Apple CEO Tim Cook talks Bitcoin, China & side-loading in wide-ranging interview

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2021
Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke on a variety of topics at The New York Times DealBook summit, including the company's role in users' mental health -- and the fact that he personally owns Bitcoin.

Credit: The New York Times
Credit: The New York Times


In the wide-ranging interview with the New York Times' Aaron Ross Sorkin, Cook spoke on a variety of topics related to Apple and the broader technology industry. On the topic of cryptocurrency, Cook revealed that maintains an interest in Bitcoin from a "personal point of view."

"I do. I think it's reasonable to own it as part of a diversified portfolio," Cook said when asked if he owned the cryptocurrency, adding that he has been interested in the area "for a while."

However, Cook shot down the possibilities of Apple accepting Bitcoin as payment for its product, or the company buying Bitcoin as a corporate investment.

"I wouldn't go invest in crypto, not because I wouldn't invest my own money, but because I don't think people buy Apple stock to get exposure to crypto," Cook said. He added that Apple is looking at the area of cryptocurrency, but said there aren't any immediate plans in the space.

Mental health

At other points during the interview, Cook said that companies have a responsibility to be a force for good in society. That includes mental health. While more research needs to be done, Cook said, "all of us should care about making products that help people's mental health and not play against it."

He used the Screen Time feature as an example of the ways companies can fight for mental health, stating that he has changed his own behavior based on iPhone usage data that the feature tracks.

When asked about whether he believes the time spent on social media is an overall negative, Cook said it depends on the person.

"I think if you're scrolling mindlessly or letting yourself be spun up on negativity, I think this is bad," Cook said. "I think it's bad for your mental health, I think it's bad for the people around you. But I think the person that ultimately has to decide that is that person."

Apple's role, he said, is simply to provide the information for users to make an informed choice.

Side-loading

On the topic of choices, Cook was asked about the split between Apple claiming it offers user choice when it comes to privacy and the company's prohibition on users choosing to side-load on iOS. The Apple chief executive denied that there wasn't a choice for users.

"I think people have that choice today, Andrew," Cook said. "Because if you want to side-load, you can buy an Android phone. So that choice exists, when you go into the carrier shop, if that's important to you, then you should buy an Android phone."

Cook compared allowing side-loading to telling an automaker not to install airbags in a car. He described allowing side-loading on iOS as "too risky," since "it wouldn't be an iPhone if it didn't maximize security and privacy."

China & policy

When it came to criticisms that Apple did not speak out enough on allegations of human rights abuses in China, Cook defended Apple's approach and said the company does speak privately about those concerns.

Apple's responsibility is "to do business in as many places as we can," which means complying with each countries' individual regulations. He said that "engagement is the right approach," and that being on the sidelines "is never a good place, at least for business."

Cook was also asked about his role as a CEO, since he has been publicly outspoken on a number of policy issues, such as immigration or voting rights.

"I think about not wading into politics, but sort of sticking to a lane on policy," Cook said. "You know, Apple is one of the very few medium or large companies that doesn't even have a PAC. And so we try to steer clear of the politics on something and focus on policy. And if it's a policy that intersects with our values or intersects with our company in some way, the likelihood that we're going to speak up is great."

Future products

Cook was asked by Sorkin about several different rumored product initiatives, including future hardware plans for augmented or virtual reality, as well as the long-rumored "Apple Car."

The Apple CEO said he wasn't going to share any information or make any announcements because the company doesn't like to talk about the future, stating that "it wouldn't be us if we didn't keep something up our sleeve."

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Number of crypto miners on the App Store: Zero
    A lot of people have interested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It should not be up to Apple to decide if they can learn about crypto by doing some mining themselves on their iPhones. It won't make anyone rich (except possibly the developers who create the apps) but the best way to learn about something is by doing it.
    edited November 2021 elijahglkrupp
  • Reply 2 of 16
    wiseywisey Posts: 31member
    I agree with Tim Cook.  He owns cryptocurrency but does not impose his views on others.  People who are interested in in cryptocurrency can readily find information on the web regarding how they can mine and trade cryptocurrency.  Apple does not encourage and should not be encouraging such activities.  The situation would be analogous to Apple encouraging gambling.    
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    Number of crypto miners on the App Store: Zero
    A lot of people have interested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It should not be up to Apple to decide if they can learn about crypto by doing some mining themselves on their iPhones. It won't make anyone rich (except possibly the developers who create the apps) but the best way to learn about something is by doing it.
    Or there’s Google 
    williamlondonGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    Wgkrueger said:
    Number of crypto miners on the App Store: Zero
    A lot of people have interested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It should not be up to Apple to decide if they can learn about crypto by doing some mining themselves on their iPhones. It won't make anyone rich (except possibly the developers who create the apps) but the best way to learn about something is by doing it.
    Or there’s Google 
    But what about complaining, especially since every juvenile knows it's the route to popularity and riches? Just look at all those "facepalm" YT videos.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    samrodsamrod Posts: 60unconfirmed, member
    AppleInsider said:
    "I think people have that choice today, Andrew," Cook said.
    Aaron Ross Sorkin is the interviewer. Who's Andrew? 🤣
  • Reply 6 of 16
    normmnormm Posts: 653member
    The interviews will be available online after the summit finishes tomorrow (Nov. 10).

