Q: How did the deal, that took six years in the making, come together?
Cook: The iPhone began to support TD-LTE in September, the licenses were issued in November and we announced the deal in December, so it actually came together fairly quickly. Within just eight to ten weeks after Mr. Xi and I met in Cupertino, I came to Beijing. Mr. Xi and I shook hands at that meeting and I knew then it was just a matter of working through some last details. And we spent some amount of time working through those, but the key really big meetings were in the fall of 2012 and January in Beijing in 2013, and then it was a matter of preparing the organizations and executing and working the details. I agree with Mr. Xi, this has been very much like a courtship and all of the discussions that China Mobile and Apple had over the time period before this laid a great foundation because they developed a mutual respect for both companies.
Tim Cook believes that this long courship has enabled both companies to build a strong relationship that is based on mutual respect, which will be great for both companies.
Q: What do you think of China Mobile as a partner?
Cook: We saw a company in China Mobile that was unlike any other company we had ever dealt with, that had enormous skill and enormous size and enormous scale and enormous talent, and so those discussions laid a great foundation. I can tell you that from my point of view, every meeting that occurred between 2008 and today was a good meeting. There were some great meetings, but all meetings were at least good, because we left with a better understanding of one another. Great relationships are not built on always agreeing, they’re built on mutual respect, and they’re built on trying to see the issue from the other lens and I think the time that we spent in allowing that to occur will be great for both companies, and more importantly for the customers that we both serve.