Apple CEO Tim Cook, who completes five years at the job, has said he sees great potential in the Indian market, especially with 4G coming in. Cook made the comments in an interview to the Washington Post, where’s he also hinted about future products like the Apple Car and Augmented Reality (AR), though without giving anything away. The interview, which is over 10,000 words, also has Cook’s comments on India and its potential as a major smartphone market.
During the course of this interview, Cook admitted, being Apple’s CEO is a lonely job, although in times of crisis he has turned to others for help. He also admitted the first version of Maps was a mistake. In iOS 9, Apple introduced transit directions for certain cities with Maps, although the first version of Maps was a disaster, and mocked across the board by users and reviewers.
Cook said in the interview, they (Apple) had “self-honesty to admit this wasn’t our finest hour,” and went on to fix the problem. When asked about the iPhone and smartphone business and whether it was slowing down, Cook said he had a different view on it. He pointed out smartphones are personal products, and while the global market stands at 1.4 billion today, eventually “every person in the world will have a smartphone.”
He gave the example of India and said there is a great opportunity in the market. Cook has just recently finished his tour of India, as Apple CEO and made some major announcements during the course of his visit, which included an App Development Centre in Bangalore and a dedicated Apple Maps office in Hyderabad.
On India, Cook said in the interview, many people still don’t have a smartphone and that a lot of people here are “switching from Android to iOS,” which is a big deal for Apple considering that Android has a much bigger market share. He also spoke about how India will see more 4G adoption thanks to efforts from two major carriers who are investing in the technology.
“You can imagine if you didn’t have 4G today. You can’t enjoy video on a 3G. Periodically you can, but not consistently. This is a game changer. In India, there’s no fixed line to home. So they’re a mobile society,” he said.
Cook has also spoken about why 4G will revolutionary for the market during his India visit. He had said in an interview with the IndianExpress.com, “I have seen some very bold plans on 4G and a lot of commitment to it. I think there is going to be a fairly rapid change…My own observation is that video is more important to the Indian consumer, and yet they are held back from enjoying it because of the network.”
In the Washington Post interview, Cook was also asked about newer products, but he didn’t give much away, although he did say Apple views AR as ‘core technology’. Cook also admitted while they try and be secretive around products “it’s increasingly difficult to do that.” The new iPhone 7 is a case in point, with leaks taking place all across.
On the Apple vs FBI fight, Cook admitted they knew the cards were against them, and while the company could have created the software for the security agency, they knew the risk to consumer privacy was far too great. “The risk of what happens if it got out, we felt, could be incredibly terrible for public safety,” he said.
And finally, Cook said for him Steve Jobs is not replaceable. Still the Apple CEO admits, he does have the world’s best job, and he’s definitely not wrong on that one.