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Tim Cook on working with Donald Trump: “America’s more important than bloody politics”

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Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about working with President Donald Trump despite being “dramatically different” in a new Bloomberg Businessweek cover story.

Cook was interviewed by Businessweek editor Megan Murphy following the Worldwide Developers Conference last week in San Jose.

In the story, he speaks about an array of topics from the HomePod smart home speaker, augmented reality, and investing in American manufacturing jobs.

Here are some highlights of the illuminating interview, which you should really read in full:

Cook on President Trump:

We’re dramatically different. I hope there’s some areas where we’re not. His focus on jobs is good. So we’ll see. Pulling out of the Paris climate accord was very disappointing. I felt a responsibility to do every single thing I could for it not to happen. I think it’s the wrong decision. If I see another opening on the Paris thing, I’m going to bring it up again.

At the end of the day, I’m not a person who’s going to walk away and say, “If you don’t do what I want, I leave.” I’m not on a council, so I don’t have those kind of decisions. But I care deeply about America. I want America to do well. America’s more important than bloody politics from my point of view.

Something of note: Cook will visit the White House next week for the first meeting of the Jared Kushner-led American Technology Council. Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt will assist Kushner in his goal to “transform and modernize” government digital services.

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Cook on the steep $349 HomePod price tag:

If you remember when the iPod was introduced, a lot of people said, “Why would anybody pay $399 for an MP3 player?” And when iPhone was announced, it was, “Is anybody gonna pay”—whatever it was at that time—“for an iPhone?” The iPad went through the same thing. We have a pretty good track record of giving people something that they may not have known that they wanted.

Cook on augmented reality:

I think it is profound. I am so excited about it, I just want to yell out and scream…

You’ll see things happening in enterprises where AR is ­fundamental to what they’re doing. You’re going to see some consumer things that are unbelievably cool. Can we do everything we want to do now? No. The technology’s not complete yet. But that’s the beauty to a certain degree. This has a runway. And it’s an incredible runway. It’s time to put the seat belt on and go. When people begin to see what’s possible, it’s going to get them very excited—like we are, like we’ve been.

Cook on Apple creating jobs in the United States:

Apple’s created 2 million jobs in the United States. A million and a half of those are app developers. They’re everywhere in the United States. But you do see certain demographics who have been left out of that. So we started thinking, What can we do about this? We decided to create a programming language that was easier to learn. We call it Swift. The second thing we did was say, “You know, we could prepare a curriculum instead of asking educators to come up with their own.” We provided one for elementary schools because we think coding should be a required language just like English is. We call that Swift Playgrounds. We did that last year. And it’s taking off.

Then we said, “You know, the reality is that you miss a lot of kids who aren’t going to learn Swift Playgrounds because they’re already in high school or college. What can we do here?” So we geared it at a different age group. Universities like Stanford don’t need help. They are out front on these things. But community colleges do need help. Community colleges reach people who have not historically done well in app development jobs, which are taking off—like a weed, to be honest with you. It’s probably the fastest-growing major job segment in the United States.

Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook, right, and PayPal founder Peter Thiel, center, listen as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Tags: Apple, augmented reality, Donald Trump, HomePod, Tim Cook

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