In India For Next 1000 Years, Apple's Tim Cook Tells NDTV: Full Transcript

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In India For Next 1000 Years, Apple's Tim Cook Tells NDTV: Full Transcript

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Apple chief Tim Cook with NDTV's Vikram Chandra in an exclusive interview.

Gurgaon: 

Highlights

  1. Apple CEO Tim Cook is currently on his first official visit to India
  2. Seeing declining sales elsewhere, Apple is focusing on markets like India
  3. India has a bright future, we would like to be a part of it, he said
Apple CEO Tim Cook is on his first official visit to India. His visit comes at a crucial time when the US-based firm is focusing on new growth markets like India after posting its first-ever decline in iPhone sales.

Following is the full transcript of the Apple chief's exclusive interview to NDTV's Vikram Chandra:

NDTV: Hello and welcome, it's such a pleasure to have with us Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple and it's wonderful to have you in India

Tim Cook: It's incredible for me to be here

NDTV: How have you been enjoying your discovery of India?

Tim Cook: You know I came here to learn about the people and the culture and how business is done and what people are interested in and their hopes and aspirations. I'm leaving with more knowledge, with all of those and there's still so much to learn, but the thing that has hit me the most is the warmth of the people. I instantly felt like I belong here and was a part of the community and that is so uniquely India.

NDTV: You have experienced some of India's key religions; you went to a temple; you met Bollywood and you went to a cricket match

Tim Cook: I did

NDTV: Do you by now know the difference between deep fine leg and deep square leg?

Tim Cook: I'm not sure I know it all but I found it to be unbelievably exciting, watching the game, you can feel so much energy there, so much enthusiasm, I loved it and I'm totally hooked on to it

NDTV: It wasn't necessarily the most exciting match, the one that you saw

Tim Cook: But it was for me and with the crowd being into it so much, it was something really special

NDTV: You still have some time and you are going to be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, what would you describe in addition to getting to know India? What were the key items in your agenda?

Tim Cook: I wanted to understand from our point of view, I wanted to understand the infrastructure and the role of 4G. We think this is really critical to the progress of the country and it's also critical in terms of bringing out the life of iphone and really doing things you couldn't do before. And I'm leaving very encouraged with what I've heard. I think there is going to be a massive change in the usefulness of the solar networks over the next several months and across the years, so this is the one key thing I've gotten

NDTV: So when you're talking to the telecom operators as you are, are you really asking them about ruling out LTE faster or are you perhaps even telling them how about selling you know, apple products?

Tim Cook: Yes, I'm doing both. It's the truth and as you know it's difficult for an operator here, to sell the product themselves because of the tax structure, so usually it's the retailer that does that. And so the conversations are primarily around the service and the rollouts of the 4G. But we've has some interesting discussions about a number of different alternatives

NDTV: And when you are talking to the government here, is it about the Apple stores?

Tim Cook: You know we have taken a step back on India and are looking at India holistically. And number one what we see here in talent, the talents of the Indian people are unbelievable. And for us that means getting the developer community moving on iOS. We are also utilising a lot of skills in India for maps. We are also looking at India from a number of other points of view like Apple retail, we see a future for Apple retail in India and we are not just looking at one area but expanding it. Look at the mini and I found the government to be really receptive on the issue that you are raising, on it's like a new phone because it has a warranty for a new phone and yes we would like to do it here, we do it in the US, we do it in Japan. We do it in many different parts of the world

NDTV: But maybe one way of getting that is to suggest to the government that maybe a pre-owned laptop or computer can be used for underprivileged children, supply it to schools, As Apple did once in the United States
 
Tim Cook:
Yes and as you know we are doing that some of that in India as well and I think anything that gets more of Apple technology accessible for more people is really good for the country

NDTV: The Apple Store question, that I will ask in more detail later, but is that more or less a done deal now that you will be able to get Apple Stores into the country?
 
