Apple CEO Tim Cook at the tenth annual All Things D conference, in California, interviewed by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher on various topics raning from Apple's TV plans, about the state of a post-Steve Jobs Apple and much more.
"Apple has gone through a tremendous change," Walt Mossberg questioned, "How is Apple different with you as the CEO?"
"I learned a lot from Steve," Cook responded. "It was the saddest day of my life when he passed away. As much as you should see or predict that I really didn't. It's time to get on."
Cook said that he most admired Jobs' "intense determination" and described him as "laser-focused." Cook also explained that the most important leadership lesson he learned from Jobs is that "'Focus is key' .. Not just in running your company but in your personal life. You can only do certain things well."
"Steve was good at not accepting things 'good' or 'very good' but only 'the very best'," Cook went on, describing Apple's competitive advantage in cultivating culture of excellence . "It's so unique that I'm not going to witness or permit the change of it," Cook said.
At D10, Cook replying to a question "How did you guys go from an iPad to an iPad 2 to an iPad (?!) and then from an iPhone 4 to a 4s?" said, "Well you look back at iPod, We changed it a few times. We changed the size and came up with the 'iPod Nano.' Then we changed it massively and then we came up with 'iPod shuffle.'"
Cook revealed that the naming iterations often accompany massive product shifts and are actually not stemming from any sort of structure. Apparently Apple really names things on a case by case basis, "We went from the MacBook Pro to the MacBook Air to the iMac. You can do it either way is the real story."
"You can stick with the [same] name and people generally love that (I wonder why), and/or keep upping the number, or keep the same IDs like with the 4s" Cook said, revealing that some times the choices are just arbitrary, for example, the 'S' in 4S stands for 'Siri,' whereas the S in 3GS stands for 'speed.'
Kara Swisher then took this cue to ask him what Apple was going to call the iPhone 5, to which Cook responded by changing the subject.
"Who had the next question?" he joked.
He also noted that there is "a lot that Siri can do," and he said they are doubling down on the tech with "a lot of people working on it."
"I think you are going to be really pleased with where we take Siri."
"Customers love it. It's one of the most popular features of the 4S. But there's more that it can do, and we have a lot of people working on it. And I think you'll be really pleased with some of the things coming over the coming months. The breadth of it. We have a lot that Siri can do… That's what I'm talking about. People have dreamed of this for years, and it's here. Yes it could be broader, but Siri as a feature has moved into the mainstream. So I think you're going to be really happy with where it's going. We're doubling down on it," Cook said.
D10 Video: Apple "Doubling Down" on Siri
Mossberg and Swisher pressed Cook on whether he thinks the current Apple TV product is good enough, he said, "We're going to keep pulling this string and see where it takes us."
On a full-fledged Apple TV (one that includes an actual TV) Cook said that Apple doesn't have any plans to rethink its plans for acquiring content, because getting content hasn't been an issue. As for the current model of the Apple TV, Cook said sales are picking up -- Apple sold 2.8 million last year, and has already sold 2.7 this year.
However, BGR citing a "trusted source" is reporting that Apple is preparing to demo a refreshed version of its AppleTV OS at WWDC next week. The report also claimed it will be the same OS that runs on the much rumored Apple HDTV that many reports have indicated the company may be working on. BGR also said Apple is testing a new "control out" API.
We've heard Apple is actively trying to court manufacturers to use a new "control out" API in order for third-party manufacturers to make accessories that are compatible with the new Apple TV OS and the upcoming "iTV." It's said that by using the API, it will be possible to control any connected components all from the Apple remote (and the Apple remote iOS app as well, we're assuming)… The control out API is said to work with all aspects of various popular components, even allowing control over things like program guides on a cable operators' set top boxes and other hardware components.
D10 Video: Apple TV Still an Experiment
Cook also noted that the company will consider killing the Ping social network feature baked into iTunes due to a lack of interest among users. He did noted upcoming Twitter, Game Center, and iMessage integration in Mountain Lion bring new social elements.
What happened to Ping? Cook said,
"Apple doesn't have to own a social network, but does Apple have to be social? Yes…You'll see us integrate Twitter into the Mac OS as we introduce Mountain Lion. Game Center and iMessage could be thought of as social… We tried Ping and I think the customer voted and said this isn't something that I want to put a lot of energy into… Will we kill it? I don't know. We'll look at that."
When asked about what could be done about the lack of Facebook integration on iOS despite Facebook's formidable 900 million users and Apple's partnership with the much smaller social network Twitter, as well as other stalls in the Apple and Facebook relationship (Ping anyone?), Cook mysteriously replied, "Stay tuned." "Facebook is a great company." Cook said, "And the relationship is solid. I saw Sheryl (Sandberg) earlier outside. We have great respect for each other."
