The majority of tech leaders aren’t known to often make public comments that could stir the industry. They try to keep their feelings to themselves and focus on their products and services. But, in some cases, they need to make strong remarks in order to make sure that their customers get some kind of reassurance.
On the similar lines, talking to Recode’s Kara Swisher, Tim Cook took multiple jabs at Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. When asked “what would he do if he were Mark Zuckerberg,” Cook replied that he wouldn’t be in the situation. There, he was trying to reassure Apple customers that they’d made a right choice and his company isn’t going to betray them.
He further added that Apple could make tons of money by monetizing their customers–just the way Facebook does. By saying that, he didn’t aim to push Facebook off the ledge. Instead, he was again making sure that people keep spending their hard-earned dollars on shiny Apple devices.
Then came Zuckerberg’s turn to fire shots. The prices of Apple’s products are always a sore eye for many. In an interview with Vox, he said, “the reality here is that if you want to build a service that helps connect everyone in the world, then there are a lot of people who can’t afford to pay.”
He further defended Facebook’s business model as rational and called Tim Cook’s argument “extremely glib.” Indirectly calling Apple a company that works hard to charge you more, he called Facebook a company that’s finding a balance to become one of the “companies that work hard to charge you less and provide a free service that everyone can use.”
In my opinions, all of the Zuckerberg’s arguments are correct: Apple charges you more; it’s a money printing machine; it should do more to connect the people. But, it’s a whole different discussion. Charging people more can’t be compared to the failure to protect personal data of your users. Making tons of money by selling premium hardware can’t be compared to giving unrestricted access to advertisers. Same goes for trying to equate using Facebook with connecting people.
Zuckerberg might be on an interview spree to polish his company’s reputation but he needs to do a lot more than retaliating at any other CEO. Facebook users need some solid convincing and taking a stab at Apple’s pricing isn’t going to benefit his company anytime soon.