Tim Cook shares at least one thing in common with the late Steve Jobs, whom he replaced last year as Apple’s CEO: a strong belief in keeping product development close to the vest.At the D10 conference, where Cook took the stage for his first in-depth public interview since taking the helm, he announced that Apple would “double down” on product secrecy.Cook stayed true to his word during the interview conducted by All Things D’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher on Tuesday night. He did not discuss any of the products Apple might introduce at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which is scheduled to start June 11.
But Cook did weigh in on a number of topics, from what he learned from his predecessor to his thoughts on Apple TV.
Here are some highlights from Cook’s appearance, edited forclarity:
On being CEO
“It’s an absolutely incredible time to be at Apple. I’m loving every minute of it.” Working at Apple is “my oxygen.”
On iPad and tablets
“I’ve never seen a product in technology that consumers loved pretty instantly and business loved and education loved and people of all ages loved. I think we’re in the first inning on the iPad. It’s only been two years. I really believe that the tablet market will eventually surpass the PC market.”
On Jobs’ impact
“I learned a lot from Steve. It was absolutely the saddest days of my life (when he passed away). At some point late last year, somebody shook me and said, ‘It’s time to get on.’ That sadness was replaced by this intense determination to continue the journey. I learned that focus is the key, not just in running a company but in your personal life as well. Jobs also taught me that the joy is in the journey. And he taught all of us that life is fragile.”
On the CEO role
“Steve was a genius and a visionary. I never really viewed my role was to replace him. He was irreplaceable. Steve was an original. … I never felt the weight of trying to be Steve. I am who I am … and focused on being a great CEO at Apple.”
On Apple TV
“It’s not a fifth leg of the stool. It’s not the same market size as the phone business or the Mac business or the music business or the tablet business. But last year we sold 2.8 million Apple TV set-top devices. This year, just in the first six months, we sold 2.7 million. This is an area of intense interest for us. And so we’re going to keep pulling this string and see where it takes us.”