Tim Cook:
It's not a done deal yet, we have applied for the right to do that and we're working closely with the government and I'm really optimistic about it. But we have not been given the green light yet
 
NDTV:
Alright and the investment that people keep wondering, are you going to be coming here and making big investments in anything, investing in companies, setting up factories like you've done in China in the past, is that something that is still being thought of?

Tim Cook: Well we're really doing that and so as a part of this trip the maps facility will be several hundred million dollars of work and of course the investment in the accelerator in cell phone apps is a major investment. So all of these things add up to a significant amount of economic activity
 
NDTV:
I will now try and take you in detail to some of the issues that we've touched upon and I want to ask first, with the key premise of Apple products anywhere in the world, which is the user interface that's what you build the entire company on, you should be able to pick up that device and that should have a magical interface. In India, it doesn't always work. If you were to take out a brand new iphone and if you were to see the brand new icons on the home screen, many of them may not necessarily work, either because of poor signals or because things like ibooks doesn't work in India; Applepay doesn't work in India, passport wouldn't work, How could you solve that problem?
 
Tim Cook:
There's a story behind each one of those and so let me try and answer detail wise because that's important with what you've asked. So in terms of the signal quality, I do truly believe after spending a week here, that you are going to see a significant 4G and 4G coverage and I think that many people who today can't do simple things like watching a video on their phone, they will be able to do that by, in the next several months. I believe there is going to be a massive improvement there. In terms of Applepay, looking at what to do there, we want to bring Applepay in India. We've met some of the banks to understand their perspective on mobile payment and I think there is an interesting opportunity there and I'm very encouraged with what I have heard. So we want to bring every service that we do to India. Every one. And also we want to deeply understand the market here and if there is something unique that's needed, we also want to do that and so we are about making the best products in the world that enrich people's lives and we are not going to rest until we do that on a plus way

NDTV: So I guess the question that leads up to is that if you do want to control the user experience from end to end, that's been Apple's philosophy, do you think it's time that Apple started to look at India from a slightly strategic point of view, to try and figure out what are the specific products that might actually work in India and you actually might have products that are designed for India? This is after all your key market

Tim Cook: Yes and that's a part of what we are doing is that we are taking a step back in evaluating everything that we do relative to India. And you can probably see from that we are looking at India from a government point of view and what the government is interested in. We are looking at it from a cultural point of view; we are looking at media and how people are consuming media and entertainment; we are looking at different services that people use; we are looking at 4G; we are looking at how we can tap in to the huge technical talent that's here

NDTV: So when you are looking at India and its plans, how big is it and is it really, because the China story for you isn't necessarily going well for you, this is the one big billion opportunity for you?

Tim Cook: It has nothing to do with China
 
NDTV:
But you are slowing in China....

Tim Cook: We slowed last quarter and so let's put it in some context. Last year Apple did 59 billion dollars worth of business in China and this is a big number for a company to do. But India, India is different than China. India is a different place and we are going into India very humbly. We've been selling here for a while as you know, but we are taking a step back in viewing India strategically and I do believe that the reforms that are going in India, means that India has an enormously bright future and we would like to be a part of that and we plan to be

NDTV: So what would be, if you were to say, if you were to look at the next decade for Apple, if you had to say your top 4 or 5 priorities for Apple, would you say India would be one of them really strategically?

Tim Cook: Yes, you've heard me say that on certain public things, absolutely, we are putting enormous energy in here and we are not here for a quarter or two quarters or the next quarter or the next year to next year, we are here for thousand years and so we're not about making the most, we're about making the best and so those combinations of those things, of thinking for the long term and never lowering the bar on best, those are the things we are about

NDTV: So if I could give you a personal anecdote of about how you are planning to think about Apple in India. I perhaps was one of the first people who got back a Mac into the country when I came back from Stanford, 1991 and I can't tell you the struggle it was, because for Apple India didn't exist and within India, if you had a Mac, people wouldn't know what that was and you said you can use it for x or y and z, people didn't know what it was. So India was a black hole for Apple. Then Apple started to say yes, India is important, but from a sales and a marketing point of view, and that perhaps is still what you've done till now. Does your visit signal a shift in that, that it is not just about sales and marketing but a strategic view?