When Swisher referred to Jobs calling Facebook "onerous" Cook responded, "They've their way of doing things, But people say that about us as well. Just because they have a point of view doesn't mean we can't work with each other." Jobs had specifically referred to Facebook's terms when negotiating the Ping integration as "onerous," which means "involving a burdensome amount of effort and difficulty," according to Webster's.
Swisher called the two companies "must haves" i.e. symbiotic, and it's true; Facebook is keeper of the world's largest social platform and Apple is the most formidable mobile hardware player. "We appreciate each other," Cook said, "We want to provide customers with simple and elegant ways to do what they do. And Facebook has 100s of millions of customers … We want (all of those customers) to have a better experience, so stay tuned."
D10 Video: "Stay Tuned" For Apple and Facebook
In other social network news, Cook said that Apple was not interested in acquiring Instagram, the iPhone and Android based photosharing app that was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion. Apple Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller previously said that Instagram "jumped the shark" when it launched on Android.
Cook also took some time to be highly critical of Microsoft and Windows 8. In particular, Cook said that Apple would not launch a hybrid notebook-tablet product, which is something that some PC makers are attempting to do with Windows 8. When asked what's wrong with that kind of approach, Cook said, "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."
While Cook said someone might be able to merge the notebook and tablet, Apple won't be the company to do it. Cook stated, "If you merge the two, the PC isn't as good as it can be; nor is the tablet."
The subject of Windows 8 was only one of many subjects brought up during Cook's D10 appearance. In mid-June, Cook will likely be addressing the attendees of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference with a number of new announcements. When ask what will be revealed at WWDC, Cook said, "That's a great question. I'm not going to answer it."
AllThingsD posted two video clips of the complete interview from D10 with Cook . Our live blog of the event is here. The first video is Cook's comments on Jobs as a "flip-flopper," followed by a second video where he discussed tablets and the PC legacy.
Links to the rest of the videos are below, where Cook talks about doubling down on privacy, the "Pain in the ass" patent wars, etc.
The 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference schedule with developer events and lab times is now available online. For those attending, Apple has also posted an app to make scheduling easier.
Also, Tony Fadell's Nest Learning Thermostat has hit the Apple Store.
"The Nest Learning Thermostat helps you stop wasting energy, while providing control using your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Consider that your thermostat controls about half your energy bill--more than TV, appliances, and lighting combined. But it's wasting energy every time it turns on the heating or cooling system in an empty house. The Nest Learning Thermostat solves this problem by programming itself, turning itself down when you're away, and keeping track of your energy use."
BGR posted a few images of Apple's iOS 6 Maps app with 3D mapping citing some "trusted source" the article claims that Apple has worked on an in-house mapping solution for years now and that Apple is reportedly testing its 3D technology in build 10A314 of iOS 6.
"The renderings are largely accurate, from what we heard, but the bookmarks icon does not show the border that we saw. Also, the 3D icon only exists on the iPad version (it is actually below the curl on the iPhone, because it is too easy to accidentally press.) We hope to have our own screenshots shortly," said 9to5mac.
Finally, Absinthe 2.0, the long-awaited untethered jailbreak for iOS version 5.1.1, supporting almost every iOS device, including the new iPad 3, which was released on Friday the 25th -- has in just two days on Sunday, "been used to jailbreak at least 973,086 devices," revealed the Chronic Dev Team, who along with iPhone Dev Team and others.
Additionally, Chronic Dev noted that 211,401 of those devices were the new iPad 3.
Absinthe boasts a jailbreak process that is "so easy your grandma could do it." The latest version, 2.0.2, is available for download on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.
Here is the full D10 conference archive:
9:25 Cook talks about replacing Jobs: "I would have never agreed to follow that act if you had told me." He then speaks about the iPad's success by discussing how it has affected many people worldwide, all ages.
9:29 Of course, Cook will not say anything about next week. You knew he wouldn't. But, he does say that some great things are coming.
If only he would just drop the slightest iOS 6 hint.
9:31 Speaking more to the iPad, Cook also references the folks at Microsoft: "We didn't invent the tablet market, we invented the modern tablet." He also talks about how the tablet is different from the PC. "If you merge the two the PC isn't as good as it can be, nor is the tablet."
9:34 Swisher asks about how Apple is different now with him, Cook, as CEO. He responds: "I learned a lot from Steve…I learned that focus is key."
We have heard this one before--AllThingsD: Cook said not accepting things good or very good but only the best. "That's embedded in Apple."
Cook continues about how much of an impact Jobs made at the core of Apple. As much as Cook is appreciative he says: "I love museums but I don't want to live in one." I think that is totally understood by customers that the new CEO is ready to move on and make his own policies.
9:40 Jobs told Cook to not think about what he would have done, but rather to make his own decisions.
