Apple CEO Tim Cook’s interview this year at AllThingsD’s D11 conference started off with a cheerleader vibe, who said that Apple was not in trouble. He re-iterated that Apple continues to be a market leader, sold 85 million iPhones and 42 million iPads last quarter, and has seen drops in stock prices before.
“From my point of view, over my long tenure at Apple, not as CEO,” said Cook, “we’ve always had competent rivals. We fought against Microsoft-still fight against Microsoft, particularly in the PC space.”
He continued to address the question of Apple stock declines.
“If you look at the stock,” he said, “which is a lot of what people focus on, the stock price has been frustrating. It’s been frustrating for investors and for all of us. This too is not unprecedented.”
Talk quickly turned to Apple TV, a topic Cook avoided as much as possible, saying that of course Apple was still interested in the space, that there was a “grand vision,” and that he didn’t want to say much else.
“With the arc of time it will become clearer.”
The interviewers, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, turned the topic to wearables, most notably Google Glass. Cook, predictably, isn’t a huge fan ,though he does admit that wearable tech is a burgeoning new field.
“The whole sensor field is going to explode,” he said. “It’s a little all over the place right now. With the arc of time it will become clearer.” Continuing, Cook admitted that while the wrist was interesting (a nod to the rumored iWatch), but that many people don’t wear a watch at all.
The topic turned to customer service, loyalty, and demographics. Cook isn’t concerned, saying that Apple products are used more than their Android counterparts.
“What the numbers suggest over and over again,” he said, “is that people are using our products more. That’s what we are all about. We want to enrich people’s lives.”
Swisher asked Cook about iOS. After some initial reluctance to tell much in detail, Cook did say that Jonathan Ive has been key to the process. While hardware and software integration has always been a hallmark of iOS and iPhone, it was interesting to hear him mention a third area of need: services.
“I’ve never felt we had to own a social network”
After a longer discussion of Apple’s stance on US tax policy and its plan to fight the eBook case, Tim Cook answered a few questions about acquisitions.
“We do acquire,” said Cook, responding to Kara Swisher. “The previous year we were probably on a pace of acquiring a company every 60-75 days. Maybe 6 a year.” Cook continued, saying that Apple has already acquired nine companies this fiscal year, not all of them announced.
Swisher continued to push, asking about social acquisitions. Cook said that Apple already has iMessage and Game Center, and “elegant integration” with Facebook and Twitter. “I’ve never felt we had to own a social network,” he said.
After a quick Q&A session with questions from the on site audience and online participants, the question of Samsung came up.
“I’m not negotiating this evening,” said Cook. “I don’t like them any more than I did last year. I don’t want copying. It’s a values thing. This is about values at the end of the day.”
As the interview wrapped up, do we know any more about upcoming products from Apple? No, we don’t. But we didn’t expect to.
What we do have, though, is a better portrait of Tim Cook, and his more relaxed confidence as the CEO of the biggest electronics company in the world.
Source: All Things D.