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This article was published on May 24, 2016

Tim Cook rules out an Apple mobile carrier

Tim Cook rules out an Apple mobile carrier Image by: Startup Fest Europe
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
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Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

In an interview with retired European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about the future of the world’s most valuable company at Startup Fest Europe in Amsterdam today.

Addressing a question about the possibility of the iPhone maker cutting out mobile carriers and launching its own telecom service, Cook responded:

Our expertise doesn’t extend to the network. We’ve worked with AT&T in the US, O2 in the UK, as well as T-Mobile and Orange, and we expanded as we learned more. But generally, the things Apple likes to do, are things we can do globally.

We don’t have the network skill. We’ll do some things along the way with e-SIMs along the way, but in general, I like the things carriers do.

Cook was referring to the embedded SIM that Apple patented in 2011 and introduced in its latest iPad Pros. It allows devices to work with any carrier without the need for a separate physical SIM.

He also shared his belief about how smartwatches will play a big role in our lives in the future to ensure good health as well as a reduced need to glance at our phones and help pay for things – everything the Apple Watch strives to do already:

We believe that health is a huge problem in the world, and we’d like to contribute to that. That’s an area where we’re very focused.

This is my prediction: one day you’ll look back and wonder, how could I have ever gone without the watch?

The holy grail with the watch is being able to monitor more and more of what’s going on in your body. It’s not possible technologically today to do it to the degree that we can imagine, but it will be.

For those of you who own a car: think about when you get in it, drive for a while; if it gets too hot, a light comes on to say, ‘pull over’ or ‘check if you need an oil change’. It has all these things in it that alert you to the need to do something.

What is the equivalent for the body? Well it’s our minds, but unfortunately all too often they convince us not to seek help. And many times, we don’t even know – there’s no symptom.

So, if you could have a device that knew so much about you, it would be pretty incredible. It would extend life and the quality of life. I’m not saying one device will do all of that, but when you solve such a big problem, it takes several such contributions.

That signals Cook’s confidence in the company’s smartwatch business for the future. It’ll be interesting to see if Apple sticks to these maxims in the coming years, or if it will choose to follow Google’s lead in developing AI and big data technologies.