Cook says Jobs was alive for Apple's plans to do even more as a company. I think that goes without saying.
Speaking about Apple's recent plans to give a dividend to investors this summer, Cook says that he believes Apple made the right choice.
"We're going to double down on secrecy of products." Derp..
However, he does say that Apple will be less secretive about "social change" (aka the situation over at Foxconn and other suppliers).
Swisher asks Cook why Apple does not have its own factory in China. Cook: "We think others can do it better."
9:47 On manufacturing in the United States, Cook says he wants to be there and points out that Apple is already--like the glass factory in Kentucky.
Mossberg asks if Apple will ever be able to say "made in the U.S." on its products.
Cook: "It may."
9:53 Swisher asks why should Apple even make a PC. Cook says: "Well I don't mean the tablet should replace the PC, but I think for some people it overtakes what they do with a PC." He also points out that it may slow the replacement cycle for new computers. I can totally see this.
Speaking to copycats--he is looking at you Samsung. Cook says: "We just want people to develop their own stuff, and not rip us off." He is talking about patent spats with companies like HTC, Samsung, and many others.
9:57 In response to patent wars, Cook says: "It's a pain in the ass."
He will not talk about his recent attempts to negotiate with Samsung: "I read that in the paper. I can't talk about it."
In regards to competition, Cook says: "I think we have the best phone."
10:02 Mossberg: "Why don't you have more than one phone?"
Cook: "Our stance is making the best product..best design. We have an overriding belief of making the best."
10:04 This is really interesting considering the recent leaks. Cook says: "We have one phone with one screen size and one resolution. It's pretty simple for developers developing for this platform."
Mossberg presses about the 7-inch iPad.
Cook laughs it off: "You should come to one of our meetings."
Swisher presses about how Apple plans to change the TV.
Cook: "We're staying in the Apple TV business. We're going to keep looking at it."
Cook reveals 2.7 million Apple TVs sold this year alone, compared to 2.8 million in 2011.
Mossberg keeps pressing about the Apple TV: "If we could talk hypothetically, are you going to make a television?"
Cook says that Apple looks at if it can control the key technology. Jobs spoke about this years ago at D8.
10:14 Mossberg: "You're not going everything you can do with your current offerings."
Cook: "I agree."
10:17 Mossberg asks if Apple will make a content service. Cook: "What question did you have Kara?"
Cook's a funny guy.
Interesting number: Apple offers "over 100k TV episodes".
10:19 Mossberg asks about Apple and Facebook's relationship.
Cook: "Facebook is a great company." Didn't he say that already?
Cook says more about Facebook: "I think we can do more. Stay tuned." …iOS 6 integration?!
10:22 Cook talks more about company acquisitions: "We continue to buy companies. We don't talk about all of it."
Cook says Apple never looked at Instagram.
10:25 Mossberg: "Is Siri up to your standards?"
Cook: "Customers love it. But there's a lot we can do. I think you'll be pleased with what you will see in the coming months." This is definitely a WWDC hint. Third-party app integration, we hope.
10:28 Just as she once asked Jobs, Swisher asks: "What do you do all day?"
Cook: "Steve was a visionary..I'm focused on being a great CEO at Apple. I love every minute of it."
10:33 Swisher asks what Cook's vision is.
Cook: "I just want to build great products." As for who Cook looks up to, he says: "Bob Iger (an Apple board member), Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy."
That wraps up the interview. Now time for audience questions.
10:36 The first question is in regards to student discounts. Cook says they will still apply when purchases are made in bulk--also touting iTunes U and more.
The second question is in regards to Cook's strengths as a person. Cook: "I'll let you answer that." BOOM.
The third question is about if Cook spends as much time on design as Jobs did. Tim says he is more focused on other areas.
Next question: "Back in 1998 did Steve say that Apple wasn't in great shape. Could you have envisioned this success now?"
Cook: "Five minutes into the conversation I wanted to work for Apple."
Up next is the recent name change to "the new iPad."
He says the same thing happened with the iPod.
Cook just revealed that the S in "4S" stands for Siri.
Swisher: "What about the iPhone 5?"
Cook: "Who had the next question?"
Next question is about wearable computing, Windows 8, and pen-computing.
Cook: "I have on a Nike Fuelband."
Cook: "I like what we're doing," in regard to pen-computing. Does not reference the Microsoft question.
10:58 Now a question that is dear to 9to5mac--regarding rumors.
"I think it's a privilege. I think all of that is great. I love it."
We will remember that, Tim.
11:00 A Google employee asks about iAd.
"It's not nearly what it is to you as it is to us. We're in different stratospheres."
11:02 The Apple Store is down.
In regards to killing Ping, Cook says he will look at it. He is not so sure.
D10 Video: I Hope People Rip Us Off Blindly
D10 Video: Patent Wars "Pain in the Ass"/a