Tim Cook at Seiko AdvanceSource: Tim Cook/Apple

What you need to know

  • Tim Cook sat down during his trip to Japan with the Nikkei Asian Review.
  • The CEO talked about manufacturing, antitrust, and what he thinks of smartphone innovation.
  • Cook touted the company's work on privacy and its relationships with suppliers.

As part of his tour across Japan, Tim Cook sat down for an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review to talk about the company's economic impact, privacy, and antitrust. Reported by Appleinsider, Cook talked about how the company has created "well over 2 million" jobs in the United States, a remark based off of the2.4 million jobs the company claimed credit for. The estimation was based on positions at the Apple Store, its corporate campus, developers, and suppliers.

Cook talked about how, while the assembly of most of its products happens overseas, the sourcing of materials and manufacturing is thriving domestically.

"The glass on this iPhone is made by Corning in Kentucky. Several of the semiconductors in the iPhone are made in the United States...there's enormous manufacturing happening in the U.S., just not the assembly of the final product...the way that we do manufacturing is we look at all countries and look to see what skills are resident in each country, and we pick the best," Cook said.

Cook also talked about the company's relationship with Seiko Advance, an ink supplier who has helped create the colors for Apple's recent products. The supplier developed the ink and the application process required in order to create the iconic gray, silver, gold, and green colors found on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

"They're the reason that we're able to put this color on the iPhone. We've worked with them for years and we've grown together. Both parties enjoy working together, we push each other to innovate more."

When talking about antitrust and the fact that regulators are taking a stronger stance against big tech as a whole, Cook pushed back, saying that it is the responsibility of the company to not abuse its power. Apple, he stresses, sets itself apart from many of the companies under scrutiny because of its commitment to user privacy.

"A monopoly by itself isn't bad if it's not abused. The question for those companies is, do they abuse it? And that is for regulators to decide, not for me to decide...it's very important to realize that tech itself and these large tech companies are not monolithic...you're not our product, that's very clear in our minds. We don't believe in trafficking your data."

When questioned about the iPhone's declining sales in recent years, Cook believes we are still just scratching the surface of what it and similar products will be capable of. The smartphone market, which many believe is maturing, is just beginning in his eyes.

"I know of no one who would call a 12-year-old mature...sometimes these steps are humongous, sometimes these steps are smaller. But the key is to always make things better, not just change for change's sake."