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Tim Cook: Apple is already working on products that won’t ship until the 2020s

Published Feb 21st, 2018 4:20PM EST
Tim Cook Interview
Image: David Sandoz

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Earlier this week, Apple was named the most innovative company in the world by Fast Company. Hardly a surprise, Apple over the last 12 months introduced a number of compelling new products, not the least of which was the iPhone X, an arguably revolutionary device that completely re-imagined what the smartphone user experience should be.

Alongside Apple’s #1 ranking, Tim Cook sat down for a wide-ranging interview with the publication where he touched on a number of interesting topics, including Apple’s financial situation and how the company plans to keep raising the bar for tech innovation in the years ahead.

One of the more interesting tidbits from Cook’s interview centered on Apple’s need to find a balance between researching and developing products and actually releasing something to market.

“You have to have a forcing function,” Cook explained. “For us, on the product side, we have to come up with our silicon requirements three, four-plus years in advance. So we’ve got things that we’re working on now that are way out in the 2020s.”

When asked about how Apple tends to be misunderstood in the media, Cook emphasized that the company is dedicated to making great products, not blindly making money at all costs. Though some cynics might understandably scoff at such a notion, Cook’s comments align with previous comments from Jony Ive and Steve Jobs who have said that Apple only focuses on generating cash as to have the luxury of developing game-changing products.

For a casual observer who hasn’t been a user of our products, the thing that they might miss is how different Apple is versus other technology companies. A financial person just looking at revenues and profits may think, They’re good [at making money]. But that’s not who we are. We’re a group of people who are trying to change the world for the better, that’s who we are. For us, technology is a background thing. We don’t want people to have to focus on bits and bytes and feeds and speeds. We don’t want people to have to go to multiple [systems] or live with a device that’s not integrated. We do the hardware and the software, and some of the key services as well, to provide a whole system.

Cook’s full interview can be enjoyed over here.

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.