Tim Cook Travels to China, Meets With Vice Premier and Developers

Apple CEO Tim Cook is in China this week ahead of the annual China Development Forum that promotes economic growth in the country.


Cook was photographed at an Apple Store in Beijing's central Wangfujing shopping district on Thursday, where he attended a music-related Today at Apple session. On Friday, Cook met with developers and visited the Palace Museum, which has an ARKit-based app that offers tourists an immersive experience.

Later on Friday, Cook met with politician Sun Chunlan, a Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China. The state-run news agency Xinhua claims that Sun made positive remarks about Apple and the company's role in Sino-U.S. relations.


Cook, who has shared pictures of his trip on Weibo, is reportedly set to attend the annual China Development Forum in Beijing on Saturday. Cook co-chaired the event in 2018, calling for stronger data privacy regulations in the wake of the major Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Cook will then likely take a direct flight back to California in time for Apple's media event on Monday at Steve Jobs Theater, where the company is widely expected to introduce two new services for streaming video and magazines/newspapers.


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Tim Cook Changes Twitter Name to ‘Tim Apple’ After President Trump’s Name Flub

In a meeting of the Workforce Policy Advisory Board yesterday, U.S. President Donald Trump mistakenly referred to Apple CEO Tim Cook as "Tim Apple" in a flub that quickly spread around the internet.

Cook today joined in on the fun and changed his name on Twitter from Tim Cook to "Tim ," referencing Trump's mistake.


During yesterday's meeting, Cook was sitting right next to Trump when Trump referred to him as Tim Apple and he managed to keep a straight face at the time.
"We're going to be opening up the labor forces because we have to. We have so many companies coming in. People like Tim - you're expanding all over and doing things that I really wanted you to do from the beginning. You used to say, 'Tim, you gotta start doing it here,' and you have really put a big investment in our country. We appreciate it very much, Tim Apple."
Trump's mistake went viral on Twitter, spurring endless jokes and comments, especially because it's not the first time he's done it. Last year, he introduced Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson as "Marillyn Lockheed."


Cook was at the meeting because he's a member of the Workforce Policy Advisory Board. The board was put together to make recommendations on policies to "to develop and implement a strategy to revamp the American workforce to better meet the challenges of the 21st century."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues 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.


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Hollywood Producers Say ‘Intrusive’ Apple Executives and ‘Lack of Clarity’ Impeding Original Content Efforts

Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives are getting deeply involved with the behind-the-scenes production of the company's original television shows, which are set to debut later this year. Apple has been "difficult" to deal with on the project, according to unnamed agents and producers working with Apple on its foray into streaming TV (via The New York Post).


Cook and other executives have been described as "intrusive," with the biggest complaint involving numerous notes that Apple has been sending streaming partners as they watch each show and contribute their opinion. Other sources stated there has been a "lack of transparency" and "lack of clarity" on what Apple wants throughout the process.

One agent noted that Apple has been "very involved," explaining that writers and directors typically prefer to work without heavy oversight from higher-ups in corporate. This involvement has included a repeated note sent by Cook telling producers and showrunners, "don't be so mean!" It's unclear which shows this note has been sent to, and how many.
Tim Cook is giving notes and getting involved,” said a producer who has worked with Apple. One of the CEO’s most repeated notes is “don’t be so mean!,” the source said.
Cook has visited the sets of multiple shows, including the Vancouver set of See, a futuristic science fiction show, and the Los Angeles set of the morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

In terms of the launch, Apple's nitpicking over content and technology has caused numerous delays, and content partners are said to be slightly irritated about these delays. Original rumors suggested the service would see a public launch by the spring of 2019, but now it's believed Apple won't launch its streaming TV service until summer or fall 2019, although an event on March 25 will see the public announcement of the service.

Amid all of this, one producer stated that Apple's overall goal isn't clear enough and that a lack of clarity has caused confusion among many entertainment partners.
Another frustration is that Apple also keeps moving the target on what it wants, sources said.

