Tim Cook explains why Apple isn’t a tech company anymore

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Tim Cook and Co. bring the hardware heat at The Brooklyn Academy of Music during the
Apple is now a consumer company.
Photo: Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook sounded absolutely ecstatic to count Warren Buffett as one of his company’s investors during an interview at Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders meeting this morning.

Cook made a cameo in the company’s opening video — that also introduced Apple’s new Buffett-themed game — and sat down with CNBC to talk about his relationship with Warren, Apple’s culture, privacy and more.

CNBC posted the full video of the Tim Cook interview that aired on Squawk Box this morning. Clocking in over 20 minutes in length, Cook hit a lot of the familiar talking points. Stuff like, how much Apple cares about its customers, why it doesn’t sell private data, helping customers’ well being with Apple Watch and more. You’ve probably heard a lot of his answers rephrased in different ways. The part where Becky asks him about having Buffett as an investor and its implications on Apple as a company was pretty interesting though.

The Buffett/Apple love affair

Warren Buffett usually doesn’t invest in tech companies or markets that he doesn’t understand. His firm now owns more Apple shares than anyone which Tim Cook says he views as recognition    that Apple is more than just a tech company. Cook and Buffett both believe Apple is a consumer company.

“We’re in the tech industry. But we work at that intersection of technology and the liberal arts and the humanities,” Cook told CNBC. And so I love the fact that he looks at us like that because want consumers to looks at us like that. We think technology should be in the background, not the foreground. And that technology should empower people to do things and help them do things they couldn’t do otherwise. And – but, if things appear as technology, they’re not used very much. You know, they are for other people, not for all of us. And, so, I love the fact that he looks at it like that.”

Cook said it’s an “honor and a privilege” to count Buffett among the company’s investors. Even though the Oracle of Omaha trimmed down on his Apple shares earlier this year, he’s still been very bullish of Apple recently. After Apple posted better-than-expected Q2 2019 earnings, Buffett said it reaffirmed why he owns $50 billion in shares. Apple stock has been on a big upward swing since and his now closing in on the $1 trillion valuation mark again.