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  1. Apple‘s Tim Cook: Sideloading is “not in the best interests of the user” The interview also touched on privacy, AR, health, and future products. Apple has been under a mountain of scrutiny lately from legislators, developers, judges, and users. Amidst all that, CEO Tim Cook sat with publication Brut. to discuss Apple's strategy and policies. The short but wide-ranging interview offered some insight into where Apple plans to go in the future. As is so common when Tim Cook speaks publicly, privacy was a major focus. His response to a question about its importance was the same one we've heard from him many times: "we see it as a basic human right, a fundamental human right." Noting Apple has been focused on privacy for a long time. He explained: You can think of a world where privacy is not important, and the surveillance economy takes over and it becomes a world where everyone is worried that somebody else is watching them, and so they begin to do less, they begin to think less, and nobody wants to live in a world where that freedom of expression narrows. And when asked about regulatory scrutiny, he pointed to the GDPR as an example of regulation Apple supports and also said Apple would support further expanding privacy-related regulations. But beyond regulations strictly centered on privacy, he wasn't as effusive. "As I look at the tech regulations that's being discussed, I think there are good parts of it and then I think there are parts of it that are not in the best interests of the user," he said. As an example of the latter, he said "the current DMA language that is being discussed would force sideloading on the iPhone." He added: That would destroy the security of the iPhone and a lot of the privacy initiatives that we've built into the App Store, where we have privacy nutrition labels and App Tracking Transparency... these things would not exist anymore. Privacy watchdogs have praised Apple's App Tracking Transparency move even as advertisers have lambasted it, but the nutrition labels have been less of a hit. Many observers have pointed out that the labels are often inaccurate or incomplete. "Android has 47 times more malware than iOS does," Cook claimed. "It's because we've designed iOS in such a way that there's one app store and all of the apps are reviewed prior to going on the store. And so that keeps a lot of this malware stuff out of our ecosystem, and customers have told us very continuously how much they value that, and so we're going to be standing up for the user in the discussions." Tim Cook's Brut. interview. The interview wasn't all about regulation and privacy, though; Cook also responded to open-ended questions about Apple's future product strategy. When asked what he believes Apple's products will look like many years from now, he carefully offered the caveat that no one can really predict where things are headed: We approach the future with great humility because we know we can't predict it. I'm not one of those people that is going to say I can see 20 years out, and 30 years out, and tell you what is going to happen. I can't. I really don't believe anyone can. To back that point, he talked about Apple's path towards putting its own silicon in Macs: We didn't know when we were working on the chip for the iPhone that it would become the heart of the iPad, and we didn't know that it would eventually become the heart of the Mac as it just did in this past year. We didn't know that, but we kept discovering, and we kept pulling the string, and we kept our minds open about where that journey would take us, and it's taken us somewhere that's incredible and that has a great future ahead of it. That said, Cook named augmented reality (AR) and the intersection of health and tech as areas where he sees future potential. He said he sees AR "as a technology that can enhance life in a broad way." And once again hinting at ambitions plans for future AR hardware, he said: "We've been working on AR first with our phones and iPads, and later we'll see where that goes in terms of products." On the health side, Cook said he is "exceedingly optimistic" about the intersection of health and technology: You know, when we started shipping the Watch, we did so thinking about it from a wellness point of view, but we put a heart rate sensor on it, and I was getting tons of emails about people that found out they had heart problems that they didn't know about it. And so we started adding more function to the Watch... and I begin to get even more notes from people that found that they'd had a problem because of this ability to continually monitor themselves. I think the idea of continually monitoring the body, much like happens in your car with warning lights and so forth, I think this is a big idea that has a long road path ahead of it. All of those things make me incredibly optimistic. The mention of a car as inspiration drew a smirk from Brut.'s interviewer, who shortly afterwards asked if Apple plans to design and begin selling a car. "In terms of a car," Cook answered, "I've gotta keep secrets, and there always has to be something up our sleeve." Apple‘s Tim Cook: Sideloading is “not in the best interests of the user”
