Tim Cook on Augmented Reality: 'What It Will Be, What It Can Be, I Think It's Profound'

With Apple focusing heavily on augmented reality in iOS 11 through ARKit, Apple CEO Tim Cook received several questions about AR during today's fourth quarter earnings call. He was, of course, questioned about augmented reality hardware, a question he dodged by explaining that Apple's all about the experience.

augmentedreality

In terms of monetization of AR/VR, we focus first and foremost on customer experience. We're all about making sure the customer experience is great. We think if we get the experience right, revenue and profits will follow. We're very much focused on the experience right now.

On augmented reality in general, Cook said there are "fantastic" people at Apple who are working on incredible things, and that Apple is in a "unique position" to lead when it comes to augmented reality.

I view AR as profound. Not today, not the app you'll see on the App Store today, but what it will be, what it can be, I think it's profound, and I think Apple is in a really unique position to lead in this area.

Augmented reality "amplifies human performance instead of isolating humans," Cook explained. "It's a help for humanity, not an isolation kind of thing for humanity." He said the "very cool thing" about augmented reality apps is that they're "all over the place." There are more than 1,000 ARKit apps in the App Store now, across a wide range of categories like shopping, gaming, entertainment, and business.

"I see apps that make me want to go to K-12 again and repeat my schooling because it changes the game in the classroom," said Cook. "The real beauty is that [AR] is mainstream and, of course, Apple is the only company that could have brought this because it requires hardware/software integration." He went on to compare ARKit to the launch of the App Store in 2008 and its subsequent growth.

This is very much like in 2008 when we fired the gun in the App Store. That's what it feels like to me and I think it will just get bigger from here.

Though Cook focused heavily on software and Apple's existing augmented reality experiences during the call, rumors have suggested that Apple is exploring augmented reality hardware solutions that go beyond the iPhone, like a set of augmented reality smart glasses. Work on the smart glasses is said to be in the early stages, with many technical hurdles still to overcome, so a launch is not expected for quite some time.

The entirety of Apple's conference call is now available from Apple's website.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

Rochy Bay Avatar
42 months ago
Like if you think it's time for Tim to retire
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macintoshrumors Avatar
42 months ago

AR is such a gimmick.

Yeah. just like virtual keyboards were gimmicks back in 2007. Just like Bitcoin in 2011 was just internet play money. Just like impossible odds of the golden state warriors blowing a 3-1 lead. Just like there was no way Trump would win the 2016 Election. Just like the Apple Watch was just a fad. Just like Touch ID was such a gimmick. Point is, to you it might be gimmicky, irrelevant, useless, will never catch on, doesn't Stand a chance today, but tomorrow it will be integrated in your world.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
42 months ago

AR is such a gimmick.

I’m honestly thankful that people with such a short-sighted mentality and lack of imagination aren’t running Apple.

Had Apple catered to the whims of the MR crowd since 2001 then we’d be brandishing 3-inch thick PowerBooks still running OS 9.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
42 months ago
i already deleted a lot of AR games from my phone just like i deleted most of my apple watch apps.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AceFernalld Avatar
42 months ago
Can’t wait to see what they’ve got up their sleeve.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ersan191 Avatar
42 months ago
AR just feels like a gimmick right now, hopefully that changes. Maybe as we start to see more practical uses of it rather than just underwhelming mobile games.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
pat gelsinger intel

Incoming Intel CEO Derides Company's Inability to 'Deliver Better Products' Than Apple's M1 Chip

Friday January 15, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said that the company must "deliver better products" than Apple, which he described as a "lifestyle company," and says that Intel's best days are "in front of it" (via The Oregonian). Speaking at an Intel all-hands meeting yesterday, Gelsinger derisively implied that Apple is merely a "lifestyle company," so Intel must be able to surpass its technology: ...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...