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The five-year anniversary of Tim Cook taking over from Steve Jobs as Apple CEO arrives next week, and in two “sprawling and highly self-reflective interviews” with The Washington Post, Cook speaks about what it’s like to be head of one of the largest companies in the world and reveals Apple’s augmented reality endeavors.
With the enormous success of Pokémon Go, as well as Microsoft’s HoloLens headset and the amazing tech demos coming from Magic Leap, it looks as if the future is more AR than VR. Cook already admitted that Apple is “high on AR for the long run” last month, and confirmed to the Post that the company is working on augmented reality products.
"I think AR is extremely interesting and sort of a core technology. So, yes, it's something we're doing a lot of things on behind that curtain we talked about," the CEO said.
The long hours and responsibility that come with being the Apple boss can make it a “lonely job,” said Cook. He talked about when it’s important to seek out advice and revealed those he’s turned to for help in the past.
Before testifying in front of Congress during the investigation of Apple’s tax practices in 2013, Cook called former President Bill Clinton and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. For the decision to return cash to shareholders, Warren Buffet was consulted. And before he came out as gay, Cook Spoke to Anderson Cooper, “Because I thought that the way that he handled his announcement was really classy.”
Even though the global smartphone market has stagnated recently, Cook says the fact that two-thirds of Apple’s sales come from iPhone is “a privilege, not a problem.” He believes AI will be the key to making the devices even more essential, and eventually, every person in the world will own a smartphone.
Look at the core technologies that make up the smartphone today and look at the ones that will be dominant in smartphones of the future — like AI. AI will make this product even more essential to you. It will become even a better assistant than it is today. So where you probably aren’t leaving home without it today — you’re really going to be connected to it in the future. That level of performance is going to skyrocket.
Cook admits that mistakes have been made during his time as leader, the biggest being the 2012 Apple Maps debacle which led to the departure of Senior VP of iOS software Scott Forstall. The CEO also admitted that the hiring of John Browett as retail chief in 2012 was “clearly a screw-up” as he “didn’t fit here culturally.”
You can read the entire 10,000-word interview, which covers the battle with the FBI, Steve Jobs, and Apple’s outspokenness on environmental and social issues, right here.