  2. Tim Cook Responds to Facebook Criticism of iOS App Tracking Transparency Changes, Says It's 'Hard To Argue Against' Privacy In a preview of an interview with The New York Times' Kara Swisher, set to be published on Monday, April 5, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he's "shocked" at the criticism Apple has received in recent months over upcoming privacy changes in iOS, and claimed that they're "hard to argue against." Apple plans to begin enforcing App Tracking Transparency (ATT) changes following the release of iOS 14.5, meaning all apps that access an iPhone's ad identifier, or IDFA, will need to ask a user's permission before tracking is allowed. The move has provoked criticism from some companies, particularly Facebook, which argues that the new changes will hurt small businesses. Facebook says that small businesses rely on tracking to provide personalized ads and that with ATT, those ads will be less effective. However, when asked in the interview how ATT will impact Facebook, Cook said he's "not focused on Facebook" and that he doesn't know. Swisher asked: "What is your response to Facebook's response — which is quite vehement — calling you essentially an existential crisis to their business?" Cook answered: " All we're doing, Kara, is giving the user the choice whether to be tracked or not. And I think it's hard to argue against that. I've been — I've been shocked that there's been pushback on this to this degree." Facebook initially went all out against ATT; however, the company has recently shifted its tone. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg now claims it's possible that the new change may benefit Facebook by giving it an upper hand in the online commerce space. It's possible that we may even be in a stronger position if Apple's changes encourage more businesses to conduct more commerce on our platforms by making it harder for them to use their data in order to find the customers that would want to use their products outside of our platforms. Cook's latest comments are just a snippet of the full interview set to be published on Monday in which the CEO discusses the removal of Parler from the App Store, the power of Big Tech, and what it's like being called "Tim Apple." Source: Tim Cook Responds to Facebook Criticism of iOS App Tracking Transparency Changes, Says It's 'Hard To Argue Against' Privacy
  3. Apple CEO Tim Cook was this week awarded 667,974 restricted stock units or RSUs worth more than $76 million at Apple's current price, according to a filing with the SEC. The first half of the RSUs are set to vest in one-third increments in 2023, 2024, and 2025, so Cook will receive 111,329 shares every April starting in 2023. The second half of the RSUs are performance-based awards and will vest on October 1, 2023, based on Apple's relative shareholder return. Cook can potentially receive up to 200% of the 333,987 RSUs awarded for performance. These performance-based restricted stock units are scheduled to vest on October 1, 2023. The "target" number of restricted stock units is reported. Between 0% and 200% of the target number of units may vest based on Apple's relative total shareholder return from the first day of Apple's fiscal 2021 and ending with the last day of Apple's fiscal 2023. Paired with the time-based stock awards, Cook can earn up to 1,001,961 shares worth more than $114 million today if Apple's performance in the S&P 500 is in the 85th percentile or higher relative to other companies. This is the first stock grant that Cook has received since 2011, with the last of that grant set to vest in 2021. As noted by Reuters' Stephen Nellis, Apple's board of directors issued a statement on Cook's RSU award: Tim has brought unparalleled innovation and focus to his role as CEO and demonstrated what it means to lead with values and integrity. For the first time in nearly a decade, we are awarding Tim a new stock grant that will vest over time in recognition of his outstanding leadership and with great optimism for Apple's future as he carries these efforts forward. Several employees on Apple's executive team have also received stock awards, including Luca Maestri, Deirdre O'Brien, and Jeff Williams, all of whom have been awarded 178,128 shares. As with Cook's award, half of these RSUs will vest between 2023 and 2025, while the rest are performance based awards. The RSUs serve as bonus compensation for Cook and Apple's executives, and will encourage employees to stay with the company through at least 2025, which is when everything will be fully vested. Cook has been Apple's CEO since August 2011, and there has been some speculation lately on how long he will continue to work for Apple. Cook in a recent interview said that he can't envision his life not working at Apple. I consider it the privilege of a lifetime to be here in this role at this time. I love working with this team. I consider them family. It's hard to explain. It may sound like messaging or something, but it's not. It's that deep in my heart, I really love the people I work with and currently it's tough to envision my life without that. So we'll see. At some point, of course, we all do something different, but at the moment, there's no place I would rather be than right here. When Cook does opt to retire at some point in the future, Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams could assume the role of CEO, according to a recent Bloomberg report. Williams is "primed" to take over for Cook if necessary and considered the "heir apparent" within Apple. Source