“They are making big changes, firing and hiring new writers. There’s a lack of clarity on what they want,” the producer said. “A lot of the product is not as good as they hoped it to be,” he said.
We've seen similarly opposing reports over the past few months, with some suggesting that Apple was looking to avoid mature content on its TV shows and others claiming that the company was on the hunt for the next Breaking Bad. Apple might be okay with mature content, as long as it has substance and isn't gratuitous, but again today The New York Post's sources suggest that Apple's notes to showrunners include keeping content suitable for families.

At the same time, it's unclear which shows these notes were given to as Apple has well over a dozen TV shows in development, with vastly different genres among each. We'll know more about Apple's streaming TV service soon enough, as the company's rumored March 25 event is three weeks from today.


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Tim Cook to Investors: Apple is Working on Future Products That Will ‘Blow You Away’

Apple held its annual investor's meeting at its Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, this morning, where Apple CEO Tim Cook shared some details on Apple's future product plans.

As outlined by Bloomberg, Cook said that Apple is "rolling the dice" on some future products that will "blow you away."


Cook went on to say that Apple's eventual goal is to be able reduce the price of the 2018 Retina MacBook Air, which currently starts at $1,200. In reference to the Apple Watch and the AirPods, Cook said there's a "long, great roadmap" of "fantastic" products on the horizon.

While Cook did not go into more detail, rumors have suggested that AirPods coming in the near future will be available in new colors (black) and will have new functionality including "Hey Siri" support and the ability to be wirelessly charged.

More ambitious products are also rumored to be in the works, including a pair of augmented reality smart glasses and perhaps even a full self-driving vehicle.

On the topic of services, Cook said Apple is well on its way towards meeting the goal it set in 2016, which was to double its $25 billion revenue by 2020. Later this month, Apple is expected to unveil two new products in the services category, including a new streaming TV service outfitted with original television shows and a new Apple News service with access to subscription news sites and magazines for a monthly fee.

Cook touched on other topics at the meeting as well, including Apple's political ideology. Shareholders soundly rejected a proposal that had suggested the ideology of board nominees should be disclosed in an effort to diversity the political opinions of Apple's board.

Cook also said that Apple is pushing for regulation against tech companies like Facebook and Google that build data profiles of their users. Cook first called for new U.S. privacy laws to protect citizens from data collection in October, but Apple has long been an advocate for customer privacy.


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Tim Cook on Health Records Privacy: ‘People Will Look at This and Feel That They Can Trust Apple’

In an NPR piece on the privacy of storing health records on the iPhone, Apple CEO Tim Cook this week said that Apple is a company that people can trust with sensitive information.


As evidence, Cook said that Apple has always avoided selling user data, something that Cook and other executives have repeated time and time again.
In an interview with NPR, Cook says acquiring user data to sell ads is something his company has avoided. "People will look at this and feel that they can trust Apple," he says. "That's a key part of anyone that you're working with on your health."
Apple executives have always pointed out that its customers are not its product, something that distinguishes Apple from other tech companies like Google and Facebook that rely heavily on user data for marketing and monetization purposes. According to Cook, Apple's privacy commitment is serious and not something that the company says just to earn customer trust.
"It's not the way we look it in terms of advantages," he says. "The reality is that I know for me, I want to do business with people that have my health data, people that I deeply trust."
Cook's statement is part of a wider look at the Health Records feature added to the iPhone last year, which is designed to allow iPhone users to see actual medical records from hospitals, clinics, and doctors right in the Health app. Apple has partnered with many different institutions for the Health Records feature, bringing easy access to health data to millions of people.

Sam Cavaliere, a tech worker who uses Health Records and was featured in the NPR article, says Apple has earned his trust. "I don't get fed advertisements for them, so I don't see them trying to monetize it," he said, going on to explain that he's "comfortable" with what Apple's doing.

UC San Diego Health's chief information officer, Dr. Chris Longhurst, also said that Apple's focus on privacy had made hospital officials feel more at ease because patient health privacy is of the utmost importance.

UCSD Health likes the fact that all record data is stored on device only and not uploaded to the cloud, something that helps to protect patients.

NPR pointed out recent news that certain health-related apps like period trackers and heart rate monitoring apps were sharing data with Facebook for targeted advertising, but Apple clarified that those apps don't, of course, connect to Health Records, which is a highly protected and restricted feature. Health app access in general can only be granted with explicit user permission.

