Tim Cook lets loose, gets cocky during Apple’s earnings call

tim cook cooks up some quotable moments jan 2011 642x428

Tim Cook is starting to really embrace his role as Apple’s CEO. He’s had the position for over a year now but he finally seems to be getting the hang of filling in for Steve Jobs. The past few days have shown his biggest marks of progress as he’s spewed out several almost unjustifiably cocky statements about Apple’s creations while simultaneously attacking his competition. Jobs was the master of this art and managed to set the bar rather high for his successor. One of his more famