Live from Apple’s 2021 shareholders meeting

All times Eastern. All typos mine.

And that’s a wrap. Classic Tim Cook. Thoughtful. Proud. Optimistic.

UPDATE: You don’t have to rely on my sketchy notes for the Q&A portion of the event. I’ve posted Apple’s transcript here.

12:59 Thanks. See you next year.

12:57 Q: Most challenging obstacle for 2021. A: I don’t see obstacles as much as opportunities. Praises individual products and the way they are intregrated etc. Looking back to the beginning of COVID, I do think we have to pause and say “Wow.” The degree everybody rose to the occasion. I am greatly optimistic about the future. Thinking about how we can emerge from the pandemic stronger.

12:55 Q: What about Texas? A: Apple donating to help people on the ground. Extreme weather events like this only becoming more frequent.

12:55 Q: What will be the impact of stimulus money on Apple. A: Focus should be to help people and small business.

12:53: Q: Not Apple Computers anymore. What is Apple now? A: Made up of people who want to make things enrich the lives of others. Life is too short to do anything else. Saying no. Innovating relentlessly. Apple is about technology made by people, for people, with people;’s best interests in mind.

12:52 Q: Nashville happy to see store reopen. A: More praise for retail folks.

12:51 Q: Why don’t you increase you dividend more. A: We plan for annual dividend increases. We’re rather invest in innovation.

12:49 Q: Will Apple promote education outside the U.S. A: Absolutely. Coding education. Adult education in high-tech fields. Free tools and training during COVID for millions of teachers and parents.

12:48 Q: Pay equity? Women same as men? Color? A: We have gender pay equity in every country. Within U.S. it’s $1 for $1 for employees of color. Worldwide we’ve stopped asking candidates for their salary history.

12:44 Q: Are you worried about regulation of App Store business model. A: Economic miracle. Mentions small business program. Fact: Apple doesn’t have a dominant position in any market it competes in. (ex ped: Except within the App Store). Paid out more than $200 billion to developers of all sizes. He’s got the numbers at his fingertips. That’s good staff work! Scrutiny is reasonable, but the facts point in a single direction.

12:43 Q: When do you plan to release CODA film. A: Children of deaf adults. It’s coming. We see streaming as room for many players. Word of mouth Ted Lasso. Awards. 

12:41 Q: How improve on diversity and inclusion. A: We haven’t done enough. Meaningful progress.

12:41 Q: Mergers and acquisitions in future? A: Made 17 acquisitions in the past 4 years alone. One every 3 or 4 weeks. Mostly small innovative companies.

12:39 Q: How is Apple diversifying its supply chain. A: Mostly talks about jobs in U.S. and making coding education accessible to everyone and investments in minority owned businesses.

12:38 Q: What is your policy on political contributions. A: We don’t make them. We work on policy, not politics.

12:35. Q: How responding to Covid given that HQ designed to enhance interaction? A: The fact that we’ve been innovating despite COVID speaks to adaptability. Some things work really well virtually. Nothing better for a company based on innovation than having to figure out how to do things in a brand new way.

12:32 Q: Why did you feel the need to speak out about privacy, and why now. A: We don’t let the grass grow under our feet in this effort. Plugs privacy nutrition label. “You’re not the customer, you’re the product.” (You can hear the groans from Mountain View.)

12:30 Q: Is Apple on track with environmental goals? A: We’re ahead. One goal is to make products without extracting anything from the earth. I.e. Carbon neutral aluminum.

12:30 Cook opens live Q&A session.

12:14 Tim Cook: “This is an exception time for the Apple family.” Covid etc. “This has been a period of prolific innovation.”

Mentions “very strong quarter” reported just a few weeks ago. Passed 1.6 billion devices, more than 1 billion iPhones. Thanks team.

Remarkable ecosystem: “We’re here today because Apple makes the … most trusted products anywhere.

Recaps results from Q1 2021.

“We’re just getting started here. Stay tuned.”

Apple Watch Series 6 growing toolkit for staying healthy. Cites Singapore Lumihealth.

AirPods max “hugely successful.”

HomePod mini “another hit this holiday season.”

Operating system highlights.

Unrivaled commitment to privacy and security.

Fitness+: world-class workouts and health info.

Services business $15.8 billion just last quarter.

Apple TV+ 243 nominations, 68 wins. Shout-out for Ted Lasso.

“Adaptation has defined the past year.” Especially for retail team.

Company’s core principal to leave the world better than we found it. Racial justice. Propel Center. Detroit app center. Harlem Capital.

Environmental stuff — carbon neutral across entire supply chain and use of products by 2030.

In Bay Area $400 million for housing.

Last but not least, COVID-19 efforts: millions of masks, face shields, test kits, $millions for relief.

Closing thought: Short clip from “time to walk.” Ruby Bridges on the day she desegregated her all-white school.

12:14 Adjourns formal part.

12:12 Prelim results: All the nominees elected.  Nos. 2 and 3 also approved. Nos. 4 and 5 not approved. Big surprise.

12:11 A one-minute silent to cast your ballot. Pretty dull so far.

12:09. Mr. Jing Zhao, author of No. 5, has audio presentation arguing that Apple’s executive compensation is too high. “We must restore the soul of America,” he says, and quotes Pres. Biden. Calls on former VP Al Gore to do the right thing.

12:05 Reading the five proposals to be voted on. Three company, two shareholder. Plays Jim MacRitchie’s audio version of his presentation for No. 4. Argues for standard of 2 shareholder nominees. Apple says “special interests could disrupt the board.” MacRitchie makes a good case, IMHO. His proposal will lose because the board recomments a no vote.

12:03 Adams introduces accountants etc. Declares quorum is present. Polls are now open. Instructions for how to ask questions.

12:02 Kate Adams, general counsel, calls meeting to order.

12:01 Tim Cook as cartoon. Outlines the structure of the meeting. Introduces the board.

12:00 “There’s a certain kind of person who doesn’t take no for an answer” video. An update to “Here’s to the crazy ones”

12:00 John Legend’s “Bigger Love”

11:54 Now it’s Tangerine’s “Glass Animals.” These are all new to me, and I suspect most Apple shareholders.

11: 51 Now it’s Louis The Child’s “Don’t Mind.” and a tour of Apple billboards.

11:49 Found my 15-digit number. I’m in. Being treated with an Apple product slide show with music that Shazam identifies Wesley’s “Home.”


  1. David Emery said:
    This sounds like a total “dodge the question:”

    12:39 Q: How is Apple diversifying its supply chain. A: Mostly talks about jobs in U.S. and making coding education accessible to everyone and investments in minority owned businesses.

    February 23, 2021
    • Perhaps, Tim is always looking to talk about inclusivity. Public discussions about using vendors outside China or moving plants to Vietnam, Indonesia and India, at the Annual Meeting, might not go over well in Beijing. Taipei is part of that and there’s a love/hate thing there with the mainland too. Strategic too so hush, hush.

      February 24, 2021
  2. Mordechai Beizer said:
    Tim’s avatar has the part on the wrong side of the head. The avatar parts from the right, Tim parts from the left. Time to fire up the “this would never have happened under Steve Jobs” meme. (Of course, Steve had no hair to part).

    February 23, 2021

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