Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures as he speaks at Tsinghua University in Beijing October 23, 2014. China Daily/Reuters

Apple CEO Tim Cook just finished speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco.

Cook talked up a wide range of topics related to Apple’s business.

He spoke about Apple’s success in China, where it had sales of over $38 billion this year, and noted that a couple years ago sales there were less than $1 billion. He said that Apple sees a similar opportunity ahead in India, where it’s just getting started.

He also talked about the company’s environmental initiatives are good for Apple’s bottom line in the long-term. On stage, he announced that Apple is teaming up with First Solar to build a $850 million solar energy plant near Monterey, California, about 100 miles south of San Francisco. The plant will power Apple’s new headquarters.

Cook also emphasized the health benefits of the Apple Watch, which will include health tracking features. He compared sitting to cancer.

Here’s our minute-by-minute coverage of Cook’s talk:

12:25 PT We’re about to get started here. It’s standing room only in the Palace Hotel ballroom.

12:35 PT We’re getting started! Tim Cook and Gary Cohn just walked on stage.

12:36 PT Cohn is “lusting after” Cook’s time as CEO. He’s listing Cook’s accomplishments: “Not a bad start, right?”

12:37 PT Cook is giving the boilerplate disclosure about forward-looking statements.

12:38 PT Cohn: What are some of Apple’s biggest accomplishments last year?

Cook: “We’re not focused on the numbers, we’re focused on the things that produce the numbers.”

Cook says Apple hit the ball out of the park with the iPhone 6 rollouts.

“The Mac has been growing and gaining share” even though the PC market is slugging along.

12:40 PT Cook: “You or I could write an app” with Swift, Apple’s new developer language.

Cook is driving in how iOS has expanded to the home (HomeKit), the car (CarPlay), and to personal health.

“In emerging markets we saw phenomenal growth,” Cook says. Calender year revenue for China was $38 billion. Unclear if that’s China specifically or Apple’s “Greater China” region.

12:44 PT Now Cook is talking up Apple’s environmental initiatives: “We know at Apple that climate change is real,” Cook said. “The time for action is now.”

Cook is defending how caring for the environment is good for Apple’s bottom line: “We’re thrilled to continue on a course of doing things that make the world better than we found it.”

Cook says Apple is opening up a solar farm south of San Francisco.

12:47 PT Cook says the Apple Watch is about changing people’s lives. “We see the Apple Watch doing that. I’m wearing one right now.

Cook says people will be surprised with the breadth of what it will do.

“The customizable nature of the Apple Watch is incredible,” said Cook.

“I see too many men in this audience,” said Cook to applause.

Cook says looking at your watch is subtle, unlike looking at a phone.

12:50 PT “Everybody’s gonna have their favorite thing [to do on the Apple Watch]” like when the App Store came out.

Cook says he uses the Apple Watch while working out to keep him active. Says the Watch will nudge you if you sit down for more than an hour, and that employees at will suddenly stand up because they’re nudged by the Apple Watch.

12:52 PT Non-hardware growth: “I don’t really think Apple was ever a hardware company.” Cook says consumers are buying an experience, the integration of hardware, software, and services.

“The magic in Apple is that we do all of them. The real magic comes up when they integrate,” said Cook.

12:53 PT Cohn asks Cook about Apple Pay

Cook: “It’s going much faster than I thought it would. When you’re going into the holiday retailers don’t usually want to change” much at the point of sale.

Cook says retailers are consistently asking to sign up. 

Cook says he walked around the hotel and says you can buy a coffee at Peets, lunch at McDonalds or Subway, or go to Bloomingdales, all nearby, all with Apple Pay.

12:57 PT “I think [Apple Pay] is truly profound,” said Cook.

Cook says JetBlue just announced that they’ll accept Apple Pay beginning at the middle of this month.

“This was only possible because we could control and design the hardware, the software, and the services,” said Cook.

Cook makes a joke about Gary Cohn not having much hair left.

12:58 PT Cohn asks about Apple’s data collection. Cook says customer’s privacy is a value at Apple.

“You are not our product, that is our product,” Cook says, pointing to an iPhone.

Cook says knowing what you’re buying is “none of my business, frankly.”

1:01 PT Cook says that privacy is important because of the personal data people don’t realize is online.

Cook says his identity has been stolen three times!

“Panera bread told us that 80% of their mobile transactions are on Apple Pay,” said Cook.

1:03 PT Now we’re talking about Android-switchers.

“We’ve always believed that our role in life is to make the best, not the most,” said Cook.

Cook says if Apple could make the best product at a lower price it would.

Cook called the idea that a bunch of people in developing countries won’t buy iPhones because they’re too expensive “a bunch of bull.”

1:05 PT In terms of fighting competitors in the smartphone market (like Xiaomi), Cook says Apple has historically had stiff competition.

Now Cook is talking about Apple’s success in China.

There are now 19 stores in greater China.

“I think we’re still not too far from the surface,” in terms of opportunity in China.

Cook says he’s been studying China for 30 years.

1:10 PT Cook says India is a major opportunity for Apple

“In some number of years you could envision India being really significant, too,” says Cook.

Cohn asks Cook about how Apple spends money. Cook says R&D is most important. Says Apple bought 17 companies in 2014.

Cook: “We have some money left over” referring to Apple’s massive $178 billion pile of cash. The audience chuckles.

Cook says it wants to give back, hence the billions in stock buybacks.

1:13 PT Now we’re talking Apple’s IBM partnership.

“The skills of the two companies are very complementary,” said Cook.

“Both of us bring a significant amount to this,” said Cook. “We want to change the way people work.”

Cook is stressing job-specific apps rather than broad productivity apps.

“The relationship between the companies is quite good,” said Cook. “The engineers work well with each other.”

1:16 PT “The truth is enterprise has not moved to mobile like [the consumer market] has,” said Cook.

Cohn: What’s the future of the Mac?

Cook: “I think it has a bright future despite the industry shrinking. We’ve moved up to 7% share.”

Cook is talking up Continuity, a feature that lets people complete tasks on multiple devices seamlessly. It’s one of the best features of iOS 8.

1:20 PT Cohn: What are you most looking forward to?

Cook: It’s all about people, strategy and execution. Cook is talking up the Beats acqui-hire.

“The strategy for us is mostly about products,” says Cook. 

Cohn says Apple has a $700 billion market cap as of today.

1:22 PT And that’s it! The audience is slowly pouring out of the ballroom. Thanks for stopping by.

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