In a wide-ranging television interview with Brian Williams on NBC’s Rock Center, Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook revealed that the tech giant plans to bring production of some Macs back to the United States from China next year.
“You know, this iPhone – as a matter of fact, the engine in here is made in America. And not only are the engines in here made in America, but engines are made in America and are exported. The glass on this phone is made in Kentucky. And so we’ve been working for years on doing more and more in the United States. Next year, we will do one of our existing Mac lines in the United States,” Cook told Williams.
While Mr. Cook did not specify which Mac products will be made in the US, according to Reuters, “the effort is expected to go well beyond simple final assembly of devices, with Apple and unnamed partners building most or all of the components in the United States as well.”
Questioned about Maps, meanwhile, Cook told Williams that Apple “screwed up,” and denied that Cupertino was placing corporate strategy before the consumer experience. He said Apple is “putting the weight of the company behind [fixing its map system].”
This was Cook’s first TV interview since replacing Apple’s late legendary co-founder Steve Jobs, who resigned due to health reasons in August 2011.
Cook also gave a lengthy interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, which was released on Thursday morning. During one interesting section of that interview he explained why former iOS head Scott Forstall had to leave as part of an executive shakeup at Apple last month. Cook’s reply led to believe that the exec wasn’t strong on collaboration:
[via BW] “The key in the change that you’re referencing is my deep belief that collaboration is essential for innovation—and I didn’t just start believing that. I’ve always believed that. It’s always been a core belief at Apple. Steve very deeply believed this.
So the changes—it’s not a matter of going from no collaboration to collaboration. We have an enormous level of collaboration in Apple, but it’s a matter of taking it to another level. You look at what we are great at. There are many things. But the one thing we do, which I think no one else does, is integrate hardware, software, and services in such a way that most consumers begin to not differentiate anymore. They just care that the experience is fantastic.
So how do we keep doing that and keep taking it to an even higher level? You have to be an A-plus at collaboration. And so the changes that we made get us to a whole new level of collaboration. We’ve got services all in one place, and the guy that’s running that [Cook is referring to Jony Ive, senior vice president of industrial design] has incredible skills in services, has an incredible track record, and I’m confident will do fantastic things.”
Cook also touched on the ongoing conflict between Samsung and Apple. When asked about the “awkwardness” of the fact that besides being one of Apple’s biggest suppliers, Samsung is also one of Cupertino’s biggest competitors and an opponent in litigation, Cook replied:
“Life is a complex thing sometimes, and yes, it’s awkward. It is awkward. I hate litigation. I absolutely hate it. For us, this is about values. What we would like, in a perfect world, is for everyone to invent their own stuff. We love competition. But we want people to have their own ideas and invent their own stuff. So after lots of trying, we felt we had no other choice. We tried every other avenue, and so we’ll see what happens in the future. ”
Commenting opaquely on the much rumored Apple television set, Cook didn’t say if it exists or when it’s coming:
“Our customers have an incredibly high bar for us. We have an even higher bar for ourselves. So we want to do great work, and yeah, people are always talking about what we may do next and when it might happen, but honestly we’re driven much more internally by great people who want to do great work. As I look around the table at the executive team, arguably, at least in my opinion, we have the best designer in the world, the top silicon expert in the world, the best operational executive in the world, and the best leaders in marketing, software, hardware, and services. These are people that have very high standards that are driven to do things beyond what other people have thought. And I think it’s that ambition and that desire and that thrust for excellence that make creating new things even more likely.”
Businessweek’s 9,000 word interview that offers a detailed look at what it’s like to run the world’s most innovative and valuable firm, with a current market value of approximately $514 billion [$547.24 p/sh], can be found here.