Don’t Like Green Bubbles? “Buy Your Mom An iPhone”, Apple CEO Tim Cook Says

Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Wednesday that Apple is not prioritizing improving the texting experience between iPhones and Android devices because its users haven’t been asking for it.

“I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy on that, on this point,” Cook said in response to an audience question at Vox Media’s Code Conference in Beverly Hills, California. “I would love to convert you to iPhone.”

Google wants Apple to adopt RCS, a kind of message that is meant as a next-generation SMS replacement with encryption and other modern features.

The questioner pressed Cook, saying that he can’t send videos to his mom because of the limitations of SMS messaging.

“Buy your mom an iPhone,” Cook said.

They are working on ensuring maximum privacy on their devices. “Steve really ingrained in the company in the early days the importance of privacy and it has only grown since,” Cook said.

Cook cited a 2010 talk by Jobs where he said that privacy means that users consent to share their data. “Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English, and repeatedly. That’s what it means,” Jobs said in the talk cited by Cook.

The company’s privacy push has attracted criticism of Apple being self-serving as the new privacy features make online advertising more difficult to measure. Apple reportedly plans to increase the size of its advertising business and introduce new ad units.

That’s the same philosophy behind App Tracking Transparency, a feature introduced in 2021 that has roiled the online advertising industry.

Companies including Facebook parent Meta have blasted the change as anti-competitive. In February, Meta said it would cost it $10 billion this year.

“What we felt is that people should own their data, and they should make their own decision,” Cook said on Wednesday. “People should be empowered to be able to make that decision in a straightforward and simple manner. Not buried 95 pages deep in a privacy policy somewhere.”

“We’ve never said digital advertising is a bad thing,” Cook said. “What is not good is vacuuming up people’s data when they’re not doing so on an informed basis.”

“We’re not trying to be a regulator,” Cook said. “All we’re trying to do is give people the ability to make the decision for themselves.”

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