Zuckerberg’s rebuttal follows comments made by Cook in September, in which he noted that, “When an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.” While the message was most likely meant for long-time rival Google, Facebook’s head honcho definitely took it personally.
Read Zuckerberg’s impassioned response after the jump:
“A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers,” Zuckerberg commented. “I think it’s the most ridiculous concept. What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!”
Tim Cook’s original comments followed shortly after what was then thought to be an iCloud breach, resulting in the leaking of dozens of nude images of celebrities. In the aftermath, Cook used the talking point of privacy as a way of differentiating Apple from its rivals — many of whom rely on the mining and monetizing of user data as their primary source of revenue.
In his new TIME interview, Zuckerberg describes the necessary evil (he doesn’t use those words) of online advertising, saying that, “Our mission is to connect every person in the world. You don’t do that by having a service people pay for.”
While Apple and Facebook have generally had a good relationship over the years, there have been previous blips. Steve Jobs, who Zuckerberg has often credited as a major source of inspiration, allegedly once referred to the Facebook founder as a “****ing a**hole” after a heated spat.
Last year, Zuckerberg passed Tim Cook in approval ratings on the employee job rating site Glassdoor. Cook currently holds 93 percent approval, next to Mark Zuckerberg’s 96 percent.