Apple and Tim Cook Honor the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Apple today has honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a full-page tribute on its website. A photo of Dr. King is accompanied by a famous quote of his: "The time is always right to do what is right."


Apple CEO Tim Cook also shared a quote from Dr. King on Twitter and added "let's find the light and the love, together."


Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States, a federal holiday in commemoration of his birthday. The iconic leader of the African-American civil rights movement would have turned 89 years old on Monday.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Earned $102 Million in 2017, Must Now Fly Privately for Security Reasons

In fiscal 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook received a salary of $3.06 million plus $9.33 million in bonuses and stock worth $89.2 million for a total compensation package of approximately $102 million, reports Bloomberg.

The data was shared today by Apple in a proxy statement filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of the company's annual shareholders meeting, which will take place on February 13, 2018.

Executive officers at Apple, which included Luca Maestri, Angela Ahrendts, Johny Srouji, Dan Riccio, and Bruce Sewell, all received bonuses of over $3 million, bringing their compensation, including salary and stock awards, to approximately $24.2 million each, provided each stays with the company long enough for awarded stock to vest. Angela Ahrendts, Apple's retail chief, was the highest paid executive, bringing in $24,216,072.

In addition to covering executive compensation, today's proxy statement also says that Apple's board now requires Apple CEO Tim Cook use private aircraft "for all business and personal travel." The flight policy was implemented in 2017 "in the interests of security and efficiency" based on Cook's "highly visible" role as CEO.

Over the course of 2017, Cook's personal air travel expenses amounted to $93,109, and Apple spent an additional $224,216 in personal security costs provided to Cook.

The proxy statement also includes six proposals that will require shareholder action at the upcoming shareholders meeting in February. Proposals cover standard actions like re-appointing Apple's public accounting firm and re-electing board members, along with two shareholder proposals covering proxy access amendments and the establishment of a Human Rights Committee.

Apple's board of directors is recommending shareholders vote against both shareholder proposals, with the full text of all of the proposals available in the proxy statement filed with the SEC.

Shareholders who wish to attend the shareholders meeting, which will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park, will need to register using Proxyvote.com starting at 8:00 a.m. on January 22, 2018. Apple plans to accept registrations on a first-come, first-serve basis as space is limited.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Hopes Apps Pulled From China’s App Store Will One Day Return

Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Wednesday he is optimistic that some apps pulled from China's App Store to comply with regulatory rules will eventually be reinstated (via Reuters). Cook made the comments at the economic Fortune Forum in the southern city of Guangzhou, in the latest stint of his week-long China visit.

Apple CEO Tim Cook at World Internet Conference in Wuzhen (Image: Reuters)
"My hope over time is that some of the things, the couple of things that's been pulled, come back. I have great hope on that and great optimism on that," Cook said, adding that he always tries to find areas to work together and if he gets criticized for that, so be it.
Apple has come in for criticism from local users and rights groups for acceding to government requests that it pull some apps from its Chinese App Store, including VPN services used to gain access to online services banned in China.

During the Forum, Cook also said that he believes strongly in freedoms – a comment that has been interpreted as response to a U.S. democratic senator's remarks on Tuesday that Apple had a moral obligation to promote freedom of expression.

"[T]ech companies must continue to push back on Chinese suppression of free expression," Vermont senator Patrick Leahy told CNBC. Leahy said he believed Apple was in danger of not fulfilling its "obligation to promote free expression and other basic human rights."

In October, senators Leahy and Ted Cruz wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking why the company removed third-party VPN apps from its App Store in China.

Apple responded in a letter, explaining that it had "questioned the legal basis of the request" and had provided formal comments on Chinese cybersecurity law through trade associations. However, Apple stopped short of condemning the Chinese government's censorship, instead telling the senators that "actions are our most powerful statement."

Cook kicked off his China visit on Sunday, at the country's state-run World Internet Conference, which aims to develop an "open" digital economy, despite its regular practice of online censorship and regulation.

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Tim Cook Touts Apple’s Contribution to Chinese Economy at State-Run Web Summit

Chinese developers have earned more selling apps on Apple's iOS platform than devs from any other country, Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Sunday (via Bloomberg). His comments were made in a keynote speech given at China's annual state-run World Internet Conference, which aims to develop the digital economy, while operating under the rubric of respecting the right of sovereign nations to regulate and control public internet access.

Cook said developers on its iOS platform number 1.8 million in China, collectively earning a total of $16.9 billion, which is roughly a quarter of total global App Store earnings. Apple said earlier this year that the global developer community has earned over $70 billion since the App Store launched in 2008.