Tim Cook: Yes, absolutely. Now, let me correct one thing or at least from my point of view, we haven't just viewed India for sales and marketing before, but we are clearly taking a step back. We are clearly viewing India as much more strategic. We are looking at it through a global lens and everything that we can do with India that may also serve the rest of the world, and I'm so optimistic with the conversations I have had with the people I have met

NDTV: So if I could just go through some of the suggestions that you might perhaps be looking at and I'm sure you've had these discussions and I just want to get your take on them. So let's just look at sales and marketing. Just to start off with pick marketing. Now many of the countries which have been particularly successful in India have always Indianized themselves, they have almost become Indian companies. If you go out and ask people, Samsung, LG, BATA, they'll say these are all Indian companies even if they are not. If you look at Amazon's ads, they are saying "We Indians", that's what they are doing. But yesterday if you were to watch one of the Apple's ads in India, you've got, it's a very nice ad about the Muppet cooking chocolate chip cookies and asking Siri to...

Tim Cook: The cookie monster

NDTV: The cookie monster, it's wonderful, but the question is does that really have affinity with India? Do you need to Indianize to a greater extent?

Tim Cook: We have to thoroughly understand the market and but let me just differentiate for a minute. I don't believe personally in trying to be someone you are not and I think we are what we are. We are a California company and it's important for us to be a California company in India or in France or in China, in US or the southern part of the US. But that doesn't mean not understanding and not listening to the local market and so we want to provide the best products in India for the Indian consumers and that clearly means having a deep knowledge and communicating in a way that makes sense; and perhaps the cookie monster is not the best example of that

NDTV: Okay, so right, marketing is one thing and then again the creation of the ecosystem, which is the second part of it which helps through the marketing, because your ecosystem in India is not as great as it could be and it should be and so discoverability becomes a big problem for somebody who is not familiar with the device and they pick it up. They don't necessarily have an access to the full ecosystem, whether it's a Spotify, whether there are other things that you are probably very familiar, finding ways of doing it in the US, that ecosystem completely doesn't exist right now

Tim Cook: Yes, I realized that and that will change. Whether you look at Apple music, adding more local music or you think about Applepay, we want it to be here and we want it to be here and be important in the country. And so all of these things have a focus, they are part of making the best products and that has our top attention

NDTV: So one of the issues that comes up with that is, and that leads to the sales part of it and the pricing part of it, which I'm sure you spent a lot of time to try and think it through. The problem is really this, when you are trying to sell an iphone in India and somebody picks up that phone, it's expensive even in dollar term it's expensive, because you have taxes in India and then you don't necessarily have all of the functionality that you would in the US. So you have got an iphone here which is more expensive than it is in the US, with less functionality that it would have in the US and you know in a country where purchasing power is a fraction of what it is in the US, and that sets up a problem for you of being able to scale it?

Tim Cook: Yes, the challenge there is that the duties and the taxes and sort of the compounding of those takes a price and it makes it very high. Our profitability is less in India, materially less, but still I recognize the prices are high. We want to do things to lower that over time to the degree that we can, and so we're looking at a number of different things. What we wouldn't do is lower our quality bar. And so we are only going to make a product that we think is a great product, and that means we aren't going to compete in some of the other price bands and I don't think that's what people want from Apple though. We've never been about making the most

NDTV: Yes, you could either make that user experience perfect or compete on prices. And the problem with competing on prices is, of course, that your profit margins begin to erode further. And that must be what a lot of people are asking you, could you ever come in and compete with Android phones at the twelve thousand rupees or fifteen thousand rupees price band?

Tim Cook: Again, we're about making the best and that means we're not going to play in some of these other price points. We would never make a product that we're not proud of. And so I would not want to be in those markets, I don't have the desire to be in those. What I want is, I want really, the consumer in India to be able to buy at a price that looks like the US price, That would be my objective and I want the user experience to have all the services

NDTV: Right.

