I’m Kara Swisher, and you’re listening to “Sway.” My guest today is Apple CEO Tim Cook.
A few cherry picked Tim Cook responses, though if you have the chance, read the whole thing:
From the very start, we’ve always believed in curation. And so we review every app that goes on the store. That doesn’t mean that we’re perfect at doing it. We’re not. But we care deeply about what we’re offering our users. And when we have a news product like Apple News, we have human editors that are selecting the key stories. And so, they’re avoiding all of the misinformation that is out there. The reality is that the web in some areas has become a dark place. And without curation, you wind up with this firehose of things that I would not want to put into an amplifier.
If you think about a surveillance world, a world where you know somebody is always watching everything you’re doing — and in the case of a phone or a computer, it’s also what you’re thinking, because you’re typing in searches and so on and so forth. And so I think in that kind of world, you begin to do less. You begin to think less. Your freedom of expression begins to narrow. And the walls move in on you. And I start thinking about that at its natural endpoint. And I don’t want to be a part of that society.
And (on privacy and transparency):
Steve commented on this with you over a decade ago. He said something like, privacy means people know what they’re signing up for in plain English, repeatedly. The individual should own their data. And they should own the ability to say who gets it and what of their data they get and what they use it for. And frankly, that’s not the situation of today.
I think that you can do digital advertising and make money from digital advertising without tracking people when they don’t know they’re being tracked.
The App Store is not cast in concrete, you know? And so we’ve changed over time. And in fact, if you look at the commissions, Kara, and I would sort of reframe a bit from what you said, because the vast majority of people pay nothing. Because there’s not an interchange of a digital good, right? And so, like, 85% of people pay zero commission. And then with our recent move with small developers, developers earning less than a million dollars a year pay 15%. Well, it turns out that that’s the vast majority of developers. And then, we also have rules that say that if you have a subscription model in the second year and later years, you only pay 15% of those. And so we’ve only reduced the price over time. It’s only gone in one direction. It’s gone down. More apps were exempted. But those rules are applied equally to everyone. So you’ve mentioned Amazon getting 15%. That’s true for any kind of video streaming service that meets the guidelines of that program.
And, on Ted Lasso:
There was no better show during COVID. I’m getting notes from a lot of different people that love it.
This is fact.
And, on Apple TV+:
We’re putting all of ourselves into it. It is not a hobby. It is not a dip your toe in. Because it’s an original focus, we don’t instantly have a catalog with 500 things in it. We’re going to build over time. We’ve gotten over 300 nominations now for awards and have won 80.
And, on Tesla and Apple Car:
I’ve never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he’s built. I think Tesla has done an unbelievable job of not only establishing the lead, but keeping the lead for such a long period of time in the EV space. So I have great appreciation for them. In terms of the work that we’re doing there, obviously, I’m going to be a little coy on that. The autonomy itself is a core technology, in my view. If you sort of step back, the car, in a lot of ways, is a robot. An autonomous car is a robot. And so there’s lots of things you can do with autonomy. And we’ll see what Apple does. We investigate so many things internally. Many of them never see the light of day. I’m not saying that one will not.
So much more to this. Great job pulling this together by Kara Swisher.