Tim Cook delivers a speech at the Fourth World Internet Conference (Photo: IC)
"The theme of this conference – developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits – is a vision we at Apple share," Cook said. "We are proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace."
China's cyber regulation has stepped up in the last year, with new rules coming into force that require companies to store data locally and make data available for surveillance measures. Apple was the first foreign tech firm to announce amendments to its data storage arrangements in China, when the cybersecurity laws came into effect in June.
"Much has been said of the potential downsides of AI, but I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines," he said. "We all have to work to infuse technology with humanity, with our values."

Technology of the future should have openness, creativity and safeguards to protect users while providing privacy and decency, he added.
Cook's words appeared carefully chosen so as not to upset his Chinese hosts, who routinely curtail access to online services seen as a potential threat to the country's internal cohesion. Facebook and Instagram have been blocked by China's Cyberspace Administration since 2009 and 2014, respectively. Encrypted messaging service Telegram was also blocked inside China after it became popular with the country's human rights lawyers, while several VPN apps – which are commonly used to evade censorship and access services abroad – were recently pulled from China's App Store in compliance with stricter state rules.

The Wuzhen-based conference was opened earlier on Sunday with comments from Chinese president Xi Junping, read by the head of the government's publicity department, in which Xi advocated for "cyber sovereignty", the idea that states should be permitted to manage and contain their own internet without external interference.
"Developments online are raising many new challenges to sovereignty and security, and China is willing to work with the international community to respect cyberspace sovereignty and promote partnerships," said Xi in the note. "The development of China's cyberspace is entering a fast lane... China's doors will only become more and more open."
China remains the world's biggest smartphone market, one which historically Apple has struggled to penetrate. The company shipped an estimated 11 million iPhones in China last quarter, up 40 percent from the year-ago quarter, despite six consecutive quarters of declining iPhone sales in the region.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Financing iPhone X Can Work Out to Cost of Just a Few Nice Coffees Per Week

While the iPhone X starts at $999 in the United States, with an even more expensive 256GB model available for $1,149, Apple CEO Tim Cook believes the price can ultimately work out to less than one cup of coffee per day.


On a conference call after Apple reported its fourth quarter earnings results on Thursday, Cook started by saying the iPhone X can be financed for as little as $33 per month at select carriers in the United States.

AT&T, for example, offers the base model iPhone X for 30 monthly payments of $33.34, which works out to exactly $1,000 over that period.

"I think it's important to remember that a large number of people pay for the phone by month," said Cook. "I think you would find you could buy an iPhone X for $33/month. So, if you think about that, that's a few coffees a week -- it's less than a coffee a day at one of these nice coffee places."

Cook added that many customers are now trading in their current iPhone towards their next iPhone, reducing their total amount owing by $300 to $350 in the process. He said the iPhone tends to have the highest resale value in the industry.

"In terms of the way we price, we price to the value that we're providing," said Cook. "We're not trying to charge the highest price we could get or anything like that. We're just trying to price it for what we're delivering. iPhone X has a lot of great new technologies in there that are leading the industry."

"It is a fabulous product," he added, still referring to the iPhone X. "We can't wait for people to start getting it in their hands."

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Financing iPhone X Can Work Out to Cost of Just a Few Nice Coffees Per Week

While the iPhone X starts at $999 in the United States, with an even more expensive 256GB model available for $1,149, Apple CEO Tim Cook believes the price can ultimately work out to less than one cup of coffee per day.


On a conference call after Apple reported its fourth quarter earnings results on Thursday, Cook started by saying the iPhone X can be financed for as little as $33 per month at select carriers in the United States.

AT&T, for example, offers the base model iPhone X for 30 monthly payments of $33.34, which works out to exactly $1,000 over that period.

"I think it's important to remember that a large number of people pay for the phone by month," said Cook. "I think you would find you could buy an iPhone X for $33/month. So, if you think about that, that's a few coffees a week -- it's less than a coffee a day at one of these nice coffee places."

Cook added that many customers are now trading in their current iPhone towards their next iPhone, reducing their total amount owing by $300 to $350 in the process. He said the iPhone tends to have the highest resale value in the industry.

"In terms of the way we price, we price to the value that we're providing," said Cook. "We're not trying to charge the highest price we could get or anything like that. We're just trying to price it for what we're delivering. iPhone X has a lot of great new technologies in there that are leading the industry."

