Tim Cook on Revealing Apple's Car Plans: 'Yeah, I'm Probably Not Going to Do That'

time-cook-time-100-2015-iconsApple CEO Tim Cook discussed a range of topics in an interview with Fortune posted online today. Although Cook skirted the topic of the Apple Car, eventually Fortune brought up the recent hiring of automobile industry people by Apple, and asked Cook to put the rumors to rest once and for all.

Yeah, I’m probably not going to do that. The great thing about being here is we’re curious people. We explore technologies, and we explore products.

And we’re always thinking about ways that Apple can make great products that people love, that help them in some way. And we don’t go into very many categories, as you know. We edit very much. We talk about a lot of things and do fewer. We debate many things and do a lot fewer.

According to Cook, the addition of people from the automotive industry isn't a confirmation of the Apple Car, but simply a way for Apple to "explore things with teams of people." Once an idea gets past that stage, and the company begins "spending large amounts of money," that's when Cook and the team are "committed" to seeing the project through to the end. Although he doesn't directly confirm it, the suggestion hints that Apple's potential smart car is in the exploratory phase.

Part of exploring technologies and picking the right one is becoming so familiar with it you can see ways that it can be used. And for us, we’ve never been about being first. We’ve been about being best. So we explore many different things, many different technologies. And at first we might not know what product it might wind up in. And then later we’ll see that that really cool technology enables maybe things that we’re doing today to take on something bigger, maybe something new. But once we start spending gobs of money—like when we start spending on tooling and things like that—we’re committed.

Cook also touched on the topic of Apple occupying an era of "peak iPhone," thanks to a Q1 2016 fiscal quarter that saw iPhone sales remain largely "flat" from the same time last year (74.8 million iPhones in 2016 compared to 74.5 million in 2015). Cook said that he and Apple attempt to ignore such chatter and focus on the tenets of customer satisfaction and product quality, believing that "over time," he's sure "that everything else will catch up."

The Apple CEO ended with hinting that the company's newest headquarters will open in "early 2017," although a specific date has yet to be set. The name of the new campus is still up in the air as well, but Cook said that it will in some way pay homage to Steve Jobs and that Apple is "working with Laurene [Powell Jobs, Steve’s widow] and the family" on specifically deciding which direction to take with honoring the late CEO.

Check out Fortune's full Q&A with Tim Cook here.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

gugy Avatar
104 months ago
Tim, please focus on MacOS and iOS. Software and hardware. Be careful spreading Apple all over the place.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
104 months ago
Tim, please focus on MacOS and iOS. Software and hardware. Be careful spreading Apple all over the place.
Well yeah, it would be silly for their iPhone and Mac engineers working on a car. That's why they bring in car experts to explore it. It's not like they can only focus on a couple things at a time.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jamietomo78 Avatar
104 months ago
I think he's still salty because of the FBI :p
He's worried the FBI might want to put a back door onto it. :D
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tycho24 Avatar
104 months ago
Tim, please focus on MacOS and iOS. Software and hardware. Be careful spreading Apple all over the place.
Jesus Christ... haven't you lot got the memo that Apple is NOT two people working out of a garage anymore??!

Here's your same comment, rooted this time in REALITY:
"Tim, please take the hundreds of people you've newly hired with automotive experience & let them take the reins on squashing software bugs."
Sounds pretty silly, right??
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nightarchaon Avatar
104 months ago
Hard to get people to buy a new car every two years that needs a specially shaped fuel pump to fill it up.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zahuh Avatar
104 months ago
I'm sick of Cook saying "We don't want to be first, we want to be best." I LOVED the 17" MBP. I loved the risk and attempt to make something great that nobody else made. I loved the backlit keyboard that nobody had. I could use dozens of more examples in the SJ days. Tim, it's okay to risk and go for something nobody has done and be the best at the same time.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Said iPhone Driver's Licenses Will Expand to These 8 U.S. States

Monday February 12, 2024 7:51 am PST by
In 2021, Apple introduced a feature that lets residents of participating U.S. states add their driver's license or ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, providing a convenient and contactless way to display proof of identity or age. Unfortunately, states have been slow to adopt the feature since it was first announced in September 2021, with IDs in the Wallet app only available ...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

New Macs and iPads Coming Soon: What to Expect

Saturday February 17, 2024 3:00 am PST by
Following the launch of Apple's Vision Pro headset, attention has shifted towards what is next on the company's agenda this year. As usual, March should be eventful for Apple, as it is expected to release new MacBook Air, iPad Pro, and iPad Air models during the month. In a recent press release, Apple also confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March. Below, we recap what to expect...
Apple Watch Series 9

5 Major New Features Rumored for This Year's Apple Watch

Sunday February 18, 2024 3:00 am PST by
Thinking about upgrading your Apple Watch or buying one for the first time? If your current smartwatch is doing its job just fine and it's only the idea of a good deal that's piqued your interest, it could be worth holding out until later this year when Apple unveils its next-generation version. Here's why. There are already several rumors from reputable sources that suggest 2024 could be a...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....