in an extract from D5 Conference by Wall street journal I read

And what we want to do is be that consumer's device and that consumer's experience wrapped around all this information and things we can deliver to them in a wonderful user interface, in a coherent product.

what does "that" refer to, and what does "be" mean?

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  • I removed the Korean part. It just said "I'm Korean..." It can be useful to use your native language to ask about particular meanings of words, but the question should be in English.
    – James K
    Aug 16, 2021 at 11:15

1 Answer 1


The text is a transcript of spoken English, and has all the confusions that normal spoken English generates.

Morever it is an extract from a longer spoken presentation

"That consumer" refers to "The consumer that I talked about earlier" Probably it is not a concrete reference to a particular person, but a generic reference to "The kind of person who buys Apple products"

"Be" is the usual verb in English (yes I know, Korean doesn't have a verb for be). The expression "What we want to do is be ..." Is a convoluted spoken form of "We want to be...."

This kind of expression occurs naturally when people are talking and so are unable to go back and edit the words that have already come out of their mouth.

  • Well understood. It's been a huge help.
    – inviolable
    Aug 16, 2021 at 10:59
  • @user142147, how about an upvote and a checkmark for James then?
    – gotube
    Aug 17, 2021 at 0:58
  • I've signed up with inviolable(before signing up -> user142147), i've tried upvote but due to lack of reputation, it can't be done
    – inviolable
    Aug 17, 2021 at 3:05
  • and checkmark for James has done.
    – inviolable
    Aug 17, 2021 at 3:06

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