  4. Tim Cook: Why Apple doesn’t always have to be first We don’t want to be the first, we want to be the best, Apple CEO says (Image credit: Apple) Apple CEO Tim Cook has opened up about his plans for the future and some of his most personal values. Speaking at the Dreamforce 2019 event in San Francisco today, the Apple chief revealed some of his most pertinent drives, including how he sees the future of the iPhone maker evolving in the near future. In a revealing fireside chat with Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff, who himself was an intern at Apple back in the 1980s, Cook covered topics ranging from Steve Jobs, the environment, and gay marriage, as well as a look at Apple’s internal motivations. Innovation “So many people confuse innovation with change...many think innovation is change, but it's about making things better, not just merely changing something”, Cook declared. “We've never set the objective to be first, we've always set the objective to be the best,” Cook added, “that north star has helped guide us through the temptations, we just want to make the best products.” Cook noted how Apple’s business has become inherently enterprise-focused in the years since it released the first iPhone back in 2007, with the company’s devices now a popular sight in businesses across the globe. Apple and Salesforce revealed a large-scale partnership at last year’s Dreamforce, with the first fruits of the collaboration being unveiled earlier this week with the launch of an iOS and iPad-exclusive version of the latter’s Trailhead GO app. Looking forward, Salesforce looks set to continue as an important enterprise partner for Apple, with Cook noting that “I couldn’t be happier” with the work the software giant has done. With all Fortune 500 companies now using some form of Apple products, one such advocate is Benioff himself, who revealed to Cook that he completely relies on his iPhone to work. “I don't even own a computer anymore, I don't need one,” Benioff revealed. “The phone has really become an extension of my office wherever I am.” Source: Tim Cook: Why Apple doesn’t always have to be first (TechRadar)
  5. "The most precious resource we all have is time," tweets Tim Cook in memory of Steve Jobs Eight years ago today, Steve Jobs passed away at 3 PM in his home in Palo Alto, California, aged 56. The co-founder of Apple Inc. and a linchpin in making the company one of the most valuable companies in the world, struggled against pancreatic cancer in the later years of his life. The same illness also became the reason for his stepping down as the CEO of the company he laid the foundations of. Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple, marked the eighth anniversary of his passing, by quoting Jobs when the latter was talking about his favorite things in life, "My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time." The photograph shows Steve Jobs in front of the famous Apple 'Cube', which reopened recently after a renovation period that lasted for two years. The iconic store is reminiscent of the perfectionist with a penchant for elegance that Jobs was. Apple still maintains the "Remembering Steve" page on its website where "over a million people from all over the world have shared their memories, thoughts, and feelings" as a homage to him. The tech entrepreneur's most famous quote "I want to put a ding in the universe" can be reflected upon today, for Jobs did exactly that. Source: "The most precious resource we all have is time," tweets Tim Cook in memory of Steve Jobs (Neowin)
  6. Apple CEO says he believes "deeply" that currency must remain in the hands of states. Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company doesn't intend to launch a cryptocurrency. Tim Cook isn't interested in Apple launching a cryptocurrency. In an interview with French publication Les Echos published on Friday, the Apple CEO said he believes deeply that money must remain in the hands of states. "I am not comfortable with the idea that a private group creates a competing currency," Cook told Les Echos, according to a translation of the interview. "Money, like Defense, must remain in the hands of States ... We elect our representatives to assume government responsibilities. Companies are not elected, they do not have to go on this ground." Cook's comments come as Facebook's planned cryptocurrency, Libra, is reportedly on shaky ground, with financial partners reconsidering their involvement following scrutiny from US and international lawmakers. Cook, who's visited several countries in Europe this week, also talked with the french publication about Apple's push into subscription services and the US launch of the Apple Card. The iPhone maker is apparently considering ways to bring new its credit card to several countries. "Apple needs to rely on local partners. We do not intend to become a bank," Cook told Les Echos. "In the United States, we work with Goldman Sachs. In France, we need to find a retail bank that is particularly agile." Apple launched its branded credit card for iPhone users in the US in August. It's both a digital card that lives on your iPhone, with a traditional credit card backup to use in places where Apple Pay isn't available. Perhaps in line with Cook's views on digital currency, the Apple doesn't permit users buy cryptocurrencies with the card. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment. Source
  7. Cook appears to be the first tech CEO to speak out about the fires. As fires continue to consume the Amazon rainforest for a fourth week, Apple CEO Tim Cook pledged aid from his company without specifying a dollar amount. "It's devastating to see the fires and destruction ravaging the Amazon rainforest, one of the world's most important ecosystems. Apple will be donating to help preserve its biodiversity and restore the Amazon's indispensable forest across Latin America," Cook tweeted on Monday. Apple didn't immediately respond to request for comment. Cook appears the first tech CEO to extend aid to the Amazon. He also donated money on behalf of Apple in the wake of the destruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral earlier this year. The Notre Dame fire started April 15 and Cook tweeted Apple's solidarity the next day. World leaders addressed the Amazon fires at the G7 summit over the weekend and pledged a $20 million aid package. Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance also pledged $5 million in aid. Some Twitter users have been angered by the lack of media coverage and overall attention that the rainforest fires have gotten in comparison with the Notre Dame fire. Social media users also called out billionaires for a lack of donations. Within 48 hours of the Notre Dame fire, donations poured in from French billionaires, IBM, Apple, Disney and University of Notre Dame. Source