Longhurst says that even though the Health app is well protected by Apple, there are "potential risks" and patients that use the feature should stay informed to make sure they're not inadvertently sharing health data with third parties.


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Customer Emails to Tim Cook Said to Have Helped Shape Apple Watch Development

During his time as Apple CEO, Steve Jobs was well known for personally responding to some of the customer emails he received, which has even led to some of his best replies being collected in a book.

Customers who email current Apple CEO Tim Cook also occasionally receive responses, and a CNBC report over the weekend reveals how these emails are processed and often shared with other executives within Apple.
According to people familiar with how the process works, Cook has an assistant whose job it is to read the mail, forward some to him for personal attention, and share others to a group distribution list of executives on the relevant teams. They forward the letters to their reports, and so on down the chain. Many of these "Dear Tim" letters are ultimately passed around by rank-and-file employees, according to one current and two former employees.
In an example of how customer emails can influence product decisions, the report highlights how some of these messages played a particularly influential role in the development of the Apple Watch.
After the Apple Watch launched in 2015, the company promoted a variety of features on it, including communications, entertainment, and health and fitness tracking. But then the missives started pouring in from users, describing how the device alerted them to potentially serious medical conditions and even saved lives. After this, Apple began shifting the emphasis of the watch more toward health features.
One former Apple employee reportedly described the emails as a "surprise," given that the Apple Watch wasn't developed to pick up heart-rate irregularities at the time. Another former employee said similar emails showed Apple that the device could have a more positive impact on health than anyone at the company had previously realized.

The report also goes on to note how the emails often help to maintain staff morale, especially for those employees who don't have an external-facing role and can't talk about the products they're working on. You can read the full full article here.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple CEO Tim Cook to Deliver 2019 Commencement Speech at Stanford

Apple CEO Tim Cook is set to deliver Stanford's 2019 commencement speech on Sunday, June 16, the university announced today.

Stanford chose Cook because he has been a "prominent voice on ethics in technologies and businesses," with insights into the challenges facing corporations and society today.


According to Stanford, the issues that Cook has raised "dovetail" with the Stanford "Our Vision" planning process which advocates for research on the social and ethical impact of advances in science and tech and makes sure students have the tools to "address societal and ethical impacts of science and technology."
"Tim Cook has spoken forcefully of the challenges and responsibilities confronting corporations and our society today," said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. "In tackling these, he has led with vision and values - qualities that reflect the culture of our Stanford community, and that are top-of-mind for our students and our country. Tim was a natural choice to challenge and encourage our graduates as they leave our campus and find their own paths in the world."
Cook said that he was honored to be invited to deliver the commencement address at Stanford.
"It's an honor to have been invited by Stanford's students and faculty, and I look forward to deepening the remarkable relationship that Stanford and Apple have built together over many years," Cook said. "We share so much more than geography. The passion, interests and creativity our institutions have in common have helped to revolutionize technology and reshape the world, and I can't wait to join graduates, as well as their family and friends, in celebrating the even brighter possibilities of the future."
Cook will also be delivering the keynote address to Tulane graduates at the university's 2019 commencement event, which is set to take place on May 18.

In the past, Cook has given commencement addresses at several universities, including his alma mater Auburn University, Duke University, George Washington University, and MIT.


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Tim Cook Named to President Trump’s American Workforce Policy Advisory Board

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced the 25 members of the Trump administration's new American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.


The advisory board's recommendations will help guide the National Council for the American Worker's efforts to establish a strategy to ensure that American students and workers have access to "affordable, relevant, and innovative education and job training that will equip them to compete and win in the global economy."

