Cook on Apple’s New Products: ‘People Love Surprises’

Tim Cook

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook recently spoke with ABC News reporter David Muir to discuss the thirtieth anniversary of the company’s Mac product line. Although the full interview won’t air until Friday night on World News with Diane Sawyer, ABC has already shown a teaser clip of the interview on Good Morning America and posted it to the ABC News website.

Cook was accompanied in the interview by SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi and VP of Software Technology Bud Tribble. Tribble was a manager of the original Macintosh Software team and helped to design the Mac OS and user interface. In the clip, ABC News noted that the original Macintosh was introduced with a “groundbreaking” ad that also started the trend of airing big-budget commercials during the Super Bowl. The “1984” Macintosh commercial alluded to George Orwell’s novel of the same name and was directed by Ridley Scott.

Although Muir asked several pointed questions about the possibility of a large-screen iPhone and the use of sapphire glass, Cook appeared to offer few clues about Apple’s upcoming product plans. “We believe fundamentally that people love surprises,” stated Cook.

The Apple CEO noted that the company takes extreme measures to keep its projects secret. “Yes, there’s black drapes and numerous locked doors and many other things,” said Cook. He also confirmed that there are “employees who can’t even tell their families at home what they’re working on.”

Muir also asked Cook about Apple’s decision to manufacture the new Mac Pro in Austin, Texas. “It’s a big deal but we think we can do more and announced a huge investment in Arizona,” stated Cook. “We haven’t said what it’s for.”

Apple recently entered into a partnership with sapphire maker GT Advanced Technologies (or, GTAT). As part of the deal, Apple provided GT Advanced Technologies with a $578 million prepayment. Sapphire glass is an extremely hard and scratch-resistant material that is currently used as a protective cover for the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and the iPhone’s camera lens. “It’s the sapphire announcement and that’s all I’ll say about it,” said Cook.

Although Muir tried to get Cook to reveal when the sapphire would be manufactured and if it would be used for a larger-screen iPhone, the tightlipped Apple CEO refused to divulge any more information. Cook deflected Muir’s questions by joking that the sapphire was intended for a “ring.” As noted by Apple Insider, this may have been a reference to a rumor from last year that Apple was developing a ring-shaped remote control for a television set.

Besides cracking jokes about product rumors, Cook also revealed that he is a “workaholic” who gets up at 3:45 a.m. every morning for the “privilege” of reading hundreds of emails from Apple users. “I get probably seven or eight hundred and I read the majority of those,” Cook told ABC News. “Every day.”

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