Tim Cook: 2020 was 'Apple's top year of innovation ever'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 19
Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down for an interview with a student from the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications and covered topics from iPhone to innovation.

Apple CEO Tim Cook interviewed by Chinese college senior He Shijie
Apple CEO Tim Cook interviewed by Chinese college senior He Shijie


Tim Cook makes public appearances on a regular basis to cover Apple's usual talking points and on Friday morning he talked with a 22-year-old Chinese college senior. The interview covered Tim Cook's morning routine, his visits to China, and how technology affects our lives.

Interviewer and university student He Shijie started by asking Cook how he and the team at Apple deal with the stress of coming up with new products every year.

"There's no one formula for innovation," Cook said. "What we do is we have a culture of creativity and a culture of collaboration. These two things together, when they intersect, create enormous innovation." He said that diversity and inclusion foster an environment for innovation, that diverse people feed off of each other.

Shijie commented on the iPhone 12 and congratulated Cook on the new devices and features. Cook responded by commenting on the innovations Apple released throughout 2020.

"We're having an incredible time with it (iPhone 12)," Cook continued. "I really believe that 2020 was our top year of innovation ever," "between the phones and the Watch and the iPad, and M1."

Shijie said the M1 processor in his MacBook Air has long-lasting battery life, "it just lasts forever." He said Final Cut performs much better on the MacBook Air than on his older 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The conversation turned to technology and how it has been implemented to improve lives. Cook discussed some of the innovations that were inspired by China, like alternate keyboard options, night mode photography, and QR code scanning. Cook said that it is important for everyone to learn how to use their device because "everything is on the phone."

Tim Cook said he loves visiting China and meeting developers. "The largest reward we get for our work is seeing what other people do with it," he commented, inviting Shijie to discuss his work process.

Shijie said that the Notes app is one of his most used apps. That having one place to jot down thoughts and having it sync between his iPad and iPhone via iCloud is an amazing tool.

The conversation then turned to Cook discussing his involvement on the SEM Board, educating people on coding, and Everyone Can Code. He says that coding and creativity are important skills for the future.

The interview concluded with a short conversation about Steve Jobs and advice for graduates seeking employment. Cook cited a quote from Jobs in answering the question, saying "you'll know it when you find it. And if you haven't found it yet, you should keep looking."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    I’ve followed Apple since 1996.  Steve Jobs was a market disruptor.  An inventor who took enormous risks.  Under his leadership Apple invented the most remarkable achievement in computing (iPhone).  Like the iPhone the M1 is truly another game changer.  
    MisterKitradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 35
    thedbathedba Posts: 581member
    The two products that stood out in 2020 are AirPods Max and the M1 Macs. On the services side I would also add Apple One. 
    Phil Schiller's "Can't Innovate....My a$$" remark rings more true now than ever. 
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 35
    aknabiaknabi Posts: 207member
    A breakthrough year in innovation? Sure... due to the M1 which will redefine the performance/power curve for computing and align with phones.

    Ever? Well that's part of the hyperbolic, BS driven we live in today... younger folks haven't seen truly amazing breakthroughs (e.g. the Moon Landing) so a TikTok music remix becomes the innovation standard...

    But compared to say Apple's 1984... not even close... Tim, given where Apple is and is going there's no reason for you to be serving the BS lasagna... it's not a good look
    napoleon_phoneapartramanpfaffanantksundaramdk49elijahgchemengin1MacQuadra840av
  • Reply 4 of 35
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,010member
    Well, as demonstrated by the two posts above, it’s all subjective and depends on one’s ideology and world view. Jobs worshipers will always hate Cook I suppose.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 35
    What an incredible interview and discussion! Makes my day. 
    h4y3sDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 35
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,581member
    diversity and inclusion foster an environment for innovation”

    Oh give me a break.

    anantksundaramDean68OctoMonkeyelijahgJanNLmacpluspluschemengin1MacQuadra840avred oak
  • Reply 7 of 35
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,254member
    aknabi said:
    A breakthrough year in innovation? Sure... due to the M1 which will redefine the performance/power curve for computing and align with phones.

    Ever? Well that's part of the hyperbolic, BS driven we live in today... younger folks haven't seen truly amazing breakthroughs (e.g. the Moon Landing) so a TikTok music remix becomes the innovation standard...

    But compared to say Apple's 1984... not even close... Tim, given where Apple is and is going there's no reason for you to be serving the BS lasagna... it's not a good look
    I'd suggest including NASA's achievements in a reference to Apple's greatest year is also part of the 'hyperbolic, BS-driven we live in today' lol.  However, I take your meaning.  I'd point out though, you may see 1984 as a major paradigm shift moment but don't forget Lisa was the GUI breakthrough, not the Mac and the Mac itself was not a huge success at first.  The Apple products in 2020 hit the road running and the M1 was an instant hit.  So much so most didn't even believe its capabilities till they used one themselves, Linus really made an ass of himself on YouTube.  Only history will tell, but I'd chalk the M1 up to one of the biggest moments for Apple ever and I have worked for and with Apple since 1977.
    edited February 19 h4y3sMisterKitradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 35
    That is simply not a credible statement. Not even close.

