This evening, at AllThingsD's D10 Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Tim Cook spoke with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, both technology columnists at the Wall Street Journal and co-executive editors at AllThingsD, in what was only the second-ever public interview for Apple's newly appointed CEO.
Below are choice quotes Cook gave on topics ranging from patent wars to Siri's personality, Foxconn to Google Glass, end just about everything in between.
On Steve Jobs:
"It was absolutely the saddest [day] of my life when he passed away."
"Steve was a genius and a visionary… He's an irreplacable person. Steve was an original and I don't think there is another one of those being made. 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."
"Some people want to work a lot. They want to move and work for a year or two and then move back to their village and bring back as much money as they can."
"Apple now has 95 per cent compliance and is tracking 700,000 workers in China. I don't know anyone else [that] is doing this... We're micromanaging this."
"We have very good relationships with the content owners. We don't want their stuff to be ripped off."
"These guys have been buying Macs forever. There is a level of trust in those relationships. Steve bought us even closer because he also owned a content business for a while [Pixar]."
On his newly appointed position:
"I spend my days working with teams on various products... It is my oxygen, that's how strongly I feel about it."
On his goals:
"I just want to build great products."
On his inspiration:
"If you walked into my office you would see Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. If you are talking about CEOs that are living… I have incredible respect for Bob Iger and what he has done at Disney."
On patent wars hindering innovation:
"Well it is a pain in the arse."
"Siri has proven to us that people want to relate to the phone in a different way."
"What makes Siri cool is she has a personality."
"I think you are going to be really pleased with where we take Siri."
On wearable computing and Google Glass:
"Wearable, I have on a Nike Fuel Band. I think there are some cool things that can be done. I think it is an interesting area. The question is, can it change somebody's behavior? If it is just a cool thing, to know it will fade, but if it can change behaviour, more to it."
On Ping and Apple's interest in being a part of the social networking world:
"Apple doesn't have to own a social network, but does Apple have to be social? Yes."
"We tried Ping and I think the customer voted and said this isn't something that I want to put a lot of energy into."
On the competitive landscape when it comes to smartphones:
"I wouldn't say we dominate it, I'd say we have the best phone."
On Apple's culture of secrecy:
"We're going to double down on secrecy on products." But, on other things — supplier responsibility, environmental issues, etc — Apple will be the most transparent company."