When Steve Jobs was running Apple, he was famous for delivering lofty and idealistic mission statements that gave the tech company an aura of doing something bigger than just creating gadgets.
One of the most famous was Jobs’ 2011 declaration that Apple’s DNA was about “technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”
Tim Cook, who took over for Jobs that same year, has been outspoken on big policy and human rights issues from privacy to workplace discrimination and gay rights. But he hasn’t articulated an over-arching mission or philosophy, in the manner of Jobs, to tidily sum the company’s greater purpose.
That might have changed on Monday at Apple’s annual developer conference in San Francisco.
During his closing remarks, Cook delivered what may be the first big update to Jobs’ famous vision for the company:
“At Apple, we believe technology should lift humanity and enrich people’s lives in all the ways people want to experience it,” Cook said.
Apple provides this enriching experience “whether that’s on the wrist, in the living room, on the desk, in the palm of their hand, in the car or even automating their home,” Cool continued, tying it into the company’s 4 main technology platforms.
Cook didn’t elaborate, or flesh out his ideas, beyond that. By Jobs’ standards it was pretty short.
But the comments were notable, after a few years in which the company has been criticized for sticking to a very product-focused, almost clinical mission statement.
Cook’s remarks seem to reprise the aspirational words of the late Jobs, insisting that Apple’s purpose is not just to create great technology, but to create technology that improves people’s lives.
You can watch the original Jobs speech on technology and liberal arts below: