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Cannibalism is good, and other things I learned from 60 Minutes' Apple report

Michael Simon | Dec. 22, 2015
Charlie Rose talked to Tim Cook on 60 Minutes, and the interview was enlightening.

“I loved Steve. Steve is not my competition,” he said. “He selected me. I want to do every single thing I can do and use every ounce of energy I’ve got to do as well as I can.”

Apple’s attention to detail has no limits

No tour of Apple is complete without a trip to Jony Ive’s laboratories. Rose spent a good deal of time there, looking at Apple Watch sketches, a CNC milling machine that carves out precision prototypes, and some of the hundreds of color shades that weren’t quite right for the bands. It was cool to see the behind-the-scenes process, but even cooler was the 10 iPhone 6 prototypes we were shown. Before the 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays were chosen, Ive and his team went through nearly a dozen handsets in varying sizes and finishes to see which one “felt right … emotionally.”

Ive continued: “We’ve found that different textures considerably impact your perception of the object, of the product, what it’s like to hold, and what it’s like to feel. So the only way that we know how to resolve, and address, and develop all of those issues is to make models, is to make prototypes.” But while it sounds exhausting, there is very little turnover in the most sacred of spaces at 1 Infinite Loop. In 15 years, Rose reported, just two of Ive’s team of 22 designers have left.

apple campus 2

When Rose took a trip to the construction site of Apple’s new campus, Cook explained how no detail was overlooked: “This goes down to … it goes to the desk, the chair, the stairwell, the doorknob, the glass–I mean, every single thing.” That includes the hardhats. Not only were they white with gray Apple logos on them, Ive’s was inscribed with his last name, much like a pro baseball player. And I’d be surprised if it wasn’t custom fitted for the shape and size of his head.

Along the way, Rose was treated to a scale representation of a future Apple Store. It was beautiful, incredible and crazy all at once; listening to Angela Ahrendts describe how they want to bring the “dynamic, emotive, immersive” to life inside the Apple Store was eye-opening. I always chalked up the Apple Store crowds to people wanting to see their products, but it’s more than that. Everything from the doors to the shelves to the lighting is specifically designed to draw you in and keep you interested.

Apple isn’t backing down from the U.S. government

Fighting Samsung isn’t the only battle Apple is waging in U.S. courts, and Cook wasn’t shy about speaking out about the two major ones: encryption and taxes. And it doesn’t sound like he’s going to stop fighting either.


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