"It is a fabulous product," he added, still referring to the iPhone X. "We can't wait for people to start getting it in their hands."

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Talks Russian Election Interference, Fake News and Tax Reform in Nightly News Interview

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with NBC's Lester Holt on tonight's NBC Nightly News broadcast, where he spoke about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the need for tax reform in the United States, and more.

As was shared in a clip of the interview earlier today, Cook commented on Russia's use of social media to interfere with the 2016 election and the congressional hearings executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google have been attending to discuss the role Russia might have played. Cook said he believes the social networks in question have been learning "along the way a lot" and that fake news is a major issue.

I think they learned along the way a lot. And you know, it's best to ask them if they should have projected it or not. I don't believe that the big issue are ads from foreign government. I believe that's like .1 percent of the issue.

The bigger issue is that some of these tools are used to divide people, to manipulate people, to get fake news to people in broad numbers, and so, to influence their thinking. And this, to me, is the No. 1 through 10 issue.
Cook went on to say that we'll likely learn a lot more in the hearings in regard to the particulars of what went on, and he said companies have a responsibility to make sure technology is "good." "I do think that technology itself doesn't want to be good," he said. "It doesn't want to be anything. It's up to the creator of the technology and the user of the technology to make it good."

Cook also spoke on tax reform. Corporate tax rates, he says, "should have been fixed years ago." "Let's get it done now," he added.
I believe that tax reform is sorely needed in this country. We don't focus on the individual side, but for corporations, we think we have a pretty deep perspective on this. The biggest issue with corporations in this country is that if you earn money outside of the United States, which most companies increasingly will, the only way that you can bring it into the US and invest is if you pay 40 percent. And this is kind of a crazy thing to do. So what do people do? They don't bring it to the United States.
During the interview, which took place on Apple's campus, Cook showed Holt an iPhone X and explained Face ID features and security, topics Apple has covered multiple times in past executive interviews and through a detailed Face ID support document.


All Face ID data is stored on device, not on Apple's servers, Cook reiterated. "We don't have it intentionally because it's yours," he said. As he has done many times in the past, Cook also highlighted Apple's focus on privacy and said that if he had to re-do the legal controversy with the FBI over San Bernardino, he'd "make the same decision today."

On the topic of selling user data, Cook said that's not something Apple does.
It's something that we don't do because you are not our product. We take a very pro-privacy view. Apple doesn't know what the content of your messages are. We encrypt FaceTime end-to-end. We don't know what you're saying. And we think that's the way people would expect.
A final topic of discussion covered the evolution of the iPhone over the course of the last 10 years and whether it's reached where Steve Jobs had envisioned it would go.

"You know, we knew from the launch it was going to change the world. But frankly, it's gone far beyond what we would have dreamed," Cook said.

NBC Nightly News hasn't yet shared the full video of Cook's interview, but it should be available soon on the NBC website and will include his full commentary on a range of issues.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook to Appear on NBC Nightly News Tonight

Apple CEO Tim Cook will appear in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt on this evening's NBC Nightly News broadcast, NBC unveiled in a tweet this afternoon.

One of the topics of discussion will include Russia's use of social media to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. In a teaser clip airing ahead of the interview, Cook says the use of social media to spread fake news and manipulate people is a major problem.

"I don't believe that the big issue are ads from foreign government. I believe that's like .1 percent of the issue," Cook told NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt in an exclusive interview airing Wednesday night.

"The bigger issue is that some of these tools are used to divide people, to manipulate people, to get fake news to people in broad numbers, and so, to influence their thinking," Cook said. "And this, to me, is the No. 1 through 10 issue."
Cook's commentary on Russia comes just after representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified before congress over what role Russian interference on social media networks may have played in the election. On Facebook alone, an estimated 126 million Americans viewed Russian-backed ad content during the campaign.

During the testimony, execs from the three social networks faced tough questions and were lambasted for not doing more to prevent Russia from taking advantage of social media to spread misinformation.

Another topic of conversation will include US tax reform, with Cook telling Holt that tax reform is sorely needed and "should have been fixed years ago."

NBC Nightly News premieres at 6:30 p.m. eastern time in the United States.

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Tim Cook Visits China Where iPhone Sales Finally Rebounded Last Quarter After Lengthy Skid

Apple chief Tim Cook was among a group of leaders who met China's President Xi Jinping on Monday at an annual gathering of advisers to the Tsinghua University business school in the capital Beijing, according to Reuters.


