerxixo
  • Reply 2 of 95
    justbobf said:
    I'd like to know the difference between an industrial age tax code and a digital age tax code. To me, it just sounds like Tim and Company don't like paying taxes. But, maybe others can explain his thoughts. 
    They pay Chinese taxes on every Phone sold in China, they pay Bralian taxes on every sale in Brazil, on top of whatever local business taxes for any internationally localized store or business they operate.  The US then wants them to pay another 40% on top of that to repatriate the money.  It would be beyond stupid to even consider, it's a terrible policy, because the US has no way to force companies to move their international divisions' profits back to the US, and there's little chance companies will choose to squander half their profits just to move the money back.  It's just useless political wind bagging.

    The US government should slash the rate, even if they make conditions for that money being used for domestic jobs, it would be a forward thinking tax policy, rather than the archaic jumble we have now.  Dig?
    calinolamacguyredgeminipachiamrphil49mike1gregoriusmkevin kee
  • Reply 3 of 95
    justbobf said:
    I'd like to know the difference between an industrial age tax code and a digital age tax code. To me, it just sounds like Tim and Company don't like paying taxes. But, maybe others can explain his thoughts. 
    Here's a short quiz for you Bob.

    A publicly traded company's primary fiduciary responsibility is to:

    1: its shareholders
    2: its employees
    3: taxpayers
    4: social justice

    You can probably figure out the answer, but if you need help, it is easily found in federal law.

    edited December 2015 thewhitefalcongtrradarthekatdavenchiaanantksundarampscooter63SpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 95
    D67D67 Posts: 1member
    justbobf said:
    I'd like to know the difference between an industrial age tax code and a digital age tax code. To me, it just sounds like Tim and Company don't like paying taxes. But, maybe others can explain his thoughts. 

    Let's just say the current "tax code" need a total overhaul, which would include eliminating 99% of its regulations.
     You must be one of the scant few who enjoys paying taxes. 
    Most of us ordinary people believe it is a duty and obligation to pay as "few" taxes as possibly by means of legal tax breaks and loopholes.
    No doubt TC has similar feelings.
    bloggerblogredgeminipaSpamSandwich
  • Reply 5 of 95
    redefiler said:
    justbobf said:
    I'd like to know the difference between an industrial age tax code and a digital age tax code. To me, it just sounds like Tim and Company don't like paying taxes. But, maybe others can explain his thoughts. 
    They pay Chinese taxes on every Phone sold in China, they pay Bralian taxes on every sale in Brazil, on top of whatever local business taxes for any internationally localized store or business they operate.  The US then wants them to pay another 40% on top of that to repatriate the money.  It would be beyond stupid to even consider, it's a terrible policy, because the US has no way to force companies to move their international divisions' profits back to the US, and there's little chance companies will choose to squander half their profits just to move the money back.  It's just useless political wind bagging.

    The US government should slash the rate, even if they make conditions for that money being used for domestic jobs, it would be a forward thinking tax policy, rather than the archaic jumble we have now.  Dig?
    Some questions:

    Is Apple required to bring that money home to the US?

    If Apple could get the same tax rate and benefits in the US that they get in Ireland... would Apple start keeping all their money in the US?

    Does anyone wonder why so many companies set up shop in Ireland in the first place?
  • Reply 6 of 95
    I don't know if Apple had control over the questions that were asked but if they did Apple PR should never have allowed questions on taxes or Chinese workers. Go on Twitter and that's all people are talking about. Now maybe CBS wouldn't allow the piece to happen unless Charlie Rose could ask whatever question he wanted but I seem to remember a 60 minutes piece with Jeff Bezos about Amazon's drone ambitions and there were no questions about working conditions at fulfillment centers or anything else. It was a 100% Amazon PR piece. Apple should have ensured this was too.

    Anyway after watching the piece it left the impression this is Tim and Jony's company and everyone else just works there. There were small clips of Phil Schiller and Angela Ahrendts and even a camera engineer but it was mostly Tim and Jony, and you get the sense they're treating Campus 2 as the largest product they've ever created. Which is exactly what Steve Jobs would be doing if he was here. I don't think CBS just happened to focus on Tim and Jomy by accident. I had a little chuckle when Charlie asked Jony where his office was going to be and he said "the top floor" and they both laughed and that was the end of the piece.
    edited December 2015 h2p
  • Reply 7 of 95
    redefiler said:
    They pay Chinese taxes on every Phone sold in China, they pay Bralian taxes on every sale in Brazil, on top of whatever local business taxes for any internationally localized store or business they operate.  The US then wants them to pay another 40% on top of that to repatriate the money.  It would be beyond stupid to even consider, it's a terrible policy, because the US has no way to force companies to move their international divisions' profits back to the US, and there's little chance companies will choose to squander half their profits just to move the money back.  It's just useless political wind bagging.

    The US government should slash the rate, even if they make conditions for that money being used for domestic jobs, it would be a forward thinking tax policy, rather than the archaic jumble we have now.  Dig?
    Some questions:

    Is Apple required to bring that money home to the US?

