Tim Cook: virtual reality is really cool and has some interesting applications

tim cook wsj

During Apple’s Q1 2016 earnings call on Tuesday, Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri discussed the company’s performance over the past 3 months. We’ve put together a nice little roundup of all the interesting stuff, but we thought this particular exchange was worth a separate post.

In the Q&A portion of the call, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster—who made a name for himself through his tireless predictions that Apple was building a TV set—asked Tim Cook what he thought about virtual reality. And in his first public comments on the topic, Cook answered.

Munster: I know you can’t talk about new products, but any high level thoughts on the virtual reality theme? Do you think this is more of a geeky niche, or something that could go mainstream?

Cook: In terms of virtual reality, I don’t think it’s a niche. It’s really cool, and has some interesting applications.

On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a big deal. Of course VR is cool. But Cook has in the past been notoriously telling with comments like this, and Apple has shown increasing interest in the space. Earlier this month it hired Doug Bowman, one of the top US researchers in VR and AR.

It’s also noteworthy because many industry watchers believe virtual reality is the next big thing in computing platforms, and several tech companies either already have products in the space, or will shortly. So if it plays out like folks expect it to, Apple will eventually have to get involved.