NEWS: 05.10.19- Apple, Inc. has been referred to as a tech company for most of the 21st century as a maker of not just computer hardware and software but other gadgets from MP3 players to smartphones and tablets, however, things may be changing if certain words recently uttered by its chief executive officer are to become the new way, moving forward, to describe the Silicon Valley giant that created the Mac.
In an interview earlier this week with Becky Quick, co-anchor of the daily program “Squawk Box” on CNBC (broadcast Monday through Friday from 6:00 to 9:00 AM ET), Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about various topics, among them, consumer privacy and his company’s mission.
Of particular note, though, was Cook’s discussion in relation to one of the Cupertino, California-based tech company’s largest shareholders, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.
Asked by Quick on how he felt when he first learned that Buffett had invested stock in Apple, Cooke responded:
“This is really cool! Warren Buffett is investing in Apple! You know, we welcome all shareholders but we run a company for the long term and so the fact that we’ve got the ultimate long term investor in the stock is incredible ’cause our interests are aligned.”
“It seemed like a recognition in a way, like an honor, a privilege, and I don’t mean that in a lighthearted kind of way,” said Cook.
“I mean, wow, it’s Warren Buffett investing in the company! And so it felt great, I think, for the whole company because we knew that he didn’t — he’s been very clear he didn’t — invest in technology companies, in companies he didn’t understand. He’s been totally clear with that. So he obviously views Apple as a consumer company, in a different kind of way, and I think that’s really special.”
That point — Apple as a consumer company versus a tech company — was a topic the television journalist was quick (no pun intended) to follow up on and asked Cook how he felt about that to which he said:
“We’re in the tech industry but we work at that intersection of technology and the liberal arts and the humanities. We make products for people so the consumer is at the center of what we do and so I love the fact that he looks at us like that because we want consumers to look at us like that.”
“We believe that technology should be in the background not the foreground and that technology should empower people to do things and help them do things they couldn’t do otherwise,” said Cook.
“But, if things appear as technology, they’re not used very much. They are for other people, not for all of us. So I love the fact that he looks at it like that.”
Further into Quick’s interview with Cook, she delved into the topic of debates within his company to which he talked about Apple entering the watch space with, of course, the Apple Watch, a perfect example of what he had discussed previously in regard to technology being in the background and empowering the consumer.
The comments made by Cook came on Monday at the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting for 2019 held in Omaha, Nebraska which kicked off last weekend on Saturday, May 4.
As of this time last year, Buffett’s company held the third largest stake in Apple with a total of 240.3 million shares worth $42.5 billion as of the stock market close on Thursday, May 3, 2018 according to information provided in a report written by Quick on the CNBC website.
On January 9, 2007, Apple shed the word “computer” from its company name, an announcement made by then Apple CEO Steve Jobs during his keynote address at the Macworld Conference & Expo where the iPhone was unveiled (an event which was live blogged by this writer for PowerBook Central, the sister site of MacPrices, both websites merged in 2018 after the former of the two had been defunct since 2015).
PCWorld magazine writer Mathew Honan — in an article reposted on the website of its sister publication Macworld — quoted Jobs himself who said:
“The Mac, iPod, Apple TV, and iPhone. Only one of those is a computer. So we’re changing the name.”
The change from Apple Computer to Apple, Inc. was described by Honan as a reflection of the tech company’s newfound emphasis on consumer electronics.
To view the full interview between “Squawk Box” co-anchor Becky Quick and Apple CEO Tim Cook, watch the video on the CNBC website.