Tim Cook at D10
I was in the front row for Tim Cook’s interview at the D10 conference last night. It was long, and there seemed to be a little too much effort placed on prodding Tim about future Apple products, which everyone knows he wasn’t going to talk about.
But Tim’s industry commentary and body language suggested some things were in the works. Here’s my “between the lines” summary of his interview, and a very fun photo of Tim laughing his butt off about the idea of selling Ping to Google+. (Overall, I thought he did a pretty good job. I actually enjoy watching him speak. He seems to be having fun.)
Btw, I asked Tim a question, though it didn’t come out as clearly as I’d have liked. Basically: As Apple products continue to use more and more bandwidth — for HD video, retina-resolution graphics, Siri, etc. — does Apple need to have more control or even an ownership stake in the broadband “pipe” industry? What I was hoping to get at was the potential for consumption-based ISP billing, which could make the prospect of an Apple TV service a lot less enticing. (If you have to keep an eye on the bandwidth bill because you’re streaming too much HD video, and potentially pay overage charges, that doesn’t sound fun for anyone — especially iTunes, Netflix, etc.)
Cook’s answer was what you’d expect: Apple doesn’t need to own a carrier; the carriers do their job fine. But he added another interesting point: Most of Apple’s business is now outside of the U.S., so owning a U.S.-based carrier wouldn’t be so useful anyway.
This is what I was getting at a few months ago in a Twitter joke. Harry McCracken, the Time tech columnist, asked, “If Apple was to buy a wireless carrier, which one would be the best deal?” I answered: “China Unicom?” Not as crazy as it sounds…
Finally, as always, a great summary of quotes and even a little news at Techmeme. It was cool to hear that Apple TV sales are up about 100% so far this year. I bought one with the new iPad and love it.