The board is co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and includes the following members:
  • Jay Box, President, Kentucky Community and Technical College System
  • Walter Bumphus, President & CEO, American Association of Community Colleges
  • Jim Clark, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
  • Tom Donohue, CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Juanita Duggan, President & CEO, National Federation for Independent Business
  • Elizabeth Goettl, President & CEO, Cristo Rey Network
  • Marillyn Hewson, Chairman, President, & CEO, Lockheed Martin
  • Eric Holcomb, Governor, Indiana
  • Barbara Humpton, CEO, Siemens USA
  • Al Kelly, CEO, Visa
  • Vi Lyles, Mayor, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP America
  • Sean McGarvey, President, North America’s Building and Trades Unions
  • Doug McMillon, President & CEO, Walmart
  • Craig Menear, Chairman, President, & CEO, Home Depot
  • Michael Piwowar, Executive Director, Milken Institute
  • Scott Pulsipher, President, Western Governors University
  • Kim Reynolds, Governor, Iowa
  • Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, & CEO, IBM
  • Scott Sanders, Executive Director, National Association of State Workforce Agencies
  • Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President & CEO, Society for Human Resource Management
  • Jay Timmons, President & CEO, National Association of Manufacturers
  • Sheree Utash, President, WSU Tech
  • Marianne Wanamaker, Professor, University of Tennessee
President Trump established the National Council for the American Worker in July 2018 to "create and promote workforce development strategies that provide evidence-based, affordable education and skills-based training for youth and adults to prepare them for the jobs of today and of the future."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues 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.


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Apple CEO Tim Cook Joins Coalition Renewing Push for Immigration Reform

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and others have signed a new letter urging Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that would enable more than 700,000 immigrants to legally work and live in the United States (via CNBC).


The coalition's letter to help "Dreamers" will be featured in a full-page ad in The New York Times today. The term Dreamers refers to individuals who were brought to the United States at a young age when their parents or guardians illegally immigrated into the country. Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, these people are protected and can gain legal work status in the United States.
"With the re-opening of the federal government and the presumptive restart of immigration and border security negotiations, now is the time for Congress to pass a law to provide Dreamers the certainty they need. These are our friends, neighbors, and coworkers, and they should not have to wait for court cases to be decided to determine their fate when Congress can act now," they wrote in the letter.

"We have seen time and again that the overwhelming majority of Americans of all political backgrounds agree that we should protect Dreamers from deportation," the letter said. "American employers and hundreds of thousands of Dreamers are counting on you to pass bipartisan, permanent legislative protection for Dreamers without further delay."
Apple and Tim Cook have been supporting DACA for years, and Cook began writing letters in support of the Dreamers in 2017, after President Donald Trump announced his original plan to phase out DACA over the course of six months. At the time, Cook said that 250 Apple employees are Dreamers: "I stand with them. They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values."


In early 2018, Cook joined more than 100 CEOs in a letter urging Congress to protect DACA. The cause has been renewed this week as the United States government heads into another potential shutdown this Friday.

Apple has spent increasing amounts of money lobbying the Trump Administration, in 2018 alone spending $6.6 million and in 2017 spending $7.1 million. Apple's lobbying increased significantly after Trump took office, with the company spending more than ever before to influence the current government on issues such as privacy, education, climate change, trade, immigration, tax reform, and patent reform.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues 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.


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Apple CEO Tim Cook to Deliver Commencement Speech to Tulane Graduates in May

Apple CEO Tim Cook is set to deliver the keynote address to Tulane graduates at the university's 2019 commencement event, set to take place on May 18 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the university announced today.

Tulane University shared the news with students through a cute video that spelled out Cook's visit in emoji.

Tulane President Mike Fitts said that Cook represents the "kind of success" that the university hopes that all graduates can attain.
"At Tulane, we are committed to addressing global challenges, giving back to our community and always acting with integrity and wisdom. Tim shows us how we can incorporate these values into life beyond graduation, and we are thrilled to have him as part of our commencement celebration."
Cook said that he "can't wait" to celebrate alongside new Tulane graduates later this year.
"Tulane's dedication to its students and the diverse community around them is an awesome example of the lessons we all learn when we come together, recognize our responsibilities to each other and give back," said Cook. "At Apple we believe that education is a powerful equalizing force, and I can't wait to celebrate alongside this year's students who have worked hard, followed their passions and who stand ready to change the world."
Cook has given commencement addresses at multiple universities over the years, including his alma mater Auburn University, Duke University, George Washington University, and MIT.


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