Apple’s new chief executive Tim Cook has said he is not trying to be the next Steve Jobs.
“Steve was a visionary. My role was never to replace him,” he said in his first live media interview.
Mr Cook was talking at the Wall Street Journal’s annual All Things Digital conference in California.
He revealed few specifics but said Apple would “double down on secrecy on products” and that Apple TV remains “an area of intense interest”.
Despite being peppered with questions from over an hour talking to technology, media and entertainment executives, Mr Cook revealed only a handful of incremental insights on Apple’s products and strategies.
Regarding a possible integration with Facebook via iTunes or on the iPhone, he said: “Our relationship is good. I think we can do more with them. Stay tuned.”
‘I am who I am’
But he reserved some of his strongest statements for protecting intellectual property.
Rather than agree that the legal battle over patents between Apple and Samsung was taking a toll on innovation, he instead pointed toward patent piracy in general.
“It’s important that Apple not be the developer for the world,” he said.
“We can’t take all of our energy, and all of our care, and finish the painting and have someone else put their name on it.”
When asked, how Apple would change under his leadership, Mr Cook skirted the question several times, but ultimately deferred to Steve Jobs’ legacy as Apple’s founder and chief executive.
“Steve was a visionary. My role was never to replace him. He was an original.”
“I’ve never felt the weight of trying to be Steve. It’s not who I am and it’s not my goal in life.”
“I am who I am, and I’m focused on that, and being a great CEO of Apple.”
Adam Lashinsky, author of Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired -and Secretive – Company Really Works, attended the talk and said that Tim Cook came across as confident and self-assured.
“We saw an extremely confident, intelligent, comfortable man who has replaced a legend.”
“I think it was very reassuring to see this strong hand on the steering wheel at Apple.”
“He spoke eloquently that he is not a replacement for Steve Jobs, and we should not expect him to be the visionary that Jobs was.”
“In other words we saw a man who is comfortable in his own skin, who knows who he is.”
Tim Bajarin, a technology analyst who has followed Apple since 1981 said: “Make no mistake, this is an incredibly strong leader whose vision and goal is to protect the Apple culture.”
“People don’t really understand how sick Jobs was the past two years of his life. Tim basically has been running the company for over two-and-a-half years.”
“He has the respect and the allegiance of the staff. As a result, that’s why we haven’t seen Apple skip a beat.”