Tim Cook personally gave Warren Buffett iPhone lessons. They didn't take

Tim Cook personally tried (and failed) to teach Warren Buffett to use an iPhone


A financial wizard? Yep. A future Apple Store Genius? Nope.
Photo: CNBC

Warren Buffett may be one of the shrewdest financial minds of our time, but don’t expect him to be able to use an iPhone. Despite receiving a personal lesson from Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“I went out to California, and Tim Cook very patiently spent hours trying to move me up to the level of the average two-year-old,” Buffett told Yahoo Finance editor-in-chief Andy Serwer. “And didn’t quite make it.”

The interview was carried out with Buffett in March, but featured as part of a report published Thursday. Elaborating on his iPhone woes, Buffett said that he struggled to make a call on his handset. He even mentioned being nervous about people phoning him. “I would be afraid it would ring, and I wouldn’t know what to do with it,” Buffett said.

However, he acknowledged that the failure was entirely on his part. Referring to the iPhone as an “unbelievable product,” he said that “any two-year-old” could work it without problem. He also referred to Tim Cook as a “terrific guy” and said he “had a lot of fun” while visiting him in California.

Warren Buffett is Apple’s biggest investor

Warren Buffett’s firm Berkshire Hathaway is the single biggest investor in Apple. And it’s no wonder: During good times, Berkshire Hathaway’s investment in Apple has earned it upward of $2.6 billion in a single day. Buffett’s long-term investing strategy has also helped calm the waters during rough patches.

In a 2018 interview to celebrate his 88th birthday, Buffett heaped praise on Apple. “Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of people … practically live their lives by it,” he said, referring to the iPhone. In the same interview, he said that he enjoyed using the iPad.

Apple has returned the love-fest by creating an app dedicated to Buffett. The game, created last year, is called Warren Buffett’s Paper Wizard. It references Buffett’s childhood newspaper round, prior to him becoming, well, one of the richest men in the world.