Tim Cook Talks iPhone 6s, Social Responsibility, and More on 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert'

Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared on the "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" tonight, with the interview covering a number of topics including the iPhone 6s, the possibility of an Apple Car, and Cook's and Apple's efforts in social responsibility.

During the portion of his monologue highlighting the show's guests, Colbert poked fun at Apple with a couple of jokes, initially announcing Cook as "Cello Apple Time Cook" thanks to autocorrect and joking that the interview would be great but that Cook would release a cooler updated version of it in three months.

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The interview kicked off with Colbert showing off a rose gold iPhone 6s before proceeding to ask Cook about the device, leading with making sure the charger hasn't changed. Colbert and Cook then discussed and showed off 3D Touch and Live Photos, with Colbert quipping regarding 3D Touch "If I hang up on someone hard enough, will it actually hit them on the other side?"

Addressing comments from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick during an interview on The Late Show last week about Apple working on a car, Cook brushed off the question with a variation of his standard comment: "We look at a number of things along the way, and we decide to really put our energies on a few of those," with Colbert making sure to record the response on his iPhone 6s.

On the topic of recent movies about Steve Jobs, including the upcoming "Steve Jobs" film by Aaron Sorkin and the just-released "Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine" documentary by Alex Gibney, Cook noted he hasn't seen the films but that he objects to some of the negative portrayals of Jobs.

I haven't seen them, but the Steve I knew was an amazing human being. He's someone that you wanted to do your best work for. He invented things that I think other people could not. He saw things other people could not. He had the uncanny ability to see around the corner, and to describe the future, not an evolutionary future, but a revolutionary future. And he was a joy to work with. And I love him dearly and miss him every day. I think a lot of people are trying to be opportunistic and I hate this. It's not a great part of our world.

One of the key topics of the interview was Cook's emphasis on charity and responsibility to future generations, with Cook noting "We want to leave the world better than we found it" and pointing toward his own decision to come out as gay last year as an example of a sacrifice made to help others. Cook cited Martin Luther King, Jr.'s quote of "What are you doing for others?" as his daily inspiration.

Every day I come to work, right in front of my desk I have a photo of Robert Kennedy and a photo of Dr. King. And every day I sort of ask myself...it was Dr. King's quote that said "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?'"

And it became so clear to me that kids were getting bullied in school, kids were getting basically discriminated against, kids were even being disclaimed by their own parents, and that I needed to do something. And where I valued my privacy significantly, I felt that I was valuing it too far above what I could do for other people. And so I wanted to tell everyone my truth.

Many people already knew, and so for many people it was no revelation. It's like discovering something your iPhone has always done, but you didn't quite know it, right? And so it wasn't a revelation to a lot of people that I worked with, but it was maybe for the broader world. And I felt a tremendous responsibility to do it.


That sense of social responsibility extends to Apple's business, Colbert noted, with Cook highlighting Apple's code of conduct for suppliers and efforts in human rights and the environment, noting "We want to leave the world better than we found it."

We've taken it across the board. You know, in our supply chain we train everybody on their rights, and that's their rights as we see them, and we have a really high bar. And so we do a lot of things. We bring college classes to our manufacturing plants, because we want people to grow and move up their own career ladder.

And just like our products are meant to give tools to everyone to do better things, to empower them to do things they couldn't do otherwise, we want to leave the world better than we found it. And for us that means focusing on education, it means focusing on the environment, it means focusing on human rights, and so we put a lot of ourselves into these things.

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Colbert wrapped up the segment by noting Apple has added some special Siri responses related to Cook's appearance, with Colbert querying Siri about what he should ask Cook and Siri responding "Do me a favor. Ask him when I'm going to get a raise."

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Top Rated Comments

zephonic Avatar
114 months ago
Lol, I asked Siri what to ask Tim Cook, and this is what I got:


Attachment Image
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sinjun Avatar
114 months ago
"Open up a little"? You mean descend into mediocrity. Steve Jobs focused on his products, his PR was concentrated into Apple media events, he did not engage in hypocritical "charity", and he avoided politics.

Tim Cook does the exact opposite: he produces scatter-brained, buggy software (iOS), retrograde hardware (Mac Mini), useless new products (Apple Watch); he appears everywhere on the media and allows Jony Ive to do the same; he has acquiesced to pressure to reroute Apple profits to "charities", which are invariably of dubious moral standing (admittedly, Jobs succumbed to this as well with "Product red"); and he engages in ridiculous gender and race politics in which he should refrain from involving Apple.

What you are celebrating is the very identifiable downfall of Apple. You celebrate mediocritization. Why?
Giving to charity is dubious and hypocritical? What the hell is wrong with you?
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yakuzahi Avatar
114 months ago




Sorry but CBS removed that from YouTube.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lk400 Avatar
114 months ago
"Open up a little"? You mean descend into mediocrity. Steve Jobs focused on his products, his PR was concentrated into Apple media events, he did not engage in hypocritical "charity", and he avoided politics.

Tim Cook does the exact opposite: he produces scatter-brained, buggy software (iOS), retrograde hardware (Mac Mini), useless new products (Apple Watch); he appears everywhere on the media and allows Jony Ive to do the same; he has acquiesced to pressure to reroute Apple profits to "charities", which are invariably of dubious moral standing (admittedly, Jobs succumbed to this as well with "Product red"); and he engages in ridiculous gender and race politics in which he should refrain from involving Apple.

What you are celebrating is the very identifiable downfall of Apple. You celebrate mediocritization. Why?
You forgot to type "in my humble opinion" before your well considered and balanced post.

Steve Jobs was a founder and leader of the company. He ran it in a very extreme way which suited his style, and was able to squeeze out some very good products during his time. All businesses have ups and downs, businesses are like civilisations and empires, they may rise, but all fall. Apple will fall at some point. Who is to say that Steve jobs would have overseen the release of any more game changers (if you consider the watch useless, for example, you must have very high expectations). It could have just as well gone the other way of his extreme views blinding him to market movements such that apple may have been on a downfall now (because, despite what you say, based on any logical or rational measure, they certainly aren't under Tim Cook).

As for broader issues, people in power do have a certain responsibility toward the greater good. In many ways very famous people have more power than politicians to change the world, or our day to day lives. Tech CEOs are a new kind of celebrity. Apple is immensely powerful. What a sad world where people would advocate the kind of selfish management of the company that Steve jobs championed, over something a little more human that Tim Cook is trying to achieve.

It is up to the leader of the day how they choose to lead. Of course Tim Cook runs things differently to his predecessor - and that's about all you established in your post. For him to try to lead in a way he didn't believe in would be a sure way to fail. And remember, Steve Jobs himself put Cook in place.

Do you think he would be surprised how the company is being run?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cyberdogl2 Avatar
114 months ago
anyone catch Samsung CEO on the Late Late Show tonight?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nostaws Avatar
114 months ago
Colbert is funny. Cook is a good sport to go on the show.

I've been impressed by the show so far by the guests that have been on. Not just brainless movie stars but a good mix of newsmakers, entertainers, etc.

Colbert = douche. Nuff said.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)