Tim Cook Discusses iPhone Pricing, China Tariffs and More in New GMA Interview

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Live on Tuesday morning from New York City’s Times Square, Apple Chief Executive, Tim Cook, appeared for an exclusive sit-down interview with ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA). During which host Robin Roberts served the soft-spoken Apple boss with a range of questions on the China trade wars and Apple Watch Series 4, while Cook took the opportunity to demonstrate the latest iPhone XS and XS Max on live TV.

Trade Wars and Tariffs

Roberts launched into the interview by asking Cook about the current “trade wars” going on between the U.S. and China — and particularly in light of recent announcements that new tariffs would be applied to select goods from the country.

Cook, responding to the query which was posted via Twitter beforehand, was quick to note that while “the iPhone is assembled in China, the parts come from everywhere including the United States.” For example, “the glass comes from Kentucky,” Cook noted, and “there are chips that come from the U.S., and of course the research and development is all done in the United States.”

“So, I don’t want to speak for them, but I think they’ve looked at this and said that it’s not really great for the United States to put a tariff on those type of products.”

Despite the tensions, Cook added that he’s optimistic “of the chance to avoid retaliatory action from China,” pointing out that “Trade is one of those things where it’s not a zero-sum game… I’m optimistic that the two countries will sort this out and life will go on.”

He concluded by striking a seemingly patriotic tone, noting that “Apple could only have been created in America, we are a deeply American company,” and “we feel tremendous responsibility to help our country.”

He cited, for example, Apple’s ongoing efforts leading to job creation, as well as plans for “opening facilities in all sorts of places.” 

iPhone XS for Just a Dollar Per Day

Cook — while demonstrating his company’s latest iPhone XS and XS Max flagships on live TV — was then asked by Roberts about whether he thinks the device’s high cost is alienating some customers — to which Cook responded that “we want to make an iPhone for everyone.” 

While he pointed to the myriad of lower-cost models (like the iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 7) which remain available to order today, the CEO also noted that “the way most people pay for these, as it turns out, is they do a deal with a carrier, and they pay so much per month.” 

“So if you look, even the phone that’s priced over a thousand dollars, most people pay about $30 a month for it, and so it’s about a dollar a day,” Cook said, noting that iPhones have essentially replaced a range of other products — like digital cameras, video recorders, MP3 players, and standalone navigation units, for example.

“We found that people want to have the most innovative product available and it’s not cheap to do that.” Tim Cook

Last but not least, Roberts inquired about the latest Apple Watch Series 4, which prompted Cook to highlight some of the recent stories surrounding the wearable’s role in alerting users to a range of heart and underlying health conditions. He also touted the Series 4’s new FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) capability. Watch the full Good Morning America segment below!

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