Apple CEO Tim Cook Talks Antitrust Investigation, Trump Relationship, Working From Home and More in Interview

Apple CEO Tim Cook this evening spoke at The Atlantic Festival where he discussed privacy, antitrust issues, remote work, and his relationship with United States President Donald Trump.

Cook's interview starts at about 15 minutes into the video

On the topic of the ongoing U.S. antitrust investigation into Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, Cook said that "big companies deserve scrutiny," something that's "fair but important" for the American government. He said he has "no issue" with Apple being investigated, and that he hopes people will ultimately hear Apple's story and come to see that the company is not a monopoly.

I think that big companies deserve scrutiny. And I think that's not only fair but important for the system that we have in America. And so I have no issue at all in Apple being put underneath the microscope and people looking and probing. My hope is that as people heard our story and as they continue to hear our story that it will become as apparent to them as it is to us that we have no monopoly. There is no monopoly here.

We're in very, very competitive markets like smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets and personal computers. These things are fiercely competitive. They're basically street fights for market share. Our core strategy as a company to make the best not the most... that basic strategy will never produce a monopoly. It's very rare, almost impossible for the best to become the most as well. Somebody will choose a commodity product and there's enough people that will buy the commodity product that it will have more share. And that's true in all of the different fields we're in.

I'm hoping people heard that and heard how we conduct ourselves because this is very important to us. We always do what we believe is right and conduct ourselves with the utmost integrity and professionalism. I hope that that came across and that we can unpeel from this investigation.

On his relationship with Trump and what it's like interacting with the President, Cook said that he views the specific conversations he's had with Trump as "private conversations" and wouldn't get into what's been discussed, but he did reiterate something he's said several times before: that it's better to be involved than not to be part of the conversation.

I believe that it's much better to be involved, whether you're in agreement on an issue or I think it's even more important to engage when you disagree on something. And so what we do at Apple is we focus on policy. We don't focus on the politics. And so it keeps us out of the sort of the daily scrum of politics and keeps us very focused on the things that are very important to us.

As for the shift to working from home for many Apple employees, Cook said "it's not like being together physically" and that he can't wait for "everybody to be able to come back," confirming that Apple is not going to be one of those companies that lets employees work from home long term.

Cook did, however, say that "some things" work really well virtually, and so that things aren't going to return to just how they were.

In all candor, it's not like being together physically. And so I can't wait for everybody to be able to come back into the office. I don't believe that we'll return to the way we were, because we found that there are some things that actually work really well virtually. But things like creativity and the serendipity that you talk about, these things, you depend on people kind of running into each other over the course of a day. We have designed our entire office such that there are common areas where people congregate and talk about different things. And you can't schedule those times.

And so I think the vast majority of us can't wait until we can be back in the office again. You know, hopefully that occurs sometime next year, who knows exactly what the date may be. We've got about 10-15 percent working today in the office. I'm in the office at different points during the week as well, but the vast majority, 85 to 90 percent of the company is still working remotely.

Cook's full interview, which also goes into detail on Apple's view of how the United States has responded to COVID-19, climate change and the California wildfires, privacy, international policy, his future plans, and more can be watched through the YouTube video up above from The Atlantic.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

tipoo Avatar
10 months ago
"There are concerns about China having a million muslims in concentration camps"
Tim: "We always think of the user first..."


That was one HELL of a swerve, Tim.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPack Avatar
10 months ago

"There are concerns about China having a million muslims in concentration camps"
Tim: "We always think of the user first..."


That was one HELL of a swerve, Tim.
Not sure how Tim Cook is supposed to answer a politically charged question.

Interviewer: "There are serious concerns of U.S. detention camps at the borders including forced hysterectomies performed. Also, the State of California uses forced prison labor to fight wildfires in the area surrounding Apple Park."

Tim Cook: I'm a CEO of a tech giant.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rafark Avatar
10 months ago

"There are concerns about China having a million muslims in concentration camps"
Tim: "We always think of the user first..."


That was one HELL of a swerve, Tim.
Not as bad as this I guess:

Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BGPL Avatar
10 months ago
TIM: Do I have concerns about earnings?

INTERVIEWER: No, I said China.

