Tim Cook has just marked 10 years as Apple’s CEO, and while he’s grown Apple into the most valuable company in the world, it’s reasonable to argue he hasn’t yet introduced a signature, industry shaking product like Apple co-founder Steve Jobs did with the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more.
But if you’ve been following Apple for a minute, you’ve probably heard Cook talk about the game-changing potential of augmented reality. While he once said it was hard to see the appeal of Google Glass, the AR wearable that proved unpopular with consumers, he’s held a consistently positive opinion on AR since at least 2016. While most of the industry was putting all its eggs in the VR basket, Cook repeatedly expressed support for what he views as the far superior AR. This would become a running theme: AR good, VR not so good.
It seems likely that AR may become the hallmark of Cook’s tenure, as long as Apple executes on a winning idea. While that’s not exactly guaranteed — Apple has yet to unveil an AR headset or glasses — Cook’s frequent comments about the tech keep the topic in the news and reassure investors and customers that Apple is working on it. In September 2021, he went as far as to call himself “AR fan number one.”