When asked how Apple is improving the world, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has a two-word answer that would likely make the late Steve Jobs proud: “our products.” Such was his answer in a recent sit-down with Fortune on how Apple is part of building a better world when it comes to healthcare, the environment and in the realm of education.
Cook told Fortune that Apple remains focused on three main areas — renewable energy, education and healthcare — and that the firm’s greatest contribution to society might well be through the 2 million U.S. jobs it believes it creates through its “app economy” as well as the “many millions” more it supports in the rest of the world.
“I think the No. 1 way Apple changes the world is through our products. We make products for people that are tools to enable them to do things that they couldn’t otherwise do — to enable them to create or learn or teach or play. Or do something really wonderful,” Cook noted.
And as for the accusation that Apple doesn’t so much make products for people as it makes products for affluent people, Cook has a response. Apple products aren’t priced like commodities — but they aren’t exclusively for the rich, either.
“If you look across our product lines, you can buy an iPad today for under $300. You can buy an iPhone, depending upon which one you select, for in that same kind of ballpark. And so these are not for the rich. We obviously wouldn’t have over a billion products that are in our active installed base if we were making them for the rich because that’s a sizable number no matter who’s looking at the numbers.”
And, Cook noted, though Apple is and always will be interested in making money — there is and always will be more to that story.
“I think that corporations are like anything else in that there are some that are good and some that are not. So I don’t think you can paint all with one brush. Just like people. Most people are really big hearted. But occasionally you meet somebody that’s not. And so corporations are like that too, I think. I don’t subscribe to ‘all are good’ or ‘all are bad.’ I think life is not simple like that.”