Tim Cook at D11: Everything You Need to Know

Tim Cook D11

Apple chief executive Tim Cook made his second consecutive appearance at the All Things Digital conference tonight, speaking with journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg about all things Apple. Cook remained tight lipped about a number of topics, which will undoubtedly have to wait until WWDC in June, but still made some interesting remarks throughout the interview. Join us ahead for the most interesting highlights from the event. 

Condensed Highlights

  • Cook claims Apple remains innovative with great products and plans in the pipeline.
  • Apple’s focus in the TV market remains on Apple TV. Cook claims near 6.5 million Apple TVs sold in the past year alone.
  • Nothing said about an iWatch, but Cook said wearable technologies are another branch of the tree in the post-PC era.
  • Android vs. iOS: Cook cited usage and other factors as being more important than sheer market share.
  • Cook confirmed that Jonathan Ive has been working on the future of iOS, which we’ll see at WWDC in a few weeks.
  • Cook reiterated the tradeoffs that exist with having larger displays on mobile devices.
  • Apple has made numerous acquisitions in the past year, and doesn’t have a large acquisition planned right now.
  • Cook doesn’t believe that Apple needs a social network.
  • Apple is going to become more open, including its APIs, when it reflects a better user experience.
  • Cook virtually ruled out Facebook Home ever coming to iPhone.
  • Apple did not bid on Waze.
  • Apple screwed up on Maps, with Cook calling the service complex.
  • Cook believes that the iPad is both a consumption and creation device.

Expanded Highlights

  • Tim Cook believes that Apple remains an innovative, game-changing corporation, despite increasing competition from Samsung and Google. Cook noted that competition has always been fierce, including Dell and Microsoft in the past, but that perhaps the company has a different vision now that it’s not fighting bankruptcy. The chief executive stressed that it has great products and plans in the pipeline.
  • While it was obvious that Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher wanted to hear more about a so-called “iTV” set, Cook stated that Apple’s focus in the TV market remains on its Apple TV set-top box. He added that sales of the Apple TV have skyrocketed to 13 million, with “about half” of those sales coming in the past year alone.
  • Cook sees wearable technologies as another branch of the tree in the post-PC era, although he countered that Google Glass is a product that might gain traction in certain vertical markets versus mainstream success. He also claimed that a wearable product would have to be impressive to catch on, citing that probably no one in a room full of 2o-year-olds would be wearing a wristwatch.
  • While Android smartphones and tablets might outnumber iPhones and iPads, Cook believes that “winning” involves other factors. He stressed that Apple makes arguably the best PC, the best portable music player, the best tablet and the best smartphone. He points out usage as being more important than market share.
  • Cook confirmed that Jonathan Ive is working on the future of iOS, and that the executive shakeup — including the dismissal of former iOS head Scott Forstall — has allowed Apple to tighten its focus on the intersection of hardware, software and services. But, we won’t get to see any of that until WWDC 2013 next month.
  • When questioned about larger displays on devices, Cook said that comes with a number of tradeoffs. He is referring to things like white balance, reflectivity and battery life. He has made this point before, during a conference call following Apple’s second quarter earnings announcement.
  • Questioned about what Apple is doing with its large cash holdings, Cook answered that the Cupertino-based corporation has acquired a firm about once every 70 days or so. Cook noted that acquisitions are only announced when they need to be. Apple doesn’t have any large acquisition on its radar right now, but is always open to one if it helps make a great product.
  • Cook on social: “We do some things that are social: iMessage, Game Center. We don’t have a social network, but Facebook and Twitter are integrated into the OS. I’ve never felt like we’ve needed a social network.”
  • Apple will open up its APIs where appropriate, which is fantastic news. Cook: “On the general topic of opening up APIs, I think you’ll see us open up more in the future, but not to the degree that we put the customer at risk of having a bad experience. So there’s always a fine line to walk there, or maybe not so fine.”
  • Cook virtually ruled out Facebook Home ever coming to iPhone.
  • Cook claimed that Apple is not religiously against expanding a particular app or service to Android, Windows or competing platforms, but that right now it doesn’t make sense. But it could in the future.
  • Apple did not bid on Waze.
  • Cook highlighted iMessage, iTunes and FaceTime as great Apple services, but reiterated that the company “screwed up” on Maps. However, the CEO added that Apple Maps has greatly improved since its launch and continues to get better.
  • Tim Cook on patent litigation: “I don’t like copying. This is a values thing.”
  • Answering one final question, Cook talked about how the iPad is more than just a content consumption device. He said that the tablet is both a consumption and creation device, thanks to the likes of apps like iMovie, GarageBand and Pages.
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