New York Times profile of Tim Cook hints at iWatch plans

"Aw shucks, me?"

“Aw shucks, me?”

The New York Times featured a fascinating profile of Tim Cook on Sunday, describing his leadership style at Apple — including his role in product development, his efforts to grow the Apple brand, and his “quiet” approach to design. The profile also features a couple of neat insights that may have bearing on Apple’s eagerly-awaited iWatch development.

With regards to the iWatch, Cook is said to be “less involved” with the engineering of the device, and has delegated much of the hands-on work to other executives like Jony Ive. Cook, however, is interested in the “broader implications” of a smartwatch, and particularly in the efforts to let it “monitor heart rate and other vital measures, thus improving health and limiting doctor visits.”

While Apple unsurprisingly didn’t go on the record about the iWatch for the article, employees who spoke with the authors seem to confirm recent reports that the device will launch in Q4 this year.

With regards to Apple’s pressure to deliver another breakthrough product like the iPhone, Jony Ive is quoted as saying Cook has “not neglected” the company’s primary mission for “innovation.” He suggests that it has been difficult for Apple and Cook to “be patient” when it comes to launching a new product line. “People felt exactly the same way when we were working on the iPhone,” Ive says.

As with many of Apple’s recent publicity outings, the company’s focus on environmentalism and charity are highlighted in the article.

There is also focus on Apple’s various personnel hires, including new retail boss Angela Ahrendts and “special projects” lead Paul Deneve, formerly CEO at Yves Saint Laurent. U2 singer Bono — long associated with Apple thanks to his friendship with Steve Jobs — says that Cook is amassing a “creative brain trust.”

Titled “Tim Cook, Making Apple His Own,” the profile makes interesting recommended reading for anyone eager to know how Apple is changing under its current CEO, who finally seems to be making it his own here in 2014.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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