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Photo via "Axios on HBO"

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple CEO Tim Cook says tech companies don’t build products that are inherently good or bad, but should be aware that their products can be used for evil. And he said in an interview for "Axios on HBO" that new regulations are likely coming.

What he's saying: "Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of regulation," Cook said in the interview. "I'm a big believer in the free market. But we have to admit when the free market is not working. And it hasn't worked here. I think it's inevitable that there will be some level of regulation," Cook added. "I think the Congress and the administration at some point will pass something." 

Why it matters: The CEO of the world's most valuable company made it clear that Silicon Valley, despite surging revenue and profits, is in a newly humbled posture after a year of rising global skepticism.

  • Cook told us he used to pick up his iPhone too much, but has reduced his notifications: "The number of times I pick up a device are declining."

Cook argued that tech companies should embrace the coming regulations:

  • "This is not a matter of privacy versus profits, or privacy versus technical innovation. That's a false choice."

While acknowledging the Valley's bro-heavy culture, Cook said that tech generally has been strong on diversity, and that he is "encouraged at this point that there will be more marked improvement over time."

The backdrop: We talked to Cook during a rare visit by journalists inside the company's spaceship-like headquarters, Apple Park, which opened this year. 

  • The 13,000-employee, four-story building is arrayed in a ring that's a mile around and is mostly glass.

⚡️ Hear more from Tim Cook tonight on “Axios on HBO" (6:30 p.m. ET/PT).

  • Plus: Our poll shows America souring on social media; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says we need in-game live betting; and see a 💊 to make you young again.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with First Lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.