Tim Cook: And I want to make sure that if there is something very unique in the country. That I've realized and thought through that in the product and the user experience

NDTV: So is it possible, and I'm going to put you on the spot right here, is it possible that one year, two years from now you could be coming back to India, going on the stage and saying "and one more thing here is an India phone, here is a product that is designed for a country like India, the price point that works for India, with a user experience baked into it, which is as good as anybody would be able to experience"? Is that something that you would ever consider?

Tim Cook: We never talk about the future, as you know, we just don't get into it. But conceptually what we found around the world is that there are lots of people around the world that do want the best product. And so we haven't found a great need to change the hardware, we have found a great need to understand the services that people are using and make sure those are integrated in a different way. And I think we can do a much better job in India on that

NDTV: But you know every country is different and I'll tell you one area in which India is particularly different, which I'm sure you're already keeping in mind, is that you are going to see a massive surge in Internet penetration in India. You're going to get four hundred million fresh people who are all going to suddenly come on and get devices; they're all going to be connected to the Internet. But and it's a big but, the next four hundred million are very different to the people who are on the Internet right now. For starters, most of them probably don't speak English. Most of them are vernacular speaking. They are in Hindi; they're in Tamil; they're in Telugu. And they now are going to be having to open your boxes and find a device that now makes sense for them. It's actually a great opportunity as well  

Tim Cook: Oh I think it's a great opportunity, and keep in mind at our core we're about simplicity, we're about taking the complexity and the technology and bringing it to the background and making the technology empower you to do things you haven't done before. It's about how you feel, how it makes you feel. We are perfect for that next four hundred million. We are the perfect company, because you don't need to open an instruction manual to know how to use an iphone. And we're going to continue to make that just better and better and better over time

NDTV: And is that, how do you deal with different languages in India? Is that something that you've also been considering?
 
Tim Cook:
Oh absolutely, it is something that we are considering
 
NDTV:
Because the other aspect of that which I'm sure must be causing you a certain amount of concern, if actually Apple wants India to drive growth, there are two India's; there's a certain section of slightly affluent people, more westernized, English speaking, you're probably already saturated in that market. It's not materially different to Apple's penetration elsewhere. Your big opportunity and the billion persons opportunity is in those other four hundred, which is a different market

Tim Cook: I want to serve both groups, and all the other groups, better. And again, best products to people that enrich their lives, that's what we're about regardless of which kind of segment they are in

NDTV: Alright, can I just move now to the retail experience, which is something else that is very high on your agenda, the Apple Stores and how and when they're going to be coming out here. That's again crucial, because again you've been very keen, take it back to 2000 when you were first coming up with the Apple Stores, your whole point was that I shouldn't have Macs sitting on a table between two PC's and an uninformed clerk trying to compare them on their specifications. Actually in India right now you ought to go hundred yards from here, that's probably what you would find. You will find Macs inbetween others and an uninformed clerk saying, "well you know you can do this and you can't do this. This, this has this chip". The Apple Store is probably important for you

Tim Cook: It is, it's not the only way that we will go to market, because India is a huge country and you want to be around where people are. So we'll have a multi-channel kind of approach, we'll have our APR's, authorized premium resellers, and these are very nice mono-branded and they have been trained by Apple, they have a look and feel that we spent a lot of time on. I just went in one this morning and I was very happy with what I saw there. And then we'll be in other shops too, but we're placing increasing impulses on training and making sure that people that are in the different channel spots really understand what our products will do

NDTV: Do you think that you perhaps might need more evangelizers in India as you did when you were starting off with the Mac and other things, because sometimes in India that realization isn't completely there? I've had people come up to me frequently and say "you can't really use a Mac in an office space." Actually you can, but you need to have somebody getting that message across
 
