Inside Scoop: Apple chief Tim Cook dismisses lawsuit, talks up innovation
Rarely seen onstage outside of Apple events, CEO Tim Cook spoke at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference early Tuesday morning before hopping on a plane to Washington, D.C., to join First Lady Michelle Obama for the President's State of the Union address Tuesday night. CNET's Josh Lowensohn was at the conference and shares what Cook said about Apple retail store closures, the lawsuit filed against the company by shareholders, and much more.
-Hello and welcome to Inside Scoop.
I'm Sumi Das and joining me is Josh Lowensohn, Senior Writer for CNET.
Josh, thanks for being with us.
-I can't help but notice that you're more dressed up than you normally are.
-You got dressed up because you were attending this conference, this technology conference that Goldman Sachs has every year and there was a kind of a special speaker, somebody we don't hear from very often.
It was Apple CEO, Tim Cook, who, you know, sort of Apple events really only appeared at two things
and this is one of them.
-This is one of them.
-So you gotta go.
You gotta go because--
-Because it's kinda interesting.
It's unlike something where it's rehearsed.
They're introducing products.
It's a sit down with Tim Cook and then kind of a Q&A and you get some of these interesting questions that you normally wouldn't get during earnings call or obviously any sort of thing where they're launching a new product.
So what did he say 'cause he made a little bit of news this morning?
I mean, they really just for the talk as Apples doing great.
Everything is fine.
Don't worry about anything.
Seem like he was kinda saying, "Don't count us out."
-Yeah, I mean, a lot of people thought, hey, this company can't really grow.
They've either done making this kind of early popular products and he said, you know what, that's not the way we work.
That's not in our DNA.
We have really good people working here.
We don't believe in limits, which is kinda interesting when you look at to business where there really are a lot of limits.
I mean, you see this company's really rise but often [unk] as they fall at some point.
And they're maintaining to so to speak.
I mean they had great success with the iPhone 5 and people are saying that it felt short of expectations.
Let's talk about some of the things that he touched upon stores, the retail stores that Apple has.
So he gave us a quick update on stores.
Basically, he said that they're actually closing 20 of them but it's not a bad thing.
That's-- they're actually closing it down because they got so popular or they just needed renovations.
So they're actually moving to bigger facilities or changing the layouts of these stores which is kind of interesting and he really thinks that their stores are the first to experience people have with Apple as a company and the first way they see their products.
He said, he'll actually go to an Apple Store and it's like his Prozac.
So people of the world stop taking Prozac and go to Apple Stores.
So they'll see Tim Cook in an Apple Store like maybe that will be a good day.
-'Cause he's stressed.
So there was also this lawsuit that was discussed at today's conference.
Basically, this was filed by Greenlight.
Tell us more about that.
It's filed by the shareholders, right?
So I mean, they're not a huge shareholder but they do own a pretty decent chunk and a head of the shareholders meeting which is later this month.
They really kind
of, they sued Apple to trying to convince them to pay out more money to shareholders and--
-All comes down to money in the end.
And of course they paid the dividend and they're doing the stock repurchase plan but some people think they need to give more.
So Cook today said that they are considering those kinds of options but the lawsuit was silly and that he wish that, you know, both companies could spend any money that they would do for that and give it to charity which is, you know, and not trying to take the high road for sure but it's also like totally dismissing with what they do.
-Yeah, it was very dismissive the way he handled
that discussion I thought.
-And the focus going forward for Apple.
Is it-- did you talk about the iWatch?
There was no talk--
-Which you and I talked about yesterday.
-There's no talking about iWatch.
But he really did kinda layout that their strategies all about phones and tablets.
And he thinks that both those markets are really gonna grow a lot.
For instance, he said that there still like half the world subscribers.
-They're really looking at other places in the world.
So I mean, there's always a potential for that.
He didn't talk a new product.
he have this talk very early because he had an invitation from Flutos.
One, Michelle Obama--
-And that's, you know, that's where he's off to now, right?
He's off to Washington D.C.
-Yeah, he's got a busy day.
So I guess, you know, Tim Cook from Apple Stores as his Prozac too sitting with Michelle Obama.
-At the State of the Union.
-Suppose he did.
-Yeah, it's all right for some.
Josh, thank you very much.
-You don't have to get dressed up for us next-- Thanks for watching.
For Inside Scoop, I'm Sumi Das.