A key player in the development of Apple Watch and ResearchKit and a key executive on Cook’s Apple team, Williams didn’t disappoint, offering a series of remarks guaranteed to set the Apple rumor mill ablaze.
“I think third-party apps are going to get a lot better when developers can write code natively to the Apple Watch,” he said, confirming Apple will indeed launch a preview of the native Watch SDK at WWDC. This will allow developers to access the device’s sensors, make use of the Digital Crown and enable creation of more independent apps and games. The SDK is scheduled to enter release status in fall. Demand for the Watch still exceeds supply, he confirmed (though he wants to sell more).
On iPhone 6
“If you stacked all sold iPhone 6s during the last holiday quarter, it would be higher than the orbiting international space station,” Williams said.
Williams talked a little about some of the research projects now running with ResearchKit, which is a software framework researchers can use to get health data from people who choose to join specific research programs. Research is focused on five diseases, but already data from one study exploring Parkinson’s suggests that some people who do not believe they have the disease actually do.
“We believe that some people in the control group who don’t think they have Parkinson’s, actually have it,” he said.
On the Apple Car
Following the interview, an audience member asked which industries Apple is thinking about addressing with its cash hoard. “The car is the ultimate mobile device,” Williams teased. “We’re exploring a lot of different markets.” He refused to be drawn beyond stressing the company’s mantra that it seeks out sectors in which it can “make a difference”.
An interesting comment on design: “I think we’re incredibly vertically integrated. We continue to acquire companies frequently,” Williams said. “We design every piece of what we do -- even something that seems like a standard part.”
A 20-year Apple veteran, Williams joined the company in 1998 following 13 years at IBM. In 2004, he was named vice president of operations. In 2007, he played a significant role in Apple’s entry into the mobile phone market with the launch of the iPhone and has led worldwide operations for iPod and iPhone since that time.
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