Donald Trump wants Tim Cook to build 5G in the United States

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S tweets are erratic at the best of times (your definition of “erratic” and “best of times” may vary), but the last 48 hours have been absolutely vintage.

On Wednesday, the president was taking credit for opening a new Apple plant (it was neither new nor an Apple plant). Then he chatted about how he’s been trying to perfect the art of eavesdropping on private conversations without success, as you do.

Now he’s talking about his special relationship with new BFF Tim Apple. Specifically, how Trump has been lobbying Cook to have his company “get involved in building 5G in the US”. Trump’s personal comments, both positive and negative, always tend to be extremes – people are either the best or the worst – and here he lays on the praise pretty thick: “They have it all – Money, Technology, Vision & Cook!” he tweeted. Presumably he also has Cook in mind for 6G.

The one thing Apple doesn’t have is any expertise in 5G. In the states, the infrastructure is largely handled by four companies: Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Hell, the company doesn’t even make its own modems, as anybody following the Qualcomm/Apple legal battle will know.

It would kind of be like Cook asking Trump if he could build a power station, given he’s so good at making golf courses.

Indeed, Cook himself explained Apple’s lack of interest in getting into networking three years ago, back when Trump was just a wacky candidate, rather than a wacky president.

“Our expertise doesn’t extend to the network,” Cook said at Startup Fest Europe. “We’ve worked with AT&T in the US, O2 in the UK, as well as T-Mobile and Orange, and we expanded as we learned more. But generally, the things Apple likes to do, are things we can do globally.

“We don’t have the network skill. We’ll do some things along the way with e-SIMs along the way, but in general, I like the things carriers do.”

Acknowledging your limitations is a useful life skill, but one that Trump, at the ripe old age of 73, is yet to master. The president still believes he could have been a professional baseball player, run into a school on shooting lockdown without a weapon and boinked Princess Diana. Albeit probably not on the same day. 

Then again, this is somebody who has defied the odds to get Hollywood movie credits, star in the WWE and become president, so maybe Tim Cook just isn’t dreaming big enough. ยต

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