  8. Trump's meeting with Cook was disclosed by daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump. US President Donald Trump met with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday to discuss trade and other hot-button issues facing the tech company as Trump deliberates whether to make good on his threat to hike tariffs on imports from China. Trump's meeting with Cook was disclosed by daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump during an event that Trump held with governors on skills development. Cook is a frequent visitor to the White House and has worked with Ivanka Trump on her job training and education initiatives. The president often name-checks Cook as a business leader who has brought jobs and investment back to the United States. On Thursday, Trump spoke with Cook about "trade, US investment, immigration and privacy," White House spokesman Judd Deere said. A spokesperson for Apple could not be immediately reached for comment. The meeting comes as Trump weighs whether to go ahead with proposed increases to tariffs in his trade war with China. He has said he will make a decision some time after the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan at the end of June, where he hopes to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump is using tariffs to push Xi to change a host of Chinese trade practices, but negotiations have flagged. Makers of consumer electronics like phones and tablets have escaped the brunt of tariffs to this point but likely would be affected by the next hike. US authorities are also preparing to probe market power of large technology companies, according to sources. Cook has defended his company, saying it has a moderate share of the market and is not too large. Source
  9. Time has published an article written by Apple CEO Tim Cook arguing in favor of stronger U.S. privacy laws. The article was published under the headline “You Deserve Privacy Online. Here's How You Could Actually Get It.” Much of the article rehashes what Cook has said before, which can be summarized by what he believes are the four basic privacy rights: “First, the right to have personal data minimized. Companies should challenge themselves to strip identifying information from customer data or avoid collecting it in the first place. Second, the right to knowledge—to know what data is being collected and why. Third, the right to access. Companies should make it easy for you to access, correct and delete your personal data. And fourth, the right to data security, without which trust is impossible.” A new proposal regarding the regulation of data brokers is a bit more novel. These companies violate all of those principles by gathering as much information as possible, in secret, with no guarantee of its security. And most people can’t do a single thing about it. This setup isn't just invasive; it's dangerous. Just consider the Equifax hack, or this Motherboard report about how easy data brokers make it to buy personal information, or any of the other examples of just how much data is traded without true oversight. Here’s what Cook wants to do about that: “We believe the Federal Trade Commission should establish a data-broker clearinghouse, requiring all data brokers to register, enabling consumers to track the transactions that have bundled and sold their data from place to place, and giving users the power to delete their data on demand, freely, easily and online, once and for all.” Those protections would be in addition to stronger federal laws regarding consumer privacy, too, and not just for data brokers. They get their data from somewhere, and that list of sources includes tech companies. Which is where Apple’s self interest comes in. Many tech companies make their money by selling information about their users. That's why so many services are free—the monetization occurs behind the scenes with data sharing deals or advertising platforms. See: Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Apple makes its money by selling devices. That affords it the opportunity to limit data collection and, naturally, use privacy as a marketing tool. It sees demand for non-invasive tech and it’s more than happy to meet that demand with its products. Stricter privacy laws wouldn't be a win for Apple because of Cook’s personal beliefs. They’d be a win for Apple because so much of its competition relies on for-profit surveillance to survive. So you have to consider that when executives back policy, even if it may benefit many people. Source
  10. (Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc has responded to comments made by Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook in an interview, in which he said there had been no recent settlement talks between the iPhone maker and chip supplier in their global legal battle, calling Cook’s remarks “misleading.” Apple on Wednesday said it stood by Cook’s comments. The two companies are disputing comments their respective CEOs have made over settlement talks. Apple’s chief on Tuesday said any talks ended in September 2018. Qualcomm’s Chief Executive Steve Mollenkopf in November made comments about the supplier’s efforts to resolve the dispute. But Qualcomm on Tuesday said Cook had miscast Mollenkopf’s remarks, which did not mention a settlement and which Qualcomm maintains are accurate. The war of words is unlikely to play a major role in the outcome of the legal fight between the two firms. But it signals the high stakes and deeply entrenched positions of each side, with Apple arguing in court that Qualcomm charges an