Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California.
Photograph by Lucy Nicholson — Reuters
By Miguel Helft
October 28, 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Monday that the challenges his new mobile payments platform, Apple Pay, faces after retailers like CVS and Rite Aid disabled it are unlikely to last.

“It’s a skirmish,” Cook said, during an on stage interview at a Wall Street Journal technology conference in Southern California. Cook said that Apple Pay, which is just a week old, is off to a great start.

“We’ve been at it for a week,” he said. “In the first 72 hours, we had gone over the 1 million mark in activation of cards.” Cook said that based on data Apple got from credit card companies, Apple Pay is already the leading mobile payment system in the United States. “We are already No. 1,” he said. “We are more than the total of the other guys. We’ve only been at it a week. I feel fantastic.”

During the interview, Cook touched on topics ranging from Apple Watch to privacy. Here are some highlights.

On the battery life of Apple Watch.

“We think that people are going to use it so much that you are going to wind up charging it daily.”

On the future of television, or an eventual Apple television, he first praised HBO’s recent decision to offer its programs online outside of a cable bundle as benefitting the consumer. Then he added:

“There’s a lot to be done. What we’ll do, I don’t want to be so clear on. I am optimistic that something great can be done in this space.” (We’ve heard that before.)

On whether iOS devices will lose their relevancy in a world dominated by Android, much like the Mac lost its relevance during much of the PC era.

“I think the analogy is not good,” he said. “There weren’t enough apps on the Mac platform. Look at iPhone and iPad. I get more customer notes than any CEO alive, I’m sure. I’ve gotten zero saying you don’t have enough apps.”

On whether he would consider linking Apple Pay with Jack Ma’s Alipay, he said the two companies planned to talk later in the week.

“I have the utmost respect for Jack. We love to partner with people that are wicked smart, that have flexible teams, that are product based, and that push us, and we like to push them. I think Jack has a company that’s exactly like that. If we can find some areas of common space, I’d love it.”

 

 

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