    At least, based on what we know.
    elijahgchemengin1
  • Reply 9 of 35

    lkrupp said:
    Well, as demonstrated by the two posts above, it’s all subjective and depends on one’s ideology and world view. Jobs worshipers will always hate Cook I suppose.
    By the same logic, you must a Jobs-hater, then.

    If that's not true, then delete your post.
    edited February 19 elijahgchemengin1muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 35
    aknabi said:
    A breakthrough year in innovation? Sure... due to the M1 which will redefine the performance/power curve for computing and align with phones.

    Ever? Well that's part of the hyperbolic, BS driven we live in today... younger folks haven't seen truly amazing breakthroughs (e.g. the Moon Landing) so a TikTok music remix becomes the innovation standard...

    But compared to say Apple's 1984... not even close... Tim, given where Apple is and is going there's no reason for you to be serving the BS lasagna... it's not a good look
    The launch of the Mac platform was absolutely groundbreaking and turned the industry around completely.  
    Personally, it is Apple's ability to create new ecosystems multiple times that amazes me.  Starting with the first Apple computer, then the Mac, iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch.  Even the AirPods for me have been fantastic - finally some got wireless ear buds right.
    Whilst the Moon Landing was amazing and some technologies coming out from that have changed our lives, Apple has and are continuing to come up with new innovations in computing and electronics that are radically improve how we do things.  
    I, for one, am extremely excited about the M1 Macs.  I think this represents a major fork in the road for computing and will change the landscape again.  Remember that when the Mac came out, everyone loved the design and the innovation.  However it was not until desktop publishing came out that its true capabilities were realized.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 35
    Fred257 said:
    I’ve followed Apple since 1996.  Steve Jobs was a market disruptor.  An inventor who took enormous risks.  Under his leadership Apple invented the most remarkable achievement in computing (iPhone).  Like the iPhone the M1 is truly another game changer.  
    I wonder how this is publicly perceived. 

    Obviously Apple has been designing their own chips for a while. They’ve taken that and adapted it for the Mac. 

    Not try as innovative as even they first bought and put put PA Semi to work on ARM chips, but definitely a fantastic move. 

    What else has been innovated in 2020?

    we may not see that for the next year or two. 

    But the comment seems a bit out of place. 

    I’m sure there are better team building techniques, etc inside Apple, but actual customer facing innovation - I don’t know if it’s a true statement. 

    Bro going back MagSafe? That’s just admitting a wrong. M1? Apple has migrated architectures before. Apple building its own SOCs? Been there and done that. New iPhone? New Macs? New earphones? 

    Apple is innovative, but as far as 2020 being the most ever? Come on. 

    I get being happy that your people are working together well, But at least keep how you describe it in the realm of reality. 

    One thing that’s more than ever is how the m1 macs are claiming market share like crazy. So that’s pretty epic. 

    Can’t wait to see if there are secret things waiting in the wings that u fold this year and next. 
    OctoMonkeyelijahg
  • Reply 12 of 35
    dk49dk49 Posts: 86member
    aknabi said:
    A breakthrough year in innovation? Sure... due to the M1 which will redefine the performance/power curve for computing and align with phones.

    Ever? Well that's part of the hyperbolic, BS driven we live in today... younger folks haven't seen truly amazing breakthroughs (e.g. the Moon Landing) so a TikTok music remix becomes the innovation standard...

    But compared to say Apple's 1984... not even close... Tim, given where Apple is and is going there's no reason for you to be serving the BS lasagna... it's not a good look
    I agree. Tim is a very different leader than Jobs. He likes to give away very polished, often generic and vague statements that seem rather dull. Steve was quite opposite, giving strong opinions, sometimes even hard hitting and controversial. The only leader I am curious to hear these days is Elon Musk. Though I still love Apple more than Tesla :)
    elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 35
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,076member
    If those are Cook’s honest thoughts on innovation at Apple, he is entirely ignorant of its history. That doesn’t bode well for future innovation under Cook either. 

    Judging by Cook’s enthusiasm and the words in the media invite for his woke diversity drive, he probably thinks that’s the pinnacle of Apple’s innovation. 
    edited February 19 chemengin1anantksundaramanonconformist
  • Reply 14 of 35
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,076member
    dk49 said:
    aknabi said:
    A breakthrough year in innovation? Sure... due to the M1 which will redefine the performance/power curve for computing and align with phones.

    Ever? Well that's part of the hyperbolic, BS driven we live in today... younger folks haven't seen truly amazing breakthroughs (e.g. the Moon Landing) so a TikTok music remix becomes the innovation standard...