Apple declined to comment on details of his visit. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, who also attended, stated that "every year this trip is a great way to keep up with the pace of innovation and entrepreneurship in China."

The meeting occurred just days before Apple launches its much-anticipated iPhone X in 55 countries, including China, with hopes the high-end smartphone can revive the company's sales in the world's second largest economy.

Apple shipped an estimated 11 million iPhones in China last quarter, up 40 percent from the year-ago quarter, according to research firm Canalys. The strong growth put an end to six consecutive quarters of declining iPhone sales in the region.


Canalys believes Apple's rebound, buoyed by the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus last month, could be short lived.
"Apple's growth this quarter is only temporary. The high sell-in caters to the pent-up demand of iPhone upgraders in the absence of the iPhone X. Price cuts on earlier models after announcing the iPhone 8 have also helped. However, Apple is unlikely to sustain this growth in Q4," said Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia.

Despite being touted as widely expensive, excitement for the launch of the iPhone X is building in China. "While the iPhone X launches this week, its pricing structure and supply are inhibiting. The iPhone X will enjoy a healthy grey market status, but its popularity is unlikely to help Apple in the short term," added Jia.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have quickly "run out of steam" in mainland China, despite being heavily discounted by online retailers such as Suning.com and JD.com, according to the South China Morning Post.
"The iPhone 8 might be the most poorly sold flagship iPhone model in China, as such huge discounts have never been seen before in the country," said Zhao Ziming, a senior analyst at Pintu Tank in Beijing.
While the iPhone X could help Apple in the fourth quarter, its high price and supply constraints might inhibit the company's growth in China in the short term, according to Canalys research analyst Mo Jia.

Apple was the fifth largest smartphone maker in China last quarter, behind local brands Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi, according to Canalys.


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Tim Cook Travels to Sweden to Visit Local Apple Office and Discuss Augmented Reality [Updated]

After first traveling around France earlier in the week and meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron, then heading to Oxford University in the United Kingdom for the opening of The Oxford Foundry, Apple CEO Tim Cook has now traveled to Stockholm, Sweden today. Just after 9 a.m. local time, Cook was spotted getting out of a black, unmarked Mercedes in Stockholm.

Cook was on Kungsgatan, a street in central Stockholm where Apple's office is located within the city, and an eyewitness speaking to Breakit [Google Translate] said that the CEO traveled with "a whole entourage" into the building, then "rushed out" a few hours later. Cook is likely making the usual rounds to other Apple locations, including potentially checking on the progress of Apple's upcoming flagship store in Kungsträdgården, a park located near Apple's offices in the city.

Photos by TT and Jon Wahlqvist, via Breakit
"He had a whole entourage around as he walked across the street," says an eyewitness to Breakit. Tim Cook and his co-workers entered the gateway to Apple's Stockholm office. A few hours later, the Apple boss rushed out of the building again.

Breakit's reporter Jon Wahlqvist asks Tim Cook what he does in Stockholm. However, the Apple boss did not seem to be interested in addressing any such details: "The only thing he said was terrific, terrific, terrific and gave up his thumb. From the car he then waved in the nearest presidential style, "says Jon Wahlqvist.
Cook also stopped to discuss augmented reality with Feber [Google Translate], where he explained that the first few apps using ARKit are comparable to the opening of the App Store in 2008. Even though this first wave of apps might not wow everyone, Cook said that eventually iPhone users will not be able to "imagine a life without" augmented reality. Cook has made similar AR-related comments for years now, and just this week sat down with The Independent and Vogue to discuss the topic even more in-depth.
I do not think they need to understand, not directly. I would like to compare it with when we opened the App Store 2008. When the first apps came out, people were not so impressed. I remember people wrote things like "this is not so amazing" and "this will not be so important". Today, we can not imagine a life without mobile apps and we use them for everything.

I think we'll see a similar curve that we saw with the usual apps. After a first phase, the curve of use will point straight up. AR is fundamentally different to VR because AR can be a part of everything you do, every day.
The interview further discusses how AR can "enhance" human experiences and day-to-day life without replacing anything, as well as how the technology needs to coexist with Apple's initiatives in the artificial intelligence space. Cook also continued championing students learning to code: "I think everyone who goes to school should learn how to code, but I do not think everyone should be a computer engineer. I think the knowledge to know what's possible is the most important, whether you're a fashion designer or journalist or whatever it is."

Update: Tim Cook has also visited with Iggesund Paperboard, a manufacturer of high quality virgin fiber paperboard and Apple's partner in sustainable packaging.





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