Known to have a culture of secrecy, Apple has surprisingly agreed to open up to ’60 Minutes’ TV show host, Charlie Rose, and letting his production crew in for an all-access (supervised) tour of the Cupertino giant’s HQ, including the company’s famed design studio and its upcoming HQ dubbed “The Spaceship”. The company’s CEO, Tim Cook has also agreed to an interview with Rose, which isn’t as hard-hitting as usual, but still interesting to watch nonetheless.
The show, available for viewing from CBS, offers plenty of highlights. Apple fans will be excited to see Chief Design Officer of Apple, Jony Ive leading Rose into his design studio in the campus. It’s rare as not many, other than Ive’s own design team of 22, has ever set foot in the studio (let alone bring a production crew in). Rose was even introduced to how the Apple Watch was designed, and what it took to produce it.
Another prominent Apple product is none other than the iPhone. Ever since its inception, it has been the most popular device the company has ever released, and the most used feature on the phone is the camera. Graham Townsend, the Lead Camera Design Engineer of Apple, mentioned that there are over 200 individual parts in a single camera module and each image taken is a result of R&D testing that totalled over 24 billion operations. With only two iPhones released each year, the company can afford to have 800 engineers and specialists working on the camera to make it one of the best in the market.
Apart from visiting the warehouse that houses ‘prototype’ Apple Stores lead by Head of Retail at Apple, Angela Anherdst, Rose also got to speak to Phil Schiller, Apple’s Head of Marketing, about Apple’s apparent product cannibalisation. He explained that “it’s not a danger, it’s almost by design.”, where each product has to try and fight for its own space and time with the customer; so good that the customer would not want any other, even if it’s from Apple itself.
Tim Cook’s interview revolved around plenty of interesting subjects, from his relationship with the company’s iconic co-founder Steve Jobs, to his style of managing the company. But by far, the most hard-hitting question had to be regarding Apple avoiding taxes. Cook appeared visibly frustrated at the accusation, mentioning that the United States’ tax codes are “political crap”, “backwards”, and bringing the company’s offshore income back to the U.S. would “cost a sheer 40%”, which is a lot considering 2/3 of Apple’s business is outside of America.
Apple’s CEO even gave Rose a tour of Apple’s new corporate headquarters project site. There are 3,500 people working on what is commonly called “The Spaceship”. Having to accommodate 13,000 people working in the circle, “The Spaceship” will be landscaped with greens that produce the fruits and vegetables served in the cafeteria, have a natural ventilation system to reduce the office dependence on artificial heating or air-conditioning, and use energy harvested by solar panels. Visually, The Spaceship will offer a 360-degree unobstructed view from the inside, as the entire building will be covered with 3,000 pieces of curved glass made in Germany.
Many a time we see Apple CEO and designers carefully presenting their products on stage with an immaculate speech which takes days or months to curate. This episode of “60 Minutes” and its “Overtime” short videos lets us see a less orchestrated look at the people behind the world’s most profitable company express their opinions and ideas candidly in a more natural setting, away from the stage and spotlight.
This is one of the rare moments that Apple opens its doors to the media, and any fan of tech will definitely find this interesting. To watch the episode of the TV show, head on here.
(Source: CBS News)