Tim Cook:
Yes, I think just communicating very clearly and very often and very frequently and then an understanding why people have those perceptions. And there's nothing like having customers that are using your product telling their neighbours naturally, that  "hey you should own a Mac or you should own an iphone or an ipad". That is the best marketing, word of mouth that you can never get and it's free in a way, but it's the most authentic kind of marketing  

NDTV: But one of the other places where an Apple Store potentially helps you a lot is and you know we've been asking for the last couple of days, we've been asking people on Twitter and other forums, send in questions for Tim Cook and we've been deluged by them. I think one of the top items other than pricing, which you had probably been expecting, "why are they so expensive?"; the other question that  people keep on asking is  about servicing. How do we get our products serviced? Now again in the US it's so simple. If your iphone isn't working you walk into an Apple Store, you say this doesn't work, they take it away, they give you a new phone and they say go. It's as simple as that. In India you will really, really struggle  

Tim Cook: Today we use an authorized service provider kind of approach in India and you can bet that we're working on continuing to improve that, so that it's very clear and very simple to get your product serviced, or get your questions answered

NDTV: And that is some thing, which you could further, a simple one touch, one call and you'll take care of it   

Tim Cook: Yes, that's convenient

NDTV: And raise it to the level of control like in the US that if something is not working then just change it?

Tim Cook: Our objective is to have our authorized chain panels have the same level of services as in an Apple Store. That's our objective. We don't always hit to that level but we're always working to pull them up

NDTV: The other question again on Twitter, that is after servicing and price, was accessories, which people were finding terribly expensive in India, I mean the products are whatever they are, the accessories is another place that they struggle with.  And that's where I think a lot of third party grey market things I would say are starting to get used. Which could be a danger for you because sometimes you know if you've got an unauthorized cord, it could burn out the phone              

Tim Cook: Yes I noticed some of that this morning, not that particular one but I noticed actually that the selection of accessories wasn't robust from the things that we offer and we want to make sure that we're providing those for people that want them. So it's clear we need to up our game there

NDTV: On the question of 'Make in India', which I can assure you the Prime Minister is going to be talking to you about at great length, "When are you putting factories in here? When are you starting to manufacture?" What would be some of the things you'll be thinking about?

Tim Cook: We're looking at what we could do there. We're definitely thinking about it. We're working right now on the certified pre-owned area. And that would provide a level of manufacturing because you bring those products back to a new level. And honestly we would look at expanding that as well  
 
NDTV:
If I could just understand that a bit better. Are you saying that that process would happen in India?  Pre-owned phones can be certified?
 
Tim Cook
: Yes, we want to do that here

NDTV: So the charges that people are going to be making about that programme, which is the charge that's come, that Apple's just dumping new phones in India. You're saying that's not quite what's happening? You're going to do the refurbishment process here?

Tim Cook: First of all we would never 'dump' anything, this in virtually all countries in the world we have a process by which a phone that's been used by the first owner or is taken back and made to be new, if you will, and a warranty is placed on that, just like a warranty for a new phone. And it's sold for a more affordable price and that happens in several countries. What we want to do is do the act of bringing it back to this pristine level, we want to do that in India for the Indian market. We may have to bring in some phones from other markets in order to fuel the supply chain if you will. But the act of bringing them to pristine conditions, we want to do that in this country

NDTV: Okay, that's something big and something which I'm not sure is completely understood out here  

Tim Cook: Interesting, I'm glad you pointed that out

NDTV: If that's what you're planning to do, that's the other thing that also helps you with the price point, because you can then start offering not just phone's that have been brought back to pristine condition, but also, to use your words, but also to lease iphones. You do that in other countries but you can, instead of buying a phone, you lease it for 12-24 months and then allow it to be passed on

Tim Cook: That's right, and that's becoming a more popular way to buy a phone, because a lot of people said that you know, "I know I want a phone every other year and so I'm just going to lease this   and at the end of the lease I'm going to turn the other one back in and get a new one". And having an easy process to do that is something that we're working on, we have that in several other countries but not here yet

NDTV: One of the other things that, I don't know if you're considering, it's again something that has been spoken about, is just having a big   factory somewhere in India, which is going to be manufacturing iphones, like you do in China, like you used to do in Taiwan. Is that something that's on the agenda or do other things need to be fixed?