    But compared to say Apple's 1984... not even close... Tim, given where Apple is and is going there's no reason for you to be serving the BS lasagna... it's not a good look
    I agree. Tim is a very different leader than Jobs. He likes to give away very polished, often generic and vague statements that seem rather dull. Steve was quite opposite, giving strong opinions, sometimes even hard hitting and controversial. The only leader I am curious to hear these days is Elon Musk. Though I still love Apple more than Tesla :)
    Cook is excruciatingly dull. Both Jobs and Musk had/have a passion that excites fans and the public alike, they’re fun and always in the general news for their views and thoughts on where things were headed. People bought products to be a part of the journey. Cook is entirely opposite to that. Usually only in the news because of some new monetary milestone though his cash hoarding. 
  • Reply 15 of 35
    It seems to be that Apple's M1 was the trigger that got Intel's CEO fired. When your innovation causes corporate overhauls in the competition, that's a good sign.
    lkruppbyronl
  • Reply 16 of 35
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,010member
    It seems to be that Apple's M1 was the trigger that got Intel's CEO fired. When your innovation causes corporate overhauls in the competition, that's a good sign.
    But the critics always point out that Apple’s business with Intel was just a drop in the bucket because so few Macs are sold every year. Why would the CEO get fired because of losing Apple’s business, tiny as it was? Bragging rights?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 35
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,886member
    The first Macintosh and the iPhone would easily beat out this year. And not in a small way. It would be a thrashing.

    the M1 may, eventually, be considered a watershed,  but so far we have yet to see the beast chip that could allow the M1 to be considered in the same pantheon as the Mac itself or the iPhone. Otherwise when it all boils down to it, it’s just the same shit, just a tad faster.

    the AirPod Max? Ha hah ha ha! Unfortunately it is the Mac Cube of headphones.
    elijahgbyronl
  • Reply 18 of 35
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,886member

    elijahg said:
    dk49 said:
    aknabi said:
    A breakthrough year in innovation? Sure... due to the M1 which will redefine the performance/power curve for computing and align with phones.

    Ever? Well that's part of the hyperbolic, BS driven we live in today... younger folks haven't seen truly amazing breakthroughs (e.g. the Moon Landing) so a TikTok music remix becomes the innovation standard...

    But compared to say Apple's 1984... not even close... Tim, given where Apple is and is going there's no reason for you to be serving the BS lasagna... it's not a good look
    I agree. Tim is a very different leader than Jobs. He likes to give away very polished, often generic and vague statements that seem rather dull. Steve was quite opposite, giving strong opinions, sometimes even hard hitting and controversial. The only leader I am curious to hear these days is Elon Musk. Though I still love Apple more than Tesla :)
    Cook is excruciatingly dull. Both Jobs and Musk had/have a passion that excites fans and the public alike, they’re fun and always in the general news for their views and thoughts on where things were headed. People bought products to be a part of the journey. Cook is entirely opposite to that. Usually only in the news because of some new monetary milestone though his cash hoarding. 
    He isn’t the charismatic visionary true, he is a supply chain guy. Maybe the best in the world at it. It has its downsides though, for example as macs took a lonely less desirable path that only now looks like being retraced and corrected. Maybe the innovation he is referring to is that long needed correction, or maybe the innovation is below the hood, all in the supply chain, maximising margins?
    elijahg
  • Reply 19 of 35
    lkrupp said:
    Well, as demonstrated by the two posts above, it’s all subjective and depends on one’s ideology and world view. Jobs worshipers will always hate Cook I suppose.
    Thinking that incremental improvements isn't the same thing as innovation doesn't mean people hate Tim Cook. Apple has done such an absurd amount of world changing innovation over the years, many in a one shot product release like Macintosh and iPhone. 2020 doesn't have anything like that. Yes, there were a ton of incremental advances with M1 being the most impressive. But Apple's most innovative years have transformed the way people live.
    entropysmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 35
    thedba said:
    The two products that stood out in 2020 are AirPods Max and the M1 Macs. On the services side I would also add Apple One. 
    Phil Schiller's "Can't Innovate....My a$$" remark rings more true now than ever. 
    That is amusing that you bring up Phil's ridiculous comment.  His comment referred to the trash can Mac Pro, one of Apple's biggest failures in history.  A Mac that sat on their price list for 6 years and they could not even do the slightest update because it was a thermal disaster.  Hardly call one of their failures innovation.

    Also, the AirPods Max is not an innovative product.  It is a pair of overpriced headphones that have less features than far superior headphones on the market that cost half the price.  Also, switching processors is not innovation.  The first M1 Macs are faster with native code, but they have less features than the Intel models they replaced.  How is that innovation?  Let's hope Apple's next chip to replace the limited M1 is far superior.
    elijahg
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