Cook states that Apple is more secretive than the CIA.

Tonight Charle Rose interviewed Apple’s CEO Tim Cook about the current state of Apple and what they have in the pipeline. Rose was also allowed entry into the Apple Design Lab and privy to a tour led by Jony Ive. Here is a quick recap of the interview. Rose’s interviews are typically available online in their entirety.

Overall, the segment was concise as well-detailed as you would expect from Charlie Rose, but all the information that was covered has all been covered before. What was different was the look inside the Apple Design Center and a brief tour of the Apple Campus, the new headquarters slated to open next year.

The Apple Design Center looks very much like an Apple Retail Store. The classic wooden tables with spectacular clean lines are included in the space. Rose was able to have a one-on-one tour with Chief Design Officer, Jony Ive. Ive is widely regarded as the most important person at Apple. What is amazing about Ive is that every Apple device currently in the market today was either created or inspired by him. While it was nice to see what the Design Center looked like, there were many areas covered by elusive black cloths that were used to preserve the secrecy of the incoming product pipeline. Rose intimated that if he were to see under the cloths that he would know the future of Apple and that’s why people don’t get to visit the Design Center. Ive agreed by saying, “We don’t like people in this room, period.”

Rose also had the chance to speak with the entire leadership team even though he wasn’t invited to attend their weekly team meeting. Team members like Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said, “It’s amazing to be able to work in a place where you’re building products that everybody in the world uses. Whether it’s a two-year-old or 100-year-old, they get to experience the products that we’re building and that’s amazing.”

Part of the segment was dedicated some very difficult questions for CEO Tim Cook, which I thought he handled well and gave some very passionate responses. After restating his and Apple’s commitment to privacy and data encryption, Cook answered one of the biggest questions facing Apple – why doesn’t Apple bring the one million jobs that are currently in China, back to the US? His answer was that China has the skill set Apple is looking for in manufacturing.

“China put an enormous focus on manufacturing. In what we would call, you and I would call vocational kind of skills. The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills. I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we’re currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.” Tim Cook

In addition to the job force question, Rose also asked why Cook and Apple don’t attempt to bring the money back from oversees. Cook’s response was –

“Because it would cost me 40 percent to bring it home. And I don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to do. This is a tax code, Charlie, that was made for the industrial age, not the digital age. It’s backwards. It’s awful for America. It should have been fixed many years ago. It’s past time to get it done.”

In addition to the Design Center tour, Ive also showed Rose the new Apple headquarters which is currently under construction. Between Go Pro cameras doing fly-overs and artist renderings of the finished product, we were able to get a pretty nice picture of the project. One of the coolest features to me is that the main building is going to be off the power grid and powered by solar energy.

Cook as been the CEO for the past 4 years since founder Steve Jobs hand picked Cook to be his successor. It’s very evident by talking with Cook and others at Apple that Jobs is still very much apart of the company.

“This is Steve’s company. This is still Steve’s company. It was born that way, it’s still that way.
And so his spirit I think will always be the DNA of this company.” Tim Cook