In a beautifully written personal essay over at Businessweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook has just come out as gay, finally confirming rumors that have circulated since he took over at Steve Jobs’s replacement in 2011.
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Tim Cook gave a rare public interview on Monday night at the Wall Street Journal’s new tech conference, WSJD. The Apple CEO touched on a range of topics, including Apple Pay’s success, a big potential partnership, why the iPod classic was discontinued, and more.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Cook’s comments:
Tim Cook has spoken out about the need for his home state of Alabama to better address LGBT rights in a speech delivered today at the Alabama Academy of Honor induction, in front of Governor Robert Bentley.
Cook discussed his admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and noted how, “I could never understand why some within our state and nation resisted basic principles of human dignity that were so opposite to the values I had learned growing up in Robertsdale, Alabama in a family that was rich in love and respect.”
He went on to say that, “We were too slow on equality on African-Americans. We were too slow on interracial marriage. And we are still too slow on equality for the LBGT community.”
Alabama remains one of the 18 states without marriage equality.
Tim Cook has described his desire to bring Apple Pay to China as “top of the list” in terms of priorities.
Cook was quoted on Friday, following an interview he gave with China’s official Xinhua news agency. “China is a really key market for us,” he said. “Everything we do [in terms of services in the U.S.], we are going to work it here.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook dropped by an iPhone factory in Zhengzhou yesterday during a trip in China, and not only did he spend a few minutes having a laugh with an assembly line worker, he even tweeted a picture about it.
Here in 2014, news of a new Apple Store in the U.S. may be nothing special, but when you hear that Cupertino plans to open 25 retail stores in China in the next two years you sit up and pay attention!
According to Tim Cook, who was interviewed during his current China visit, Apple is set to greatly increase its retail presence in the country — from 15 stores currently, to 40 stores in 2016.
Cook also discussed China’s potential as the biggest Apple market in the world, saying that, “In the future China will become Apple’s biggest revenue contributor. It’s just a matter of time.”
Tim Cook has met with a top Chinese government official in Beijing, to discuss the reported “man-in-the-middle” phishing attack on iCloud users in China, reportedly being carried out by authorities.
While very few details of the meeting have been made public, it is reported by the Chinese media that it took place on Wednesday in Zhongnanhai, the Beijing complex which houses China’s central government.
Cook and Vice Premier Ma Kai discussed user privacy and “strengthening cooperation” going forward.
Tim Cook sure is picking up a lot of nicknames as of late. At the iPhone 6 keynote he was dubbed the “Zen Master of hardware and software” by U2’s Bono, and at yesterday’s iPad event he was given the codename “Chairman Honeycrisp” as part of the entertaining Stephen Colbert secrecy skit.
Taking the latter nickname as his inspiration, YouTube’s resident Apple songsmith Jonathan Mann (whose work we profiled earlier this week) put together his customary post-keynote song, highlighting the October 16 Apple media event.
The result may not quite hit the highs of Mann’s superb WWDC tribute (a song that is still stuck in my head months later), but it’s worth a watch for the repeating “Intergalactic Chancellor Chairman Honeycrisp” chorus alone.
Check out the video after the jump:
Was Apple’s livestreamed iPad event really such a big yawn? Search Twitter for “#AppleEvent yawn” or “Apple boring” and you’ll see tweet after tweet bemoaning the boring nature of Thursday’s press conference. It got so tedious for some, there were dozens of photos of napping dogs.
“Most boring Apple event ever,” tweeted one. “Bring back the Chinese translation.”
Maybe some of those folks are being facetious, but there’s a grain of truth in the tweets: Nothing about Thursday’s event, except for maybe Stephen Colbert’s crackup comedy bit with Craig Federighi, was super-compelling on the surface. Many of the specs had been leaked (some even by Apple itself), and the rumor mill proved pretty accurate in the run-up to the presentation.
Still, this was no Phantom Menace. I mean really, what were people expecting? Jetpacks, aliens and electric cars?
This is Apple’s big dilemma right now: How do you top yourself when you make the best products in the world?
It’s likely that Tim Cook doesn’t exactly look forward to hearing from Carl Icahn, but it’s difficult to argue that the activist investor isn’t a massive cheerleader for Apple.
As promised, Icahn published his open letter to Tim Cook today and the big surprise (spoiler alert!) is that he feels his 45 million shares of AAPL stock are grossly undervalued.
In a message entitled “Sale: Apple Shares at Half Price,” Icahn explains why he believes Apple stock is currently trading at half its true value, instead claiming it should be priced at $203 per share — based on growth forecast for the next two years, alongside the company’s massive cash reserves.