Problem is, Apple CEO Tim Cook won’t say what they are. He told the AllThingD conference tonight that he has never been so amazed as he is by “all the things I cannot talk about today.” In fact, Cook said the notoriously tight-lipped Apple would “double down on secrecy on products”. On the TV front, however, Cook made no secret of his enthusiasm for Steve Jobs’ pledge to change television with Apple TV like iTunes changed music. “We have a good relationship with the content owners,” Cook replied when asked about Apple and the Hollywood studios. “I’ve met with several of them recently; they were talking about what more we could do with them.” (Cook made a point of noting his respect for what Apple board member Bob Iger has accomplished at Disney.) Cook wouldn’t disclose what those discussions with Hollywood were about, except to say, “most people would say that TV is not an area of their life they are completely pleased with.”
The Apple CEO did pivot on the topic to tell AllThingsD co-founders Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the live blogged event in Rancho Palos Verdes that he believes Apple’s success is in creating a great vehicle for consumers to get content. “The consumer loves it because they can get it where they want it, when they want it.” Cook acknowledged that Apple TV hasn’t been a success or a “fifth leg of the stool” to compare with the company’s phone, music, Mac or tablet business but that Apple was in it for the long haul. “This is an area of intense interest for us,” Cook said. “We are going to keep pulling the string and see where this takes us.”
Earlier in the evening, Cook did at least say what wouldn’t be in the offing next week. Talking about merging PC and tablet, Cook said such a combo is “not what’s coming next week.” The Apple CEO, who said he expected tablets like the iPad to outsell PCs soon, compared such a merging to melding a toaster and a fridge. After taking the stage around 6:22 PM, Cook was interviewed in front of a crowd that included News Corp CEO (and Mossberg’s Wall Street Journal boss) Rupert Murdoch and other tech fans and insiders. In the wide ranging discussion, Cook told the crowd of the inspiration and focus he received from Jobs, his desire to see Apple become a more transparent company in terms of environmental and supplier issues, the rise of the mobile apps industry and his hope that the company will manufacture more products in the U.S. “We should do more semiconductor things in the U.S.,” he said. Cook took over as Apple CEO on August 24. Jobs died on October 5.
The AllThingsD conference runs through Thursday.
(Photos: Asa Mathat, AllThingsD.com)