Apple CEO Tim Cook faults Alabama for lack of gay rights

29 Oct 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alibaba eyes payments tie-up with Apple.

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., criticized Alabama state’s lack of action over gay rights in a speech yesterday during his induction ceremony into the Alabama Academy of Honor. During the Wall Street Journal live technology conference in California, Alibaba chief Jack Ma seemed keen to get its Alipay payments system to work with Apple Pay.CEO has given an unusually candid interview — in which he struck back at companies leaving the Apple Pay system, teased a possible partnership with Alibaba, and revealed why Apple killed the iPod Classic.

Alibaba Group Holding, which recently raised $US25 billion, in the world’s biggest initial public offering in the US, is interested in partnering with Apple Inc. in financial payments, the Chinese company’s executive chairman said. An Alabama native, Cook said his home state needs to learn from its slow approach to civil rights for blacks. “As a state we took too long to take steps toward equality and once we began, our progress was too slow,” Cook said. “Under the law citizens of Alabama can still be fired based on their sexual orientation. Speaking at the WSJ.D conference in Laguna Beach, California, Cook called Apple Pay a tremendous success even in its first week, and revealed that there had been 1 million credit cards activated on the system in its first 72 hours. “That’s more than all the other guys combined,” Cook enthused, touting his early lead over similar payment systems such as Google Wallet. “And we’re only just getting started. — Apple Inc.’s chief executive, Tim Cook, said the company’s new mobile payment system had over 1 million activations in the first three days it was available and is now more widely used than any competing payment system. ‘‘We’re already number one.

We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it, and we can create a different future.” When Apple released a report in August that showed 70 percent of its U.S. employees were white or Asian, Cook said he was unsatisfied with the Cupertino, California-based company’s diversity and was working to make it more representative of the nation as a whole. For those who don’t know, Alipay is China’s leading payments system and ranks third in mobile payments at a global level, following Visa and MasterCard.

In December, Cook, who took over for Steve Jobs in 2011, gave a speech on gay rights and racism at an event held by his alma mater, Auburn University, at the United Nations. Note that Apple has already spoken about making Apple Pay available in China , which is a huge market for Apple’s products including the latest iPhone 6. Cook dismissed that as business maneuvering. “It’s a skirmish,” he said. “Over the long arc of time, retailers will step back and say, no other system is more secure.” He added pointedly: “you’re only relevant as a retailer if your customers love you.” (CVS and Rite Aid are working on their own system, to be launched in 2015 and called Current C.) “We’re not collecting your data,” Cook added. “We’re not Big Brother. While Apple has partnered with major banks and large retail chains including Macy’s Inc., Walgreen Co., and McDonald’s Corp., critics have noted that its system is not accepted by a number of other large chains. Cook was also asked if he would make a low-cost iPhone for emerging markets, to which he replied, “We’ll go as low as we can while maintaining the customer experience.” This means the iPhone 5c is as cheap an iPhone could get and, considering Apple has no new iteration of the 5c, a low-cost iPhone may never see the light of the day.

He said Alibaba has all the traits of a company that Apple would like to partner with, though he didn’t specify whether Apple will work with Alibaba in payments. Responding to questions, Cook also said that he expects Apple’s iPhone will continue to be the company’s biggest-selling product, contributing the majority of Apple’s revenue and profit, for the next few years.

In July, Alibaba announced a deal with Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. to make available on Alibaba set-top boxes offerings such as the “Twilight” hit vampire movie series and the TV show “Mad Men.” Since its IPO in September, Alibaba shares have risen 44 per cent and the company has a market capitalisation of more than $US240 billion, making it larger than Amazon and eBay combined. But he said that sales of Apple’s Mac computers are growing faster than the overall personal computer industry, which has struggled in recent years.

Alibaba transacted nearly $US300 billion in gross merchandise value in the 12 months through June on its Chinese retail marketplaces like Taobao and Tmall. When asked upfront about the smartwatch’s battery life, he said ” “We think people are going to use it so much you will end up charging it daily.” While this does not reveal much, the Apple Watch might last for just about a day, which puts it in the same category as the Moto 360. He also talked about the upcoming release of an Apple smartwatch and dropped broad hints about Apple’s work on a new television product, which has been rumored for years.

At the same time, he expressed his displeasure at the fact that some retailers were blocking the service to evade transaction fees to credit card companies. Speaking earlier, Ma said he is looking for a variety of US partners for Alibaba Group, the Chinese company that held a record stock market debut on Wall Street earlier this year. Both sides should listen.” Hong Kong students have taken to the streets for more than four weeks to protest Beijing’s decision to allow only prescreened candidates to run for the city’s highest chief executive position.

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