Apple's Tim Cook says he's happy with remote working and not focused on share price

The Cupertino-based company closed shops and offices outside Greater China in March as the Covid-19 pandemic spread globally

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 15, 2020 a handout still image from the keynote video released by Apple inc. shows Apple CEO Tim Cook kicks off a special event at Apple Park in Cupertino, California.  Apple chief Tim Cook said September 21, 2020, he views the recent increase in fires, hurricanes and floods as strong proof that climate change is real. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO /APPLE Inc. " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
 / AFP / Apple Inc. / Handout / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO /APPLE Inc. " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Work culture will not be the same in the post-coronavirus world, and some tasks will change permanently, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook said.

“I don't believe that we will return to the way we were, because we found that there are some things that actually work really well virtually,” said Mr Cook in an interview at The Atlantic Festival.

“I am incredibly impressed with our teams and their resilience … we continue on the innovation trail,” he added.

Apple closed all shops and offices outside Greater China in March as the Covid-19 pandemic spread around the world. However, it began reopening some of stores in the third week of May, as countries gradually eased restrictions.

“We have got about 10-15 per cent working today in the office. I am in the office at different points during the week as well, but the vast majority, 85 to 90 per cent of the company is still working remotely,” Mr Cook said.

“The vast majority of us can't wait until we can be back in the office again … hopefully that occurs sometime next year, who knows exactly what the date may be,” he said.

Mr Cook said that Covid-19 “caught the world by surprise” but despite working remotely, Apple was able to launch last week new smartwatches, iPads and subscription services.

One of the most valuable companies in the world, Apple reached a $2 trillion (Dh7.34tn) market capitalisation in June, almost double its value just two years earlier.

Mr Cook said the company’s stock price “is not a fixation”.

“We don’t follow the market cap of the company,” said Mr Cook, adding, “It’s not why we do what we do … we want to make the world’s best products that enrich people’s lives. What turns us on is watching how our products are used.”

In the past few month, the Cupertino-based company has drawn increased scrutiny and attention of anti-trust authorities globally. Mr Cook said “big companies deserve scrutiny”.

“That's not only fair but important for the system … so I have no issue at all in Apple being put underneath the microscope and people looking and probing.”

Employees wear protective masks while serving customers at the Apple Inc. flagship store in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. Apple's annual Fall product blitz included new Apple Watches and an upgraded iPad Air. Later this year, the company is expected to unveil several new 5G iPhones. Photographer: David Gray/Bloomberg

“There is no monopoly here. We are in very, very competitive markets like smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets and personal computers. These things are fiercely competitive. There are basically street fights for market share,” he said.

The core strategy of Apple is to “make the best not the most,” Mr Cook added.

“That basic strategy will never produce a monopoly. It's very rare, almost impossible, for the best to become the most as well.”

Mr Cook, who will turn 60 in November, was named the company’s chief executive in 2011.

He said he considered it “the privilege of a lifetime to be here in this role at this time”.

“I love working with this team, consider them family … currently it is difficult to envision my life without them.”

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