    edited November 2021 GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 7 of 16
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,893member
    Tim Cook can afford to play around with Bitcoin.  Not sure about the other Bitcoin players out there.  Especially those investing significant chunks of their savings in the hope of hitting the jackpot (and keeping it).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,381moderator
    samrod said:
    AppleInsider said:
    "I think people have that choice today, Andrew," Cook said.
    Aaron Ross Sorkin is the interviewer. Who's Andrew? 🤣
    Andrew Ross Sorkin is the interviewer:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Ross_Sorkin

    It's a typo in the article. Aaron Sorkin is a writer who worked on one of the Steve Jobs movies:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Sorkin
    muthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMacDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,620member
    Cook revealed that maintains an interest in Bitcoin from a "personal point of view."
    I would have asked Cook if he bought his bitcoin through a broker or if he handled his own account and password himself. This is one reason why I think cryptocurrency will fail, because most people go through brokers, which kinda misses the whole point of the currency.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    I bought a bitcoin mining stock at the end of last year. I'm up over %500. Crypto is great. Yes, a lot of hype and scams, but we're in the early days, it's the wild west right now. People liken this time to the internet in the mid 90's. And once adoption really takes off, get ready for an enormous boom in economic freedom and value...  Keep in mind, the most important and most fundamental benefit of crypto is independence from centralized powers (governments, institutions, banks) and security (just don't lose your key phrase lol).
    williamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 16
    Number of crypto miners on the App Store: Zero
    A lot of people have interested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It should not be up to Apple to decide if they can learn about crypto by doing some mining themselves on their iPhones. It won't make anyone rich (except possibly the developers who create the apps) but the best way to learn about something is by doing it.
    I'm mining Pi on my iPhone...
  • Reply 12 of 16
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,273member
    I bought a bitcoin mining stock at the end of last year. I'm up over %500. Crypto is great. Yes, a lot of hype and scams, but we're in the early days, it's the wild west right now. People liken this time to the internet in the mid 90's. And once adoption really takes off, get ready for an enormous boom in economic freedom and value...  Keep in mind, the most important and most fundamental benefit of crypto is independence from centralized powers (governments, institutions, banks) and security (just don't lose your key phrase lol).
    Don’t worry, the US government is scheming ways to regulate the shit out of crypto, as plenty of other governments are as well. Not to mention the enormous amount of energy it takes to maintain the blockchains, which probably gives the environmental types fits. 
    edited November 2021 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Number of crypto miners on the App Store: Zero
    A lot of people have interested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It should not be up to Apple to decide if they can learn about crypto by doing some mining themselves on their iPhones. It won't make anyone rich (except possibly the developers who create the apps) but the best way to learn about something is by doing it.
    Get over it.
    patchythepirateDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,020member
    Number of crypto miners on the App Store: Zero
    A lot of people have interested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It should not be up to Apple to decide if they can learn about crypto by doing some mining themselves on their iPhones. It won't make anyone rich (except possibly the developers who create the apps) but the best way to learn about something is by doing it.
    You're certainly entitled to that opinion, and are free to make that case to Apple.  The issue is the text in bold.  

    "It should not be up to Apple..."   

    Wrong, wrong and wrong.  It is up to Apple and there is no reason they should be compelled to surrender that decision-making power.  There is not a competitive/legal reason, because choice exists in the marketplace.  Want to have crypto mining apps?  Buy another phone.  Or start a movement to get Apple to change it's mind.  But be clear, it's their mind you need to change.  
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Marvin said:
    samrod said:
    AppleInsider said:
    "I think people have that choice today, Andrew," Cook said.
    Aaron Ross Sorkin is the interviewer. Who's Andrew? 🤣
    Andrew Ross Sorkin is the interviewer:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Ross_Sorkin

    It's a typo in the article. Aaron Sorkin is a writer who worked on one of the Steve Jobs movies:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Sorkin

    Thanks for the clarification.  AI doesn't make many mistakes and didn't this time either.

    But, why does every real (or perceived) minor mistake have to attacked with such malice?
    What has happened to our society where so many seem to think the goal is to attack and tear down others?
    Why is it that right & wrong are secondary to winning and losing -- as if everything is a football game where beating the other is its own reward?

    If the OP thought a mistake had been made, what is wrong with pointing it out either offline or with respect?
  • Reply 16 of 16
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    So Apple decided to stay above all the fadish,  childish frays and movements?

    It's good to have an adult in the room.
Sign In or Register to comment.