Tim Cook hasn’t appeared in many interviews, and last night’s appearance at the AllThingsD D10 event ranks as perhaps the most important in his short time as Apple CEO. It was also revealing, not only of Apple’s plans but of Tim Cook himself, as he artfully played politics when asked tough questions.
The word cloud below shows us a quick visual summary of Cook’s interview and right away “people” stands out as one of Cook’s most-used word–with 40 uses. “We” in all its variants isn’t shown in the image, but in total Cook said it 135 times, underlining his sense of Apple as a team and its ability to do “many” (18 uses) “great” (24) “things” (26). He’s a man who likes to “think” (25 uses) about what he and customers “want” (23). Cook also paid many meaningful compliments to “Steve” (9 times).
But Cook did dodge some questions, such as ones about hot-topic matters like the rumored Apple television–sometimes straightforwardly saying he wouldn’t answer, sometimes ducking and even complimenting the dogged nature of his interviewers, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. And several times the Apple chief redirected his answers back to matters he felt important enough to underline. This is a calm, measured intelligent personality in action…and he again showed he’s a different kind of man to Steve Jobs (who was “laser-focussed,” “a pain in the ass” but had “a gift” for turning a change of mind into “an art”). Most interestingly he revealed his view of Apple product secrecy may even be tougher than Jobs’ was–he promised he was “serious” Apple was “doubling down” on it.
As for the rest: He promised more transparency on China and the environment, in the hope other companies would follow Apple’s wake. The Apple television rumor was ducked, but TV is an area of “intense interest” and he doesn’t feel Apple has to own content. Siri is another key tech that will be seriously improved in the “coming months” and he’s got “cool ideas about what Siri can do”–partly because she’s got some AI built in that changes how people relate to the phone (perhaps Cook’s read our plea for a smarter smartphone?). And as for more Facebook integration, Cook said “stay tuned.”
[Transcript via MacRumors.]
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