unfair “tax” on its phones while Qualcomm fights to protect a patent licensing model it argues has helped bring connectivity to billions of new users through wireless networks. In a television interview on CNBC earlier on Tuesday, Cook responded to a question from host Jim Cramer about whether Apple would settle with Qualcomm after Qualcomm had announced legal victories against Apple in patent cases in China and Germany. “Look, the truth is, we haven’t been in any settlement discussions with them since the third calendar quarter of last year. That is the truth. So I’m not sure where that thinking is coming from,” Cook said. Cook’s comments contrasted with those Mollenkopf made in November on CNBC. “We do talk as companies, and I think what you’re seeing, really, are activities consistent, really, with the fourth quarter of the game, and not the first quarter,” Mollenkopf told CNBC then. “We always talk about - and I’ve been very consistent that this second half of (2018) and into (2019), is when we’re really on the doorstep of finding a resolution.” In a statement, Qualcomm said the company stands by Mollenkopf’s remarks. “We have been consistent for the last 18 months in making clear that we have, at various times, been in discussions with Apple about a possible resolution to our licensing dispute,” a Qualcomm spokesperson said in a statement. “We have also stated clearly on several occasions that we believe it will be resolved, one way or the other, in the near future, either through a settlement or court decisions.” Apple on Wednesday said Cook’s comments were accurate. “Qualcomm is desperate to obfuscate the tales it has been telling its investors. Their accusations are a red herring,” Apple said in a statement to Reuters. Apple has accused Qualcomm of engaging in illegal patent licensing practices to preserve a dominant market position in so-called modem chips, which help mobile phones connect to wireless data networks. Qualcomm has argued that its practices followed decades-long tech industry norms and that Apple has not compensated it fairly for its intellectual property. The primary case in Apple and Qualcomm’s legal battle goes to trial in April. Source
  11. Tim Cook (Apple CEO) has defended his firm’s agreement with Google, in spite of his earlier criticism of the search behemoth for its inconsiderate attitude toward consumer data. The comments, which were aired as fraction of an interview on HBO on Axios, came in response to Cook being questioned why he was calm taking billions from Google to make it default search engine for Apple, in spite of wanting to defend consumer privacy. To reply this question, Cook emphasized the privacy and security standards that Apple develops unswervingly into its Safari browser while still permitting its consumers access to “the most excellent” search engine. ”I believe Google’s search engine is the finest. Look at what we have done with the controls we have developed in. We include private Internet browsing,” Cook claimed. “We have intelligent tracker avoidance. What we have attempted to do is come up with methods to assist our consumers via their course of the day. It is not an ideal thing. I would be the very first individual to state that. But it goes a long way to assisting,” Cook added. On a related note, Cook is likely to praise new privacy rules from Europe. In addition to this, he is expected to voice the firm’s support for sturdy laws in the United States and Europe to defend the employment of data. Cook will define Europe’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) as an instance of how “good politics and policy will can join hands to defend everybody’s rights.” Cook was also likely to support a widespread federal privacy rake in the United States. This is the most influential statement to date made by Apple. Concerns on how data is employed and how users can protect their personal data have come under the limelight lately following huge violations of data privacy comprising millions of social media and Internet consumers in the United States and Europe. Apple has used its policy as a stick to beat on ad-driven companies like Facebook. “This is surveillance and these stockpiles of data serve only to make rich the companies that collect them,” Cook told the audience at an EU privacy conference in October. He added, “This should make us uncomfortable.” So it should probably make Cook a little uncomfortable to talk about the fact that Apple gets paid by Google to make its search engine the default on iOS devices. But when asked about it by Axios, he was relatively sanguine. Here’s his full comment on the matter: Private web browsing is fine and the intelligent tracker prevention in Safari helps users control whether cookies follow them around the web, although Google quickly found a workaround after the feature was announced. But Tim’s argument that Google is the browser of choice is difficult to argue with. Apple could set the default search engine to one that’s focused on privacy like DuckDuckGo, but that would be like selling a Bentley with fake leather seats—or at least that’s what Cook seems to be arguing. He did not specifically address the annual revenue Apple takes in from Google, but financial analysts estimate it lies between $3 billion and $9 billion. DuckDuckGo could never pay Apple that kind of cash, and with growth in device sales slowing down, Apple is increasingly relying on services to create new opportunities. In the fourth quarter of 2018, Apple had $62.9 billion in revenue, $10 billion of which came from services like iCloud, Apple Music, and that lucrative deal with Google. Should Apple be shamed over its hypocritical willingness to reap profits from a company it considers to be unethical? Sure. But this is just how Apple rolls. It makes some great decisions and some great devices. It also uses terrible labor practices for assembling those devices, opposes the right to repair, and contributes to untold amounts of e-waste. For now, it’s just lucky that so many other companies are so clearly much more evil on the surface. As for tech being evil, in general, Cook said, “Technology is good or evil, as you put it, depending upon the creator and many times it’s not that the creator set out to do evil it’s that there wasn’t an anticipation of these negative things that it could be used for.” Sources : [Market News Press] [Gizmodo]
