As announced earlier today, Tim Cook this evening was interviewed on CNBC’s Mad Money show with Jim Cramer. In addition to touting Apple’s ecosystem, Cook also refuted reports of a failing iPhone XR, addressed slowing iPhone upgrade rates, and more.
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Cramer first asked Cook about Apple’s innovation and whether or not he believes that Apple is not valued as high as it should be. Cook, however, argued that while he agrees AAPL’s valuation is “wrong,” he prefers to focus on things like customer satisfaction:
And so when I read the emails and so forth from customers, they’re telling me how the Apple Watch has changed their life. They’re telling’ me how it motivated them to be more fit, be more active. They’re telling me that they discovered they had AFib. They’re telling me they– found a problem with their heart that they didn’t know existed. And if they wouldn’t’ve reached out to a doctor, they might’ve died. And so these are life-changing things.
Cook was also directly asked about a report from The Wall Street Journal from over the weekend, which explained that the iPhone XR is the phone that’s “failing” Apple. Cook, however, said that he “calls bologna” on such claims and that the iPhone XR has been the best-selling iPhone every day since its release.
The Apple CEO did say that he would “love to sell more” of the iPhone XR and that increasing sales is something Apple is “working on” through trade-ins and other initiatives.
I call bologna on that. Let me tell you how I view this. Here’s the truth, what the facts are. Since we began shipping the iPhone XR, it has been the most-popular iPhone every day. I mean, do I want to sell more? Of course I do. And you know, we’re working on that.
The conversation then shifted to wearables, with Cook touting that revenue from Apple’s wearables business has already exceeded revenue of “peak” iPod sales:
Wearables, it’s mainly the Apple Watch and AirPods. If you look at this on a trailing basis – I’m not projecting – revenue for wearables is already more than 50% more than iPod was at its peak. Now, this is a product [the iPod is] I think everybody would say it was an incredibly important product for Apple, full of innovation, and probably, the trigger for the company getting on a very different trajectory and into other markets.
Regarding Apple’s ongoing battle with Qualcomm, Tim Cook said that Apple has not “been in any settlement discussions with them since the third calendar quarter of last year.” This contradicts Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf, who said in November that Qualcomm and Apple were “on the doorstep” of a settlement.
Cook also reiterated the issues Apple has with Qualcomm:
The issues that we have with Qualcomm is that they have a policy of no license, no chips. This is, in our view, illegal. And so many regulators in many different countries agree with this. And then secondly, the obligation to offer their patent portfolio on a fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory basis. And they don’t do that.
As for Siri, Cook said that Apple is “putting a ton of investment in Siri” and touted that Siri is used over 10 billion times each month:
Well, we’re putting a ton of investment in Siri. And so if you look at Siri today, Jim, we have about a bit over 500 million devices that are using Siri out there, Siri enabled. And Siri’s used over 10 billion times a month. And it’s in 21 different languages and 30-something countries.