Apple has a lot going on, even if you don’t include all the rumored things the Cupertino-based company is working on. Plenty of it is a secret, so when 60 Minutes gets to go inside and talk to the executives, it’s worth taking a look.
Charlie Rose, who has interviewed many an executive over the years, has been given the green light to head into Apple’s campus and peruse several different departments, all the while sitting down with a variety of Apple’s executives, engineers and specialists to discover what he wants, and try to take a closer look at the company with a fruit as its namesake. The end result is coverage on a variety of topics, including overseas taxes, encryption and what that means for Apple users’ security, and plenty more.
Of course, most of what Rose and Apple’s executives talk about has been part of a conversation in the past, at least once or twice, especially when it gets to encryption. Tim Cook, Apple’s current CEO, has been vocal in terms of keeping Apple’s users’ secure, thanks to encryption on its devices, and doesn’t seem to want to budge on that at all, despite having plenty of backlash from federal agencies.
Cook, for his part, continues to outline that encryption is vital to a smartphone owner’s privacy, no matter what, simply due to the fact that smartphones hold a ridiculous amount of private information on them. And while simply adding a “backdoor” that could allow Apple to access that information without the user’s direct consent or input seems simple enough, it’s not, as it also means that a backdoor exists for criminals to access that information as well.
“Charlie Rose: In the government, they say it’s like saying, you know, you have a search warrant, but you can’t unlock the trunk.
Tim Cook: Here’s the situation is on your smartphone today, on your iPhone, there’s likely health information, there’s financial information. There are intimate conversations with your family, or your co-workers. There’s probably business secrets and you should have the ability to protect it. And the only way we know how to do that, is to encrypt it. Why is that? It’s because if there’s a way to get in, then somebody will find the way in. There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys.
During the interview, Rose found himself in an unmarked building on the Apple campus, which, it turns out, happens to be an area that the company has set up to work as a mock retail location. While in that space, which looked exactly like an Apple retail store ought to, Apple’s retail chief, Angela Ahrendts, was there to talk about Apple’s focus on retail, what it means for consumers, and how it all connects.
“Charlie Rose: How many iterations of what I’m looking at have you gone through?
Angela Ahrendts: I mean, honestly there are meetings in here every single week. And there’s a floor set. We use this as a stage, and we say, “This is rehearsal.”
Angela Ahrendts: The most important goal is, is that it is dynamic. People are used to living on their phone. So they’re used to being dynamic, emotive, immersive. And so how do we make sure when they walk into a store they say, “Wow”?
Rose would also be accompanied by legendary designer Jony Ive, Apple’s current design head, and make a stop into Apple’s “secret” design studio, where products that have been bought in the millions are brought to life. Inside there, Rose discovered that 22 individuals are hard at work on designing the future of Apple’s product lines. And, unsurprisingly, several of the desks inside the studio were covered and the products underneath hidden from prying, curious eyes.
Ive explained how design happens within Apple in an abstract sense, and even went into how the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus came to be, saying that the design team went through 10 different designs for the handsets before finally deciding on the design, and size, of the handsets that are available to buy today.
“With the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the design team made 10 different-sized models before deciding which worked best.
Jony Ive: And we chose these two because partly they just felt right, they somehow, not from a tactile point of view. But just emotionally they felt like a good size.
Charlie Rose: Do you do this about every product, this amount of dedication to emotional context?
Jony Ive: This is the tip of the iceberg. Because we’ve found that different textures considerably impact your perception of the object, of the product, what it’s like to hold, and what it’s like to feel. So the only way that we know how to resolve, and address, and develop all of those issues is to make models is to make prototypes.”
It’s also worth noting that Apple has over 800 people working on the camera within the iPhone, and that it’s designed with over 200 separate, individual parts. Apple tests the cameras in a variety of lighting situations, including terrible indoor lighting and even recreating what a sunset would do to pictures taken with the camera.
The interview included Cook’s straightforward thoughts on Apple and Steve Jobs, and the impact that Jobs had, and still has, on the company as a whole. Moreover, Cook articulated that, still to this day, he’s never met anyone remotely similar to Jobs:
Tim Cook: I’ve never met anyone on the face of the earth like him before. And it was a privilege–
Charlie Rose: “I’ve never met anyone on the face of the earth–
Tim Cook: No one.
Charlie Rose: –like him?”
Tim Cook: No one.
Charlie Rose: Not one person?
Tim Cook: Not one.
Charlie Rose: Who had?
Tim Cook: Who had this incredible and uncanny ability to see around the corner. Who had this relentless driving force for perfection.”
You can watch Part 1 of the “Inside Apple” special below.