After receiving an honorary degree today at Scotland’s University of Glasgow, Apple chief executive Tim Cook spoke about a wide number of topics during a fireside chat and question-and-answer session with university students.
Among other things, Cook touched on Apple’s renewable energy push, how Apple devices can be used to track health, the company’s FBI encryption case, how to deal with cynical people, President Trump’s executive order limiting travel into the U.S. (“We don’t support it. I think it’s wrong,” he said), and some of the people he’s met during his tour of Europe in the past few days.
But the most interesting comments for Apple watchers were about Cook’s predecessor, Steve Jobs — the first of which was in the context of the Muslim ban.
“Steve was the son of an immigrant,” Cook said. Steve Jobs’ father Abdulfattah “John” Jandali was born and raised in Syria.
This comes a few days after Cook told employees in a memo that “Apple would not exist without immigration.” Sure enough, Cook repeated that line today.
One student asked if Steve Jobs’ spirit still lives at Apple, particularly given the launch of the Apple Pencil stylus that works with the iPad Pro.
The truth is Steve did hate styluses, Cook said, but “…The Apple Pencil is a creative tool.”
He also said that “Steve’s DNA will always be the core of Apple. Steve is deeply embedded in the company. We celebrate him. And we celebrate his philosophy. His philosophy I think will be at Apple 100 years from now. … So yes, he’s very much at Apple.”
Cook was also asked who has had the most influence on him. The answer: Jobs. “By far,” Cook said.