Apple's design team is working on projects that 'will blow you away,' says Tim Cook (AAPL)


tim cook

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook said the projects that the company’s design team is working on “will blow you away,” according to NBC News.
  • The statement came in response to a story from The Wall Street Journal about the firm’s design chief Jony Ive growing distant from Apple’s leadership, which Cook called “absurd.”
  • It’s unclear what projects Cook was referring to, as the company rarely discusses new products ahead of their launch. But the firm is said to be working on everything from new iPhones and AirPods to augmented reality glasses and self-driving car software.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. 

It’s unusual for Apple to tease new products before they’re ready to be unveiled. But in a rare move, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement to NBC News that the projects that the company’s design team is working on “will blow you away.” 

The statement came in response to a story The Wall Street Journal published on Sunday regarding the recently announced departure of Jony Ive, the firm’s chief design officer, who has been at Apple since 1996. A disconnect between Ive and Apple’s leadership had formed in recent years as he had grown frustrated about the company’s focus on operations, the Journal report says. 

Cook called the story “absurd” when contacting NBC News, saying the reporting doesn’t “match with reality.” He also made a vague mention of upcoming projects.  

“The design team is phenomenally talented,” Cook said to NBC News. “As Jony has said, they’re stronger than ever, and I have complete confidence that they will thrive under Jeff, Evans, and Alan’s leadership. We know the truth, and we know the incredible things they’re capable of doing. The projects they’re working on will blow you away.”

Read more: Jony Ive’s departure may be a sign that one of Tim Cook’s top lieutenants is becoming even more powerful

Of course, Cook did not elaborate on what those projects entail. But there’s been no shortage of rumors and reports claiming to provide insight on where Apple’s priorities lie. In addition to launching already-announced products later this year — like new software for its line of hardware and its Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade subscription services — the company is expected to launch three new iPhones later this year.

Those phones will retain a design that’s largely similar to the current lineup, but the most expensive model will likely have a triple-camera instead of the current dual-camera, according to reports from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. The company is reportedly planning a new iPhone for next year that will have better 3D cameras and support 5G connectivity, as Bloomberg has reported.

Apple is also rumored to be working on a new set of AirPods, a new Apple Watch, and a large MacBook Pro with a 16-inch screen, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. 

Then there are the long-term rumored projects Apple is said to have in its pipeline, like its ambitions in the auto sector and a set of augmented reality glasses. Both of those reported product lines would represent new territory for Apple as the company grapples with slowing iPhone sales. The augmented reality glasses would run on their own operating system and could be ready to launch in 2020, according to Bloomberg. When it comes to automotive technology, Apple is reportedly working on software for self-driving cars, a pivot from its original goal of building its own autonomous vehicles, as Bloomberg reported. 

It’s rare for Cook or any Apple executive to tease upcoming projects. But the Apple CEO has expressed enthusiasm about new technologies in the past. Cook, for example, had indicated his interest in augmented reality long before the company officially debuted ARKit, its augmented reality platform for iPhones and iPads. 

“It will happen in a big way,” Cook said in 2016 during a talk with former United States senator Orrin Hatch. “And we will wonder when it does, kind of how we wonder how we live with without our phone today.” 

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