In a rare public interview, Tim Cook spoke to Gerard Baker, Wall Street Journal's editor-in-chief, at the WSJD Live conference at the newspaper's 2014 global technology conference last night.
Cook took to the stage to discuss Apple's future, and along the way spoke about Apple Watch, NFC payments, TVs and the security of your data.
The Apple CEO started out his talk with a very obvious statement: "The phone is the majority of the company's revenue," and it will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Apple doesn't just make money from phone sales, but also everything that comes with it -- apps, iTunes media and, yes, Apple Pay. Cook was eager to point out that Apple Pay reached over a million card activations in just the first 72 hours, and that Visa and Mastercard said that Apple Pay is already the number one player in contactless payments.
Aside from phones, Cook also touched other areas of growth for the company. Mac sales, for example, grew "remarkably" last quarter, adding that he thinks the Mac has a great future. Of course, he also mentioned the much-hyped Apple Watch, which he says opens up two new categories for the company: Health and fitness plus fashion.
"We didn't announce a product, we announced three collections," Cook said, referring to the Watch. "We saw that something you wear has to be more personable, more customizable ... the fashion thing is totally new for us." As for the Watch's battery life? Though he wouldn't give details, he did say that it's something that you would use so much that "you will end up charging it daily."
As for televisions, Cook reiterated what he said during his Charlie Rose interview, describing today's TV experience as outdated and "straight from the 1970s." He praised HBO's streaming-only service, and says consumers are increasingly trying to get away from a cable TV subscription. As for what Apple's going to do with TV? Cook played coy and didn't offer much details, but he seemed optimistic: "I believe something great can be done."
Cook also tackled privacy at the end, a recent hot button topic. "Your data is yours," he said, emphasizing that the company takes privacy and security very seriously. "We don't read your iMessages. We designed iMessage as such that we don't read any of it," adding that if the government were to ask for it, they couldn't supply it. After fielding a question over the demise of the iPod Classic among others, Cook hinted that he's open to a collaboration with AliPay, Alibaba's online payment system. Jack Ma had said he wanted to work with Apple Pay in a previous talk at WSJD Live. "If we can find some areas of common space, I'd love it."
Read more of the interview HERE.