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Tim Cook speaks: Apple Watch, Apple Pay, and what he really thinks of Android

Caitlin McGarry | Feb. 12, 2015
The Apple CEO took the stage at the annual Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference to shed some light on the future of Apple.

On Apple Pay
Cook: It's gone faster than I thought it would, much faster actually. The reason that I thought it would be a bit slower is because when you're going into the holiday season, most retailers don't want to change anything around their point-of-sale. We found a significant reception to get it going quickly. By December, $2 of $3 spent with stores with contactless payment were with Apple Pay. There are so many retailers approaching us about getting signed up.

This was only possible because we could control and design the hardware, the software, and the service. You can imagine trying to do this with several different companies. You would be pulling your hair out doing it.

apple pay jetblue
JetBlue plans to roll out Apple Pay on all of its flights by June.

On privacy
Cook: We believe that customers have a right to privacy. The vast majority of customers don't want everyone knowing everything about them. You are not our product. That is our product. There's no reason why we need to know where you're buying, what you're buying, how much you're paying. It's none of my business.

Apple Pay for us was about doing something simple. It had to be easier than pulling out your wallet and taking out a card. It had to be secure, because all of us are tired of people breaching your credit cards. It's happened to me three times.

We have come up with something people love to use. Panera Bread told us that 80 percent of their mobile transactions in-store are on Apple Pay.

On Android
Cook: Our whole life as a company we've always fought against fierce competitors. In the PC world, it was the Microsoft monopoly. In the smartphone world, people thought we had no chance against BlackBerry and Nokia. In the tablet world, people questioned, why are you doing this product? Same kind of thing with the iPod in a way.

We've always had stiff competition. This makes us better. We think about doing a great product. We think if we do that well, other things will take care of themselves.

On China
Cook: First and foremost, our job in life is to make the best. We've never lost sight of that. We want to give people a good value, and if we can develop something that's really great, that costs even less than what we're offering today, then we would do that. What we won't do is something that's second rate, or that's only a good product, not a great product. That's not what Apple stands for.


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