60 Minutes host Charlie Rose took a deep dive into all things Apple in an episode that aired Sunday.
Featuring interviews with Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Phil Schiller, Angela Ahrendts and others, the show explored everything from the iPhone’s inner workings and Apple’s manufacturing in China to Cook dancing around the question of whether Apple is building a car.
Check out our 10 takeaways below.
Every week kicks off with a mandatory executive meeting
If you’re part of the very exclusive executive team at Apple, you’re expected to participate in a mandatory 9 a.m. Monday meeting that brings everyone together to talk about everything that’s going on within the company or coming up soon.
Apple enjoys a good product death match
“You need each of [our] products to try to fight for their space, their time with you,” said Schiller. “The iPhone has to become so great that you don’t know why you want an iPad. The iPad has to be so great that you don’t know why you want a notebook. The notebook has to be so great, you don’t know why you want a desktop. Each one’s job is to compete with the other ones.”
Here’s why the iPhone camera is so amazing
There are 800 engineers and other specialists who work full-time on the iPhone camera. The camera itself contains 200 separate parts, some of which are astonishingly tiny. For instance, the four wires that hold the autofocus motor in place are 40 microns thick — thinner than a human hair. To take one picture on the iPhone, 24 billion operations take place.
Apple is probably working on the Apple Watch 3 already
When Rose quizzed Cook on the Apple Watch, the exec said, “When we launch a product, we’re already working on the next one. And possibly even the next, next one… [W]e always see things we can do.”
Tim Cook still isn’t talking about the Apple Car
Asked directly whether Apple is working on an Apple Car, Cook laughs and says Cupertino is more secretive than the CIA. Sadly, this means no 60 Minutes exclusive Amazon drone delivery system-type preview of Apple’s future tech.
Apple has no plans to add a government backdoor to iPhone
“If there’s a way to get in, then somebody will find the way in,” Cook said. “There have been people that suggest that we should have a backdoor. But the reality is if you put a backdoor in, that backdoor’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys.”
In other words, Cook was just as outspoken about the right to privacy as ever.
Tim Cook gets fired up at the subject of Apple’s tax avoidance
“That is total political crap,” he told Rose regarding the accusation that Apple is “engaged in a sophisticated scheme” to pay virtually no corporate taxes on its $74 billion in revenues held overseas. “There is no truth behind it. Apple pays every tax dollar we owe.”
Repatriating Apple’s overseas cash would require a change in the law
It would cost Apple 40 percent of its $74 billion cash pile to bring it back to the United States, Cook said. “This is a tax code, Charlie, that was made for the industrial age, not the digital age,” the Apple chief said. “It’s backwards. It’s awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago. It’s past time to get it done.”
Apple manufactures in China because of the workforce’s skills
The reason Apple builds so many of its products in China has less to do with the country’s large and cheap workforce than it does with the skill of Chinese manufacturers.
“China put an enormous focus on manufacturing,” Cook said. “In what we would call, you and I would call vocational kind of skills. The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills … [In China] it was a focus of their educational system.”
Apple’s spaceship HQ is going to be spectacular
Jony Ive underlined his role in helping design Apple’s upcoming “spaceship” campus. On the day the 60 Minutes episode was filmed, a workforce consisting of 3,500 people were (among other things) installing the first of 3,000 sheets of curved glass imported from Germany — which will wrap around the entire building.
“This is the largest curved piece of glass in the world,” Ive says, noting that he will enjoy a new office on the building’s top floor.