TIM: Oh, yes, we care about humanity.

INTERVIEWER: Nevermind.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boss.king Avatar
10 months ago
Can we stop pretending that Cook is ever going to give an interesting answer? We know his stance on all of this because it’s also Apple’s public stance on it. He’s not going to go off-script or give a surprising response like an Elon Musk would, he’s only doing this to double down on the press release they put out a couple of weeks back.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dapa0s Avatar
10 months ago

Can we stop pretending that Cook is ever going to give an interesting answer? We know his stance on all of this because it’s also Apple’s public stance on it. He’s not going to go off-script or give a surprising response like an Elon Musk would, he’s only doing this to double down on the press release they put out a couple of weeks back.
And what would Musk say? You're talking about a guy who said "we'll coup whoever we want". If anything, he would probably fully support the Chinese government openly, since Tesla is huge in China. I'd rather have Cook say nothing than him saying something stupid.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Says iOS Picture-in-Picture Coming to All US Users

Friday June 18, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
After a long wait, YouTube for iOS is officially gaining picture-in-picture support, allowing all users, non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window. In a statement to MacRumors, YouTube says that picture-in-picture is currently rolling out to all premium subscribers on iOS and that a larger rollout to all US iOS...
Top Stories 63 Feature

Top Stories: Beats Studio Buds Announced, Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors, and More

Saturday June 19, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The Apple news cycle started to move beyond WWDC this week, but that doesn't mean there still wasn't a lot to talk about, led by the official debut of the much-leaked Beats Studio Buds that might give us a hint of what to expect for the second-generation AirPods Pro. With no hardware announcements at WWDC, we also took a look at when we might finally see the long-rumored redesigned MacBook...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
maxresdefault

Video: 20 Annoyances Apple Fixed in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Friday June 18, 2021 11:36 am PDT by
With iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple is adding several quality of life improvements, which are designed to address some of the complaints that people have had with these operating systems for years now. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we're highlighting some of our favorite "fix" features that address long-running problems in iOS and...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
space gray magic accessories trio

Apple Stops Selling Magic Accessories in Space Gray

Friday June 18, 2021 9:16 am PDT by
Apple this week stopped selling its Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 accessories for the Mac in a Space Gray color, around three months after discontinuing the iMac Pro, which also came in Space Gray. Last month, Apple listed the Space Gray accessories as available while supplies last, and the company has now removed the product pages from its website...
m1 v intel thumb

Intel Processor Market Share May Fall to New Low Next Year Due to Apple Silicon

Friday June 18, 2021 2:06 am PDT by
Intel may see its market share fall to a new low next year, in large part thanks to Apple's decision to move away from using Intel processors in its Mac computers and instead use Apple silicon. Apple announced last year that it would embark on a two-year-long journey to transition all of its Mac computers, both desktops, and laptops, to use its own in-house processors. Apple is expected to...
3nm apple silicon feature

Apple Supplier TSMC Readies 3nm Chip Production for Second Half of 2022

Friday June 18, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMC is preparing to produce 3nm chips in the second half of 2022, and in the coming months, the supplier will begin production of 4nm chips, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple had previously booked the initial capacity of TSMC's 4nm chip production for future Macs and more recently ordered TSMC to begin production of the A15 chip for the upcoming iPhone 13,...
2021 back t0 school

Apple Launches 2021 Back to School Promotion: Free AirPods With Eligible Mac or iPad Purchase

Thursday June 17, 2021 4:56 am PDT by
Apple today launched its seasonal back-to-school sale for the upcoming school year in the United States and Canada, offering students free AirPods alongside purchases of select Macs and iPad models. Similar to last year's promotion, this year's offer includes free AirPods alongside the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the new 24-inch iMac, the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and the new M1-powered ...
applecare lower prices

Apple Lowers Prices of AppleCare+ Plans for M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Thursday June 17, 2021 7:33 am PDT by
Apple today lowered the prices of AppleCare+ plans for MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M1 chip. Coverage offered by the plans, as well as accidental damage fees, appear to remain unchanged. In the United States, AppleCare+ for the MacBook Air now costs $199, down from $249. The new price applies to both M1 and Intel-based MacBook Air models, although Apple no...