Apple's Chief Executive Office Tim Cook speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference when asked about the supply chain conditions in China stated:
"The first thing I would want everyone to know… Apple takes working conditions very, very seriously….we care about every worker… i spent a lot of time in factories personally… we are understand working conditions at a very granular level. I realize that… the supply chain is complex… but my commitment is very, very simple. We believe that every worker has the right to a fair and safe work environment, free of discrimination, where they can earn competitive wages, and voice their concerns freely… We believe that education is the great equalizer"
"[Apple] take the conditions of workers very seriously. I worked in factories, I worked at a paper mill. We understand working conditions at a very granular level." He went on to say that "[Apple] realize that the supply chain is very complex, and the issues surrounding it are very complex. We believe that every worker has the right to a safe working environment where workers can earn a fair wage, and Apple suppliers must live up to this in order to do business with Apple."
Impressively, Cook points out that the company manages this to a low level, and pays attention to details such as having safe fire extinguishers in the factories that they employ.
He continued on "We think that the use of underage labor is abhorrent. Our top priority is to eliminate it entirely," and that "No one in our industry is doing more to improve working conditions than Apple. [...] If we find a supplier that intentionally supplies child labor, it is a fireable offense."
Following, the begining of Fair Labor Association's audits of company's supply chain, Cook noted Apple will begin an unprecedented move to report its findings monthly. As an example of how detail oriented the company's review processes are, Cook noted if there were "no fire extinguisher in kitchen," the supplier would not pass.
Cook also noted that Apple partnered with local schools to provide classes to more than 60,000 employees, many going on to earn associates degrees, with a campus population larger than Arizona State.
Tim Cook today gave a presentation at Goldman Sachs, where he talked about supplier responsibility at Apple, as well as their products and philosophy at Apple.
Cook also pointed out that Apple now has 100 million users of it's recently launched "iCloud" platform, and that they're seeing growth of 15 million users in just 21 days. The service had around 85 million users last month. Considering that iCloud only works on the iPhone 3GS and up, that's a huge number of users.
Cook said that the company sold 37 million iPhones, and had a "decent quarter," and he noted it was 17 million more than the company ever reported before.
Cook also talked about the potential for growth from the 9 percent of handsets Apple devices currently accounted for. He said Apple expects the market to hit 1 billion units by 2015, with approximately 25 percent coming from China and Brazil.
He noted that 80 percent to 90 percent of his time is spent on an iPad, either working or consuming media. "People at the end of the day, they want the great product… I think they'll [Amazon] will sell a lot of units. Our customers are not going to be satisfied with a limited-function product… as long as people invent their own stuff, I love competition."
Addressing a question, "what does Apple plan to do with its $97 billion in cash?" Cook didn't reveal any specific plans for Apple's money pile but stated:
"I only ask for a bit of patience so we can do this in a deliberate way and do it in a way that's best for shareholders. We're judicious, we're deliberate, we spend our money like its our last penny … We're not going to go have a toga party or do something outlandish."
Cook also talked about Apple TV, said the company sold 3 million units during 2011 and 1 million last quarter. He also talked about how Apple was essentially testing the water with Apple TV to see if the market was there, but at this point, it is still a hobby. Perhaps hinting at the rumored HDTV, Cook noted the company would need something "special" to make TV a "serious category" for Apple.
You can hear Cook in below:
Cook on Siri stated "I never felt like I couldn't live without a beta product before." Also, not e that Siri now speaks Japanese, according to Apple's Siri FAQ, she will support Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish in 2012:
Language Support and Availability
Siri works exclusively on iPhone 4S. Siri understands and can speak the following languages:
- English (United States, United Kingdom, Australia)
- French (France)
- German (Germany)
In 2012, Siri will support additional languages, including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish.
Can I use Siri in any of these languages in other countries?
Yes. Siri can be enabled in any country, and you can choose to speak to it in English, French, or German. However, Siri is designed to recognize the specific accents and dialects of the supported countries listed above. Since every language has its own accents and dialects, the accuracy rate will be higher for native speakers.