updated 11:03 am EST, Fri January 24, 2014
Apple continues publicity tour
Apple CEO Tim Cook was joined by fellow executives Craig Federighi (head of Software Engineering) and Bud Tribble (VP of Software Technology) during an ABC News interview set to air later tonight, but teased this morning during Good Morning America. While the occasion was nominally the 30th anniversary of the Mac, Cook was asked about topics like the manufacturing of the Mac Pro in Austin, Texas. He suggested the company could "do more" on that account, which led to discussion of its contracted sapphire glass plant in Mesa, Arizona.
The CEO declined to say what products Apple has in mind with the plant, only joking that it's "for a ring." Speculation has held that it could be used for everything from camera lenses and fingerprint sensors -- already current uses of sapphire -- to replacing Gorilla Glass on displays. While Gorilla Glass is tough, and sapphire is relatively expensive, switching would let Apple thin down its products even further while increasing durability.
Cook also acknowledged some of Apple's more extreme security measures at its R&D labs. "Yes, there are black drapes, and numerous locked doors, and many other things," he said. Some workers aren't allowed to tell family what they're doing during the day.
He lastly said that he wakes up at 3:45AM every day, and reads most of the hundreds of emails he gets from Apple customers. His predecessor, Steve Jobs, was also well-known for having a public email address and occasionally replying to customers.