Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a high profile interview at the D: All Things Digital 3 day event, kicking off the conference, which will run until Thursday. There is a transcript of the interview at AllThingsD of the interview if you want to read every last detail.
Talking of what is happening at Apple right now Mr Cook says there are amazing products being developed that “… I cannot talk about today. The juices are flowing, and we have some incredible things coming out.” He spoke of how the iPod introduced people to Apple hardware and software and brought more users to the Mac computer market. Also the iPad continues to develop this route onto people’s desktops. However many people, Mr Cook included, admit they are now using their tablet more than their desktop computer.
The interviewers then asked Mr Cook about Microsoft’s approach with the new Windows 8 software/hardware coming out shortly. His first response was that “In my view, the tablet and the PC are different. You can do things with the tablet if you are not encumbered by the legacy of the PC.” Mr Cook continued by using an analogy of how some company may combine a toaster and a refrigerator but it won’t be Apple. Merging two things like that will give you a product that isn’t as good as it could be. On a similar note Mr Cook said he learned from Steve Jobs that focus is very important. “You can only do so many things great, and you should cast aside everything else.”
On all the court cases, suing and counter-suing between the computer giants Mr Cook said “It’s kind of gotten crazy, it’s not going to stop us from innovating, but it’s overhead. It’s overhead that I wish didn’t exist.” He added that if all the money people thought you owed them for patents had to be paid no one could profitably make a phone. While on the subject of the smartphone market he continued “I wouldn’t say we dominate it. I’d say we have the best phone.” When asked about a bigger range of phones and why not make a cheap ($99) iPhone Mr Cook replied “Who knows what we will do in the future?” He noted that the current Apple policy avoids market fragmentation which is a great benefit for users.
In the following Q&A session there is an entertaining interchange between Tim Cook and (presumably) a Google exec.
- 7:58 pm: Google guy asks why Apple is getting into the advertising business.
- “Well, iAd would be pretty small next to your business,” Cook says.
- Google guy: “We know that.”
- Cook notes that advertising wasn’t one of the four legs of Apple’s stool. I don’t see it at the same level as the other things in our company.
- “We’re a product company,” he says. “That’s what we are.”
- How does “iAd” match with “focus”? Google guy asks.
- Cook: “So you want me to get out of the iAd business. I hope the FTC is not here.”
- Walt (AllThingsD): The chairman is here.
- Cook: “I don’t have any other comment.”
Overall it was an interesting interview with a little verbal jousting however Mr Cook let little slip, there was not much detail about anything of substance. Most of the questions were answered by discussing Apple’s goals, vision and the way Apple does things. His answer concerning Microsoft Windows 8 merging tablets and PCs together being like merging fridges and toasters was not such a good analogy. I could imagine the same analogy being used a few years ago saying that PDAs, phones, cameras, portable media players and satellite navigation units should never merge together.