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Apple's Cook, Ive, and Federighi on Android, Microsoft, and 'new' versus 'right'

Apple's Cook, Ive, and Federighi on Android, Microsoft, and 'new' versus 'right'

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On the eve of the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook, chief designer Jony Ive, and head of software Craig Federighi have spoken to Bloomberg Businessweek to discuss the company's recent news. Some analysts and investors expected a cheaper iPhone, but Tim Cook effectively ruled that out. "We never had an objective to sell a low-cost phone," says Cook. "Our primary objective is to sell a great phone and provide a great experience, and we figured out a way to do it at a lower cost."

Cook says "there’s always a large junk part of the market," and that Apple isn't in that particular part of the business. "I’m not going to lose sleep over that other market, because it’s just not who we are." Speaking of not losing sleep, Cook also doesn't appear to be concerned by the recent stock price fluctuations either. "I don’t feel euphoric on the up, and I don’t slit my wrists when it goes down," he says, noting he has "ridden the roller coaster too many times for that." That roller coaster has seen Apple's stock price drop by over 30 percent after it broke past the $700 barrier around a year ago.

A Federighi and Ive partnership

Stock price and cheaper iPhones aside, it's clear a growing partnership between Jony Ive and Craig Federighi has been at the heart of iOS 7, the iPhone 5C, and Apple's flagship iPhone 5S smartphone. The Ive / Federighi collaboration brought iOS 7 to life this week, but Ive says the pair never really talked about their roles: "We talked about how can we most effectively extend the collaboration that always existed." The close work between the software and design teams was essential for Apple during iOS 7 as the company sought to overhaul its user interface with a flatter look and additional features. "Successful collaboration, in your mind, could be that your opinion is the most valuable and becomes the prevailing sort of direction," says Ive. "That’s not collaborating."

"New? New is easy. Right is hard."

Ive also explains Apple's lack of interest in bumping its feature lists. While Android competitors, like Samsung, push multiple handsets and gimmicky software features, Ive says "we didn’t start opportunistically with 10 bits of technology that we could try to find a use for to add to our features list." Cook is once again dismissive of Android, saying "it matters that people use our products," and questioning the usage of Android vs. marketshare. Meanwhile, Federighi says creating something new isn't the hard part, it's doing it right. "New? New is easy. Right is hard."

While Android is just one rival operating system in the mobile space, Cook also has opinions on Microsoft's recent Nokia phone business purchase. "Everybody is trying to adopt Apple’s strategy,” he claims, before recounting the days days when Nokia was on top as a cautionary reminder that Apple has to continue to innovate.