Apple CEO Tim Cook joined Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher on stage at the D10: All Things D event May 29 for conversation. Cook, famously tight-lipped, did not disappoint, offering the audience teases about future products but little in the way of news.
Never have I seen the things I can't talk about today, Cook said upon settling into his seat, making clear how little he planned to give up.
Mossberg and Swisher pulled and tugged, teamed up and formed separate attacksYoure killing me, Mossberg said at one pointbut the CEO of the notoriously secretive company offered the pair nary a detail. At least, not on anything that Apple hasnt formally announced.
What he did say was that Apple is going to double down on the secrecy surrounding its products, but about other things its going to become the most transparent company in the world.
Social change. Supplier responsibility. What we're doing for the environment. We're going to be so transparent in these areas because if we are, other people will copy what we're doing, Cook explained, according to a transcript from MacRumors. People will copy us on that and that's one area I want to be copied.
In the past, Apple put out annual reports on such matters. Now, its putting out the reports monthly. We want everyone to know what we're doing, said Cook.
Mossberg pushed Cook on the topic of an Apple TVnot the service Apple currently offers, but a set-top box, which Apple is widely expected to introduce later this year.
Youre right, Im not going to answer that question, said Cook.
Swisher tried another tack. Is Apple TV today good enough? Does it please you?
Cook said he loves the product, though Mossberg retaliated that theres not a lot of content on there, compared to other peoples boxes.
Cook disagreed, pointing to the 17,000 movie offerings.
Everyone has Netflix, thats table stakes, argued Mossberg. Youre not solving every problem that folks have with your current product.
He expanded little on the topic, though he did offer, It's a key part of the ecosystem. This is an area of intense interest for us. ¦ We're going to keep pulling this string and see where it takes us. Many people would say that this is an area in their life that they aren't pleased with. ... It's an interesting area. We'll have to see what we do.
There was talk of Apples on-going patent litigation, which Cook likened to Apple painting a picture that other companies keep signing. He also put it a few other ways: Its a pain in the ass. ¦ Its a waste. Its a time-suck, he said. However, does it stop innovation? Its not going to stop us.
Mossberg brought up Facebook, which Cook called a great company.
But on my Apple devices, Twitter comes up automatically, said Mossberg. Facebook has 900 million users; why cant I do that?
Cook answered that the companies have a very solid relationship. Stay tuned on this one.
Mossberg brought up Siri, Apples digital assistant that has been the focus of several new Apple television ads. At Apples Worldwide Developers Conference, which will kick off June 11, an improved Siri is among the products that that Apple is expected to show off.
Customers love it. It's one of the most popular features of our most popular products. ¦ But there's more that it can do. We have a lot of people working on this. You'll be really pleased with the things you'll see over the coming months, said Cook. The breadth that you're talking aboutwe've got some cool ideas about what Siri can do. We have a lot going on with this.
Cook added that Siri proved that people want to relate to their phones in a different way. What makes Siri cool is that she has a personality. She becomes many folks' best friends.
Isn't that a bit sad? asked Mossberg.
I'm not one to judge, said Cook.
Where he did offer his opinion was on the topic of Steve Jobs, and his legacy.
I learned a lot from Steve. It was one of the saddest days of my life when he passed away. As much as you could see or predict that, I really didn't. At some point late last year, somebody shook me and said 'it's time to get on.'" Cook said.
That sadness was replaced by this intense determination to resume the journey. ¦ Focus is key. Not just in your company, but in your personal life as well. Do many things great and cast aside everything else. In the business we're in, own the technology. Steve was laser-focused on that, and that's ingrained in us. ¦ He also taught me that the joy is in the journey. And he taught all of us that life is fragile," added Cook. "We're not guaranteed tomorrow, so give it everything you've got.