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Tim Cook talks coronavirus, FBI dispute, ‘Friends’ reunion, and more at Apple shareholder meeting

Published Feb 26th, 2020 4:29PM EST
Friends NBC
Image: Alex Tai/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

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Apple held its annual shareholder meeting earlier today, an event that allows shareholders to ask Apple executives direct questions and vote on all types of issues pertinent to the company’s day-to-day business.

While nothing particularly groundbreaking transpired at today’s meeting, Tim Cook did touch on a number of interesting and wide-ranging issues. For instance, when the issue of TV programming was broached, Cook essentially said that Apple remains solely focused on original content, which is to say we won’t ever see Apple pay top dollar for familiar franchises like Friends or The Office.

“We love ‘Friends.’ Who doesn’t love ‘Friends’?” Cook asked rhetorically. “It’s not what Apple TV+ is about, it’s about original programming. It doesn’t feel right for Apple to go out and take a rerun. It doesn’t feel like Apple.”

While the wisdom of such a strategy remains up for debate, there are a few other tidbits from the shareholder meeting worth highlighting as well.

With respect to the coronavirus, which may have an adverse impact on the iPhone 12 release later this year, Cook didn’t mention too much aside from the fact that it’s a dynamic situation and that Apple is primarily focused on the health of its employees.

As for Apple’s environmental efforts, Tim Cook said that Apple would ideally like to figure out a way to create products “without taking anything from the earth.”It seems far-fetched, to be sure, but Cook emphasized that Apple will “find a way to do it.”

At one point, a shareholder asked Cook about the dispute Apple has with the FBI over unlocking iPhones belonging to the Pensacola shooter. As you might expect, Cook emphasized that Apple will never cede to the FBI’s demand and create a backdoor.

Cook’s answer here shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given that he previously categorized a backdoor into the iPhone as “the ‘software equivalent of cancer.'”

As a final point, Cook talked in predictably vague terms about Apple’s product pipeline, noting that the company continues to invest in a lot of things, “most of which I can’t tell you about, but they’re really cool.”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.