    If Apple could get the same tax rate and benefits in the US that they get in Ireland... would Apple start keeping all their money in the US?

    Does anyone wonder why so many companies set up shop in Ireland in the first place?
    To be fair, Apple has had and continues to have substantial operations in Ireland, some 5000 employees last I heard, including an iMac assembly line. 
  • Reply 8 of 95
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    The Phil Schiller thing was the best commentary.
    Amazing to see them actually walking the floor of the new campus.
  • Reply 9 of 95
    Some questions:

    Is Apple required to bring that money home to the US?

    If Apple could get the same tax rate and benefits in the US that they get in Ireland... would Apple start keeping all their money in the US?

    Does anyone wonder why so many companies set up shop in Ireland in the first place?

     To be fair, Apple has had and continues to have substantial operations in Ireland, some 5000 employees last I heard, including an iMac assembly line. 
    Sure... but I hear Ireland is a known tax haven.  Apple is there for that reason, right?  They didn't just decide to build an office there because of the scenery.  And I know... Ireland is beautiful.

    My question is... why can't the US make the same deals that Ireland makes?  Wouldn't all these criticisms go away?
    edited December 2015 bloggerblog
  • Reply 10 of 95
    This thread proves my point. Nearly every post so far is discussing Apple's taxes. Is that what Apple PR really wanted?
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 11 of 95
    ac1234ac1234 Posts: 138member
    Michael - why in the world would you expect the president and congress to accomplish anything new and innovative?  Our government is a disaster and getting worse by the day.

    BTW - the content of the interview is a big snooze - not even that entertaining.
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 12 of 95

    This thread proves my point. Nearly every post so far is discussing Apple's taxes
    One person starts... then the replies multiply.

    That's internet nature :)
  • Reply 13 of 95
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member

    Some questions:

    Is Apple required to bring that money home to the US?

    If Apple could get the same tax rate and benefits in the US that they get in Ireland... would Apple start keeping all their money in the US?

    Does anyone wonder why so many companies set up shop in Ireland in the first place?
    Obviously not since they don't right? So, money earned overseas is subject to those nations laws, including tax laws. Overseas money has already had taxes paid where it was earned, bringing it into the United States wouldn't serve any purpose: Apple has a lot of overseas expenses: paying for components, assembly etc. running it through the United States where it was neither earned nor being spent would be silly. 

    OTOH money earned in the United States IS subject to United States taxes and Apple pays billions and billions. 
    edited December 2015 nolamacguyredgeminipachiagregoriusm
  • Reply 14 of 95
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Sounds like it was less of a hit piece than 60 Minutes sometimes trots out. 
  • Reply 15 of 95
    Something else I found interesting: they showed a shot of an executive team meeting (in which Jony Ive didn't appear to be present) and all you saw around the table were iPads. Then a few minutes later they cut to a shot of Jony Ive at a desk writing in a notebook and sitting next to him was a MacBook. So apparently not everyone on the executive team has ditched their Macs for iPads.  ;)
  • Reply 16 of 95
    All I know is when Apple gets the Spaceship Campus DONE, I want to be ready... they are going to explode!
    gregoriusm
  • Reply 17 of 95
    jonljonl Posts: 210member
    I fail to see what Apple got out of this. Tim Cook had several uncomfortable squirmy body language moments, and they actually showed the Foxconn nets.
    bobroomdriftmeyerh2p
  • Reply 18 of 95
    I don't think we learned much that was new but the pictures were nice. The cloth covered tables in the design studio are always awesome to see. You look at those lumps under the cloth and try to imagine what is there. 

    The video of the prototype store was cool. It was interesting to see a little of Angela talking about her work at Apple. 

    It it would have been much more interesting if Horace Deidu or John Gruber could have asked the questions. 
    nolamacguygregoriusm
  • Reply 19 of 95
    focherfocher Posts: 638member
    john galt said:
    justbobf said:
    I'd like to know the difference between an industrial age tax code and a digital age tax code. To me, it just sounds like Tim and Company don't like paying taxes. But, maybe others can explain his thoughts. 
    Here's a short quiz for you Bob.

    A publicly traded company's primary fiduciary responsibility is to:

    1: its shareholders
    2: its employees
    3: taxpayers
    4: social justice

    You can probably figure out the answer, but if you need help, it is easily found in federal law.

    It's actually in none of those things..although the popular myth is #1
    acgmphredgeminipamdriftmeyer
  • Reply 20 of 95
    Some questions:

    Is Apple required to bring that money home to the US?

    If Apple could get the same tax rate and benefits in the US that they get in Ireland... would Apple start keeping all their money in the US?

    Does anyone wonder why so many companies set up shop in Ireland in the first place?

    1. Nope

    2. Yes

    3. Because the Irish goverment attracted Apple to Ireland as part of a program aimed at bringing more tech jobs to the country and bolstering its economy beyond its predominantly agrarian based exports.  It was a smart move and a good deal for both Ireland,  this fact is often left out because it hurts the social justice warrior dramatization of the story.  

    icoco3gregoriusmh2p
Sign In or Register to comment.