When the CEO of Apple speaks, people's ears tend to perk up.
After all, Apple has been the dynamo of the digital world for some time now, setting the pace with products from iTunes up through the iPhone and iPad and, so rumor would have it, perhaps eventually a newfangled Apple TV. The company is also embroiled in fierce fights with heavyweights including Google and Samsung for the hearts, minds, and wallets of consumers.
Last night, Apple CEO took a turn in the spotlight at All Things Digital's D10 conference, where he weighed in on those topics and more. We've rounded up the video snippets from that appearance. Listen in, and enjoy.
TVs and entertainment
Cook evaded questions about whether Apple is at work on a TV set, while making the argument that the TV experience remains something that Apple is trying to improve. (Read CNET's related story, "Cook sizes up TV prospects for Apple.")
When most people think "tablet," they think of Apple's iPad -- which the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, among others, has hailed as a harbinger of a post-PC era. "The more you look at a tablet as a PC, the more the baggage from the past affects the product," Cook said, by way of warning. Lean too much on the past, he said, and "you wind up not building the best product."
Apple made a rare misstep in recent years with Ping, its music-focused social network. The juggernaut social network Facebook, meanwhile, is once again rumored to be considering making a phone of its own. "Facebook is a great company. I have great appreciation for them," Cook said. "We have great respect for them. I think we can do more with them. Just stay tuned on this one." (Read CNET's related story, "Cook on Ping: 'Will we kill it? I don't know'.")
Cook famously stepped into some big shoes last year when he took over as CEO of Apple, following on from the legendary Jobs. Here, he describes his predecessor's ability to change opinions quickly as a "gift" that took courage. (Read CNET's related stories, "Tim Cook: 'I've never really felt the weight of trying to be Steve'" and "Cook: Steve Jobs was a notorious flip-flopper.")
Secrecy, China, and more
Apple has long been a bastion of zipped lips when it comes to what's in the works. Cook was asked whether Apple would be less secret under his leadership, and he pushed right back: "We're going to double down on secrecy on products." Not too many breaths later, however, he said that Apple would become more transparent on matters like supplier responsibility and environmental issues. (Read CNET's related stories, "Tim Cook: We're going to 'double down' on secrecy" and "Apple's iPhone, iPad 'engine' made in U.S., says Cook.")
Without really giving anything away, Cook did tease about upcoming changes for Siri, the vocal personal assistant software in the iPhone. There's more yet to be done, and Apple has "a lot of people working on this," he said, adding that people will be "really pleased with some of the things you see over the coming months." (Read CNET's related story, "Cook hints at additional Siri features coming soon.")
It's hard to keep track of all the patent dust-ups in which Apple is involved. Does Cook see the patent wars as a problem for innovation? "Well, it's a pain in the ass," he said. Beyond that, he made it clear that he does not intend for Apple to be "the developer for the world."