Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Birmingham, Alabama yesterday, and while there, he did an interview with Fox Business. Portions of the interview where Cook discussed the coronavirus were shared yesterday, but now the entire 10 minute interview has been released.
Expanding on his comments about the coronavirus, Cook says that things are progressing as expected in terms of “bringing things back,” but it will take some time. “By and large, I think this is a temporary condition, not a long-term kind of thing. Apple is fundamentally strong, and that’s how I see it,” Cook said.
Cook said that he’s not sure whether the coronavirus will continue to have an impact on Apple’s sales beyond the March quarter. “We’re still in February and there’s reason for optimism, but we’ll see,” he said. Focus has shifted from China to South Korea and Italy, and Cook said he believes it’s important to see “what happens there and whether something new comes out of that.”
On the topic of stock fluctuations due to the coronavirus, Cook had this to say:
I don’t really focus on the short term in relation to the market. I think for me, and the way we run the company, we work towards the long-term and I see no long-term difference between what was happening four weeks ago versus what’s happening today.
The market takes time to recognize that and so forth. It’s going to do what it’s going to do, and I’m the last person to be able to predict it. For me, yeah, I look through that. Look through the noise and concentrate on the future. And the future looks very bright.
Cook was asked whether Apple is working to move more of its supply chain outside of China, and Cook said, as he often does, that Apple devices have components from around the world. In China specifically, Cook said Apple focuses on the resilience of the supply chain, not the disaster itself.
The question for us after we get on the other side will be ‘Was the resilience there or not, and do we need to make some changes?’ My perspective sitting here today is that if there are changes, you’re talking about adjusting some knobs, not some kind of wholesale fundamental change.
Cook also talked about how he manages his relationship with Donald Trump and whether his efforts to engage with the Trump campaign have caused employee backlash.
I try to do what I say and say what I do. My perspective is engagement is always best because just standing on the sideline and yelling doesn’t accomplish anything but polarization.
I want to suit up and play a role, and if I disagree on something I want to try and influence it. If I agree on something, I want to try to amplify and figure out some way I can be a great citizen of the country. That is my perspective on things and the way we try to lead the company.
Cook touched on a few other topics of discussion, such as Apple’s plans to open retail stores in India and Apple’s focus on policy. The full interview can be watched over on Fox Business.
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