Apple CEO Tim Cook is likely riding high on news today that pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus -- despite a seemingly botched rollout process -- have thus far shattered all previous sales records.
All told, after 24 hours, 4 million units have already been spoken for -- a number so far exceeding supply that many devices won’t be delivered until next month, Apple said.
By comparison, Apple said 24-hour pre-orders for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c topped two million units last year, with a total of nine million ultimately sold within their first weekend on shelves. It remains to be seen how the company’s sixth-generation phones will perform in this respect when they arrive in stores on Friday.
And while many have questioned whether Cook would ever fill the shoes of his storied predecessor, Steve Jobs, these numbers seem to point in an encouraging direction.
Ahead of the release of the new phones, Cook sat down for an interview with television host Charlie Rose to discuss Apple’s new product arsenal and beyond. Here are five of the most interesting things he shared.
1. Simplicity is king. “Despite this table being so small that you and I are sitting at,” Cook told Rose, “you could put every Apple product on it, and yet this year our revenues will be approximately $180 billion.” This represents a highly articulate edit that would seem to contradict the fact that, as they grow, companies tend to cultivate larger portfolios, Cook noted.
Which is not to say that Apple doesn’t have a whole host of new launches coming down the pike -- including some products that haven’t even been rumored about yet, Cook said.
2. Steve Jobs’ fourth-floor office remains untouched. While memories of Jobs remain deep in Cook’s heart and deep within Apple’s corporate DNA, Jobs’ office also remains exactly as he left it prior to his death, Cook said -- with the setup still intact and his name still on the door.
3. TV remains an area of ‘great interest.’ “If we’re really honest, it’s stuck back in the '70s,” Cook says of the medium -- particularly given the ways in which comparable technologies have evolved. “When you go in your living room to watch the TV, it almost feels like you’re rewinding the clock and you’ve entered a time capsule and you’re going backwards. The interface is terrible!”
“So why don’t you fix that?” Rose asked -- whereupon Cook assured him that Apple TV, at 20 million users and counting, continues to exceed the ‘hobby’ label that the company initially placed on the category.
4. He has his sights set on one chief competitor. And it’s Google. While Samsung may be one of the best hardware manufacturers of devices that run Android -- and one of the forerunners of larger cell phone screen sizes -- Cook said that Google, as the maker of Android, ultimately “enables” this success.
Cook also said he sees companies like Facebook and Twitter as partners rather than competitors. Both are baked into iOS, and Apple has no plans to enter the social networking business. And even though Amazon launched a phone -- “you don’t see it in a lot of places,” Cook said -- as well as some tablets, it’s not ultimately a ‘product company’ in the same vein as Apple.
5. Cook is forging his own path. When Jobs tapped him as his successor, Cook describes a reaction of utter shock. “Honestly, I didn’t see it coming. You can say I was in denial or whatever, but I thought Steve was getting better, and I guess at the end of the day, I always thought he would bounce. He always had.”
Nevertheless, in taking on his new role, Cook has never sought to make decisions by channeling Jobs. “He knew when he chose me that I wasn’t like him.” This, in turn, has led to a more “open” environment at Apple, Cook acknowledges, including the company’s recent team-up with IBM as well as its acquisition of Beats.
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