  12. During a town hall meeting at Apple's headquarters, Cook said that the company was using the Apple Music app as a test for expanding its services to other platforms. Apple CEO, Tim Cook has hinted at the possibility of more Apple apps being made available on Google’s Android OS. During the company’s town hall meeting at its headquarters, Cook said that Apple was using the Apple Music app on Android as a test for expanding its services to other platforms. This may lead to additional Apple’s exclusive suite of apps being ported to Android. Google and Microsoft have already made their services available on as many devices as possible, regardless of the operating system being used. Apple however, has chosen to keep most of its apps exclusive to iOS. However, the company did launch its Music app for Android a few months ago and yesterday, it was reported that the app was updated to v0.9.5. The new update allows Android users to download music to their microSD cards for offline listening. During the town hall meeting, Cook also answered questions about Apple’s dependence on the iPhone and how important India and other emerging markets were to Apple. He said that the iPhone is the “greatest business of the future” and that the company has room to grow the smartphone for decades. He added that 4G LTE networks were not there in many of the emerging markets. This, he believes, would give the Apple the chance to push its new devices in places like India. Cook said that India was one of Apple’s most important growth areas for the next decade. He also noted that Apple is in early preparations to introduce its retail stores in the country. China, however, is still considered by Cook to be very important to Apple’s future and he said that Apple plans to open its 40th store in the country by then end of the summer. Additionally, he noted that the Apple did not believe that it needs to release a cheaper, less feature-packed iPhone to appease growing markets. He claimed that Apple’s research indicated that people in emerging markets were ready to spend more for a better experience. source
  13. Image via Getty Images This morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a lengthy memo to employees as a reflection of the soon-ending 2013 and the upcoming year of 2014, according to multiple sources. In the letter, Tim Cook discusses people experiencing Apple products this holiday season, the Apple products launched throughout 2013, and corporate initiatives. “This holiday season, tens of millions of people around the world, from all walks of life, are experiencing Apple products for the first time. Those moments of surprise and delight are magical, and they’re all made possible by your hard work,” Cook says in the beginning of the email. Cook notes Apple’s new manufacturing process for the Assembled in the USA Mac Pro and calls iOS 7 an “extraordinarily ambitious project.” “We extended our lead in the smartphone market with iPhone 5s; launched iOS 7, an extraordinarily ambitious project; released OS X Mavericks for free to our customers; introduced the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display; and this week began shipping the Mac Pro from a manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas,” Cook told employees. Cook also notes his pride over Apple reaching 50 billion App Store app downloads this year. Apple reached this milestone in approximately five years… Cook also shares some details and reflects on the notable corporate initiatives in 2013. Cook reveals that Apple raised and donated “tens of millions of dollars” for initiatives such as Red Cross assistance for those affected by the typhoon disaster in the Philippines. Cook also notes that Apple is still the largest contributor to the Product(RED) foundation and notes his pride in Apple design chief Jony Ive’s contribution to the Sotheby’s Product(RED) auction earlier this year. Cook also discusses Apple’s contribution and fight for diversity, equality, and against discrimination. Cook previously made this clear to employees in a video message and at an Auburn University event. Cook ends his email wishing his employees “Happy Holidays” and says “I am extremely proud to stand alongside you as we put innovation to work serving humankind’s deepest values and highest aspirations. I consider myself the luckiest person in the world for the opportunity to work at this amazing company with all of you.” Perhaps most interestingly for customers excited about Apple’s future, Cook teases some big plans for 2014. “We have a lot to look forward to in 2014, including some big plans that we think customers are going to love,” Cook tells employees. Apple is working on several new products for 2014 and beyond. Sources say that Apple is developing both a fitness, sensor-oriented smart watch and new Apple television products. Future Apple TV products will likely revolve around both voice and motion integration, and sources expect an Apple TV software revamp to launch alongside new hardware sometime next year. Apple is also developing larger iPhones, iPads, and higher-resolution Mac laptops. The full email from Cook to employees can be read below: Source
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