The future of AR and its role in Apple’s future

Tim Cook was interviewed today on journalist Kara Swisher’s Sway podcast. Apple’s CEO talked about his admiration for Tesla and its lead in electric vehicles and noted that he “probably” won’t be at Apple in 10 years’ time. Another thing Cook talked about was AR and its role in Apple’s future.

“In terms of AR, the promise of AR is that you and I are having a great conversation right now. Arguably, it could even be better if we were able to augment our discussion with charts or other things to appear. Your audience would also benefit from this, too, I think. And so when I think about that in different fields, whether it’s health, whether it’s education, whether it’s gaming, whether it’s retail, I’m already seeing AR take off in some of these areas.

Although Cook doesn’t talk about future products, he has been mentioning AR quite often in public appearances. Swisher asked about the “glow and behold” quote on WWDC 2021’s invitation, but Tim Cook wouldn’t elaborate on whether that had any underlying meaning.

Asked about the rumored mixed reality headset, Apple’s CEO gave the PR answer that he doesn’t talk about future products, but it’s important to note this:

“I think the [AR] promise is even greater in the future. So it’s a critically important part of Apple’s future.”

If AR is Apple’s next bet, here’s what we know so far: Apple’s mixed-reality headset could feature 15 camera modules and “innovative biometrics,” according to Apple’s analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his previous report, Kuo said “Apple will release a new ‘helmet type’ headset with Micro-OLED displays and augmented and virtual reality capabilities in 2022.”

He also mentioned that “Apple is still working on new AR glasses, but these are unlikely to be introduced before 2025.”

Who will be Tim Cook’s succession?

Tim Cook & AR

As part of an interview with Kara Swisher, Cook says that he probably won’t be running Apple in 10 years, although the “date is not in sight.” He obviously gave no hints about whom is set to replace him as CEO.

There has been renewed focus on Apple’s leadership plans, with the company seeing long-time executives like Jony Ive, Dan Riccio, and Phil Schiller depart their executive roles over the last couple of years.

Tim Cook has been working at Apple since 1997 and became CEO in 2011 following the death of founder Steve Jobs. Cook celebrated his 60th birthday last year, and there is naturally much speculation about how much longer he will be running the world’s biggest company.

Cook’s answer seems to suggest that he will remain in the position for a while yet, with no date in sight. Last year, Bloomberg said that Apple was increasingly focused on succession planning with CEO candidates including Jeff Williams and John Ternus.

Here’s the transcript of Cook’s latest comments, which you can hear in full at the end of the latest episode of the Sway podcast:

Cook: Ten more years? Probably not. But I can tell you that I feel great right now and the date is not in sight. But ten more years is a long time — and probably not ten more years.

Swisher: What would you do if you weren’t running Apple?

Cook: I don’t have a clue because I love this company so much, that it is hard to imagine my life without it. And so I don’t think I will know that until after I’m not here. Because I think I will run so fast that I’ll never really think about it until I’m not running anymore. Does that make any sense?

Swisher: Maybe just go on vacation?

Cook: [laughs]