Tim Cook: It's something that we look at, it's not something that we have a plan to do at this point, but it's something that we constantly think about

NDTV: Why would you hesitate? The infrastructure's not good enough, because of the supply chain?

Tim Cook: Because we think that the place to start is the certified pre-owned and then use that experience to take an additional stand.

NDTV: Alright, I just want to come to now some broader questions;  stepping away from India for a while

Tim Cook: Sure

NDTV: You personally have probably taken what many would have called one of the most difficult things there were to do, which is to  step into the shoes of somebody like Steve Jobs. I know you've been asked this question probably a billion times before, please bear with me if I'm asking it again, did that ever daunt you at that point?

Tim Cook: You know when that all happened I was more thinking about the loss of a great friend and also thinking about how I could quickly help Apple through the loss of Steve. And so I never stopped to think about 'this is daunting', it's just not how my mind works. I'm a very optimistic guy and so I always think that there's a solution for everything. It's just a matter of whether you try hard enough or think about it deeply enough. And so that's the kind of spirit I brought into it. And Steve did me an incredible thing in terms of lifting a burden when he told me to never think about what he would do, to just do what was right and I think that really helped me mentally through it

NDTV: He said do what you think is correct?

Tim Cook: To do what I thought was right, don't ever think about what I would do. Because he saw that happening at Disney, when Walt Disney passed away and felt like it resulted in a sort of paralysis where people would sit around and argue about what Walt would have done, instead of thinking about where they should go in the future. And so I've honoured that and never done it

NDTV: Has that voice never come to you? For example when you launched the pencil and you know what Steve said,' if you see a stylus they blew it', when you launched that pencil?

Tim Cook: Well we launched a pencil not a stylus, first of all, and there's a big difference and the things that people are doing with this pencil, I think that Steve would have loved. He loved to help people create. And if you've ever seen what can be created on an iphone or an ipad with that pencil is really unbelievable. You should really show some of these to your audience

NDTV: We'd be happy, we've sort of been sketching and using it in many of our shows. Did Steve ever mention India to you? Because we do feel after all that emotional connect here was here for a long, long time, the one book Autobiography of a Yogi that he used to carry with him on his ipad everywhere
 
Tim Cook:
Yes, he did, he told me that in his early days he went to India for inspiration and when he was looking for sense of purpose and that it really helped him and helped him throughout his whole life. And one time he told me he wanted to show me one of his favourite movies and it was the Gandhi movie and so I think that lived with him, that affinity lived with him for a lifetime

NDTV: You of course made your own changes in Apple since then, like you've done things like dividends for example, philanthropy is something that you've got into very impressively, maybe some people say that it's a gentler and kinder Apple in some ways. Acquisitions you're thinking about, you have made those changes on your own. Are there other changes that you might have also been considering?

Tim Cook: You know Apple always changed. We have never gotten so wedded to something other than our mission, other than our North Star, which is making the best products that enrich people's lives. So other than that everything can move around it. And so those are some of the things that moved. And I think they're all very important for Apple

NDTV: One of the aspects of your mission has always been that we're going to create things that you don't even know you really need until we've given it to you. So we're all trying to figure out what the next one is, and my personal question on that one is, are you going to be moving into the living room aggressively or are you going to be moving into the garage aggressively?

Tim Cook: You know I'm not going to answer that but...

NDTV: But it's my job to try and my guess would be the latter  

Tim Cook: Let me talk about the living room for a minute though, the living room, we have an Apple TV product there

NDTV: But not the actual TV yet

Tim Cook: We don't have a TV but we have an Apple TV, which allows you to experience the app ecosystem on a big screen and there are some fantastic things that are being developed. They've already come out and you can obviously enjoy media in that way, from a number of different companies. And we believe that apps are the future of television. And so we're out looking at a whole bunch of ways about how we can further accelerate that move, which we think is great for people. And in terms of the garage, we have today a product called Garage Play and that brings the iphone experience to your car. People have told us that they get so frustrated when they are in their car because the user experience isn't good. They love the engine, they love the driving, but they don't love the user experience. So we've tried to do that as well

NDTV: So that's the Car Play but not the car yet? I'm pushing.  An obvious opportunity for you now for the living room is just having ways of streaming music. You already have Apple Music but I keep wondering why you don't buy over a company like Sonos for example, it even looks like an Apple product?

Tim Cook: One of the things I enjoy doing on Apple TV actually is using Apple Music on Apple TV because I can just use the Siri remote and say "play one of my favourite songs" like "play a One Republic song" or one of my favourite artists. And it's just like that. That way you are utilizing whatever speaker system you have set up for your TV

NDTV: The last question or two to try to get the next big Apple product out of you, hybrids? Because actually if you go back to Apple's history, I think with Bob Runner and Operation Juggernaut and looking at various hybrids, that might be the firm factor going forward

Tim Cook: Yes, you know, I don't really have much to say there. The ipad Pro had been very well received, and what does the ipad Pro do? It allows the elegantness of the tablet and the intimacy that you have when you can hold the content so close. But with both the pencil and the keyboard you can really do an incredible amount of professional work on there as well. So you can do a lot of creation and we see the ipad Pro taking off in businesses

NDTV: Okay, alright, I promise I'm going to end that because Apple is entitled to its privacy on what it is about to develop, so I'm not going to ask you further. I'm not even going to ask you what the iphone7 is going to look like, so I'm going to take no comment as an answer for that. Talking about privacy, that's another area that you have been directly involved in. You've really stood up to the FBI and what made you do that on the unlocking of the iphones?
 
Tim Cook:
We stood up for our customers, what they were asking us to do was to create a new operating system, that removed the security control, password control, so they asked us to take that out. This is just wrong. We shouldn't develop such a thing. With technology you can do so many things. So we felt what they were asking us to do wasn't good for anyone, for anyone in any country of the world and so we stood up and it was very uncomfortable when your government is coming at you. It is not a comfortable thing, but we stood up for our customers because we believe that our customers expect us to help them secure their data, just like you mentioned the point where people have products and they need to have a single point of view, you shouldn't have to have a computer science to agree to protect your data. Companies like Apple should have do that, so we feel an enormous responsibility to make sure that's easy for people

NDTV: The flipside of that is that people will say yes, but what if terrorists are using it and lives get lost?

Tim Cook: I realize that is the narrative of the people. I do not buy that narrative. This is about security versus security. Because think about the data security and what it has in it, your phone knows where you are, it might know where your kids are, and so protecting that device is also about personal safety and so those people are not telling the truth
 
NDTV:
So when you have somebody like Donald Trump saying that boycott the Apple products does that get your concern?

Tim Cook: The Presidential elections, lots of things happen in it. I don't pay much attention to that kind of thing. I think people, when they heard why we were doing what we were doing, understood it and even for the number who still didn't agree, they knew that we took a principled position and they could see the rationale for it
 
NDTV:
Alright, so on this entire question of big tech corporations getting too much of power, that's something else which is being spoken about, the amount of power that Apple has, Facebook has, Google has, Amazon has. Is that something, which you think the rest of the world should be worried about?
 
Tim Cook:
I can only speak for Apple, and we don't view ourselves as powerful. We are about empowering other people. We are about making our customers powerful. That's what our jobs are, we provide power for other people and that's how I feel. I can't speak for the other companies

NDTV: If you had one question to ask Siri in India, what would it be?
 
Tim Cook:
One question for Siri? I would ask when will traffic go away? It is so hard here to get around  

NDTV: Tim Cook it's been an absolute pleasure speaking with you

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