Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Audio: Tim Cook talking about Apple

February 24, 2010: 6:22 AM ET

Steve Jobs' second-in-command on AT&T, the TV business and Apple's "hubris"

Cook and Jobs

Tim Cook, Apple's (AAPL) chief operating officer and the company's envoy to the business world, made his third appearance at a Goldman Sachs' (GS) technology conference Tuesday. Among the highlights of his wide-ranging Q&A:

  • On TV: Apple has no interest in the TV market; Apple TV is still a hobby, but his "gut" tells him that there's something there
  • On the Mac: The Mac has outgrown the market for 20 of the last 21 quarters. It doesn't take market growth for Apple to grow, they just have to convince Windows users to switch.
  • On the iPad: Has been using one for the last six months or so. Can't wait to start shipping it.
  • On netbooks: People were interested in the price, and then they got them home and asked themselves "why did I buy this?"

  • On AT&T (T): The advantage of sticking with a single carrier is simplicity and the ability to innovate. In other countries, where customers have a "sticky" relationship with their carrier, Apple can sell more units by going to multiple carriers
  • On Apple Stores: Slowed down with the recession and waited for prime real estate properties to become available; now turning up the dial and planning to open nearly 50 stores this year
  • On acquisitions: "We don't let our money burn a hole in our pocket." Buys companies for technology and talent; have looked at large companies but haven't found a good fit.
  • On size and market share: "We have never been about being the biggest. We've always been about making the best products." Not interested in having the highest market share or the highest revenue.
  • On Apple's focus: "We are the most focused company that I know of. We say 'no' to good ideas every day in order to keep the amount of things we focus on very small." You could put all the products Apple sells on one table, yet it is a $40 billion dollar company.
  • On Apple's hubris: "This hubris you talk about comes to companies that are so successful and then decide that their sole goal in life is to get bigger. And they start adding this and that and this and that. I can tell you that the management team at Apple would never let that happen."

You can get the audio webcast from Goldman Sachs here.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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