Apple ranks third on Fortune’s ‘Change the World’ list, Cook says products are the biggest influencer

Fortune has put together its “Change the World” list, which recognizes company’s that are making a positive impact, and Apple has come in at number three. Tim Cook also spoke with Fortune to explain more about how he thinks Apple is changing the world for the better and also shared that he believes Apple products aren’t just for the rich (a day before the ~$1000 iPhone X debut).

Fortune notes that under Tim Cook, the “company transformed in terms of how it projects onto the world its social awareness and its place in the corporate community.” With the new approach, Apple puts more effort into sharing its philanthropic and other positive initiatives.

Apple’s biggest priorities include renewable energy (it runs its own facilities overwhelmingly on them), education (it is focused on teaching coding from kindergarten through community college), and health care (including the $130 million it has raised for HIV/AIDS through its PRODUCT (RED) partnership with the Global Fund).

While there may be a good number of differences between today’s Apple compared to when Jobs was CEO, interesting enough Cook still sees Apple’s products as the most important way the company makes a positive impact.

I think the No. 1 way Apple changes the world is through our products. We make products for people that are tools to enable them to do things that they couldn’t otherwise do—to enable them to create or learn or teach or play. Or do something really wonderful.

Cook also details how Apple works to change the world through human rights advocacy, a focus on privacy, education, and environment, but circles back to products as the most important aspect…

But the primary way we will always change the world is through our products. Because we touch so many more people in that manner.

Fortune also brought up Apple’s goal to make products that everyone can use, in contrast to a business strategy of making premium priced products. Cook responded by highlighting its more affordable (and more recent) entry level devices.

But if you look across our product lines, you can buy an iPad today for under $300. You can buy an iPhone, depending upon which one you select, for in that same kind of ballpark. And so these are not for the rich. We obviously wouldn’t have over a billion products that are in our active installed base if we were making them for the rich because that’s a sizable number no matter who’s looking at the numbers.

The full interview covers much more including Cook discussing why Apple doesn’t have a foundation, Apple’s education, healthcare, and privacy efforts, the app economy, and how devices are effecting social behavior. In conclusion Tim Cook shared this:

We will always try to change the world for the better. That was the motivation behind creating Apple when it was created back in the ’70s. And it’s still the motivation today. It’s what drives us. We want to do what’s right, not what’s easy. Because a lot of what we do is not easy. And we take some spears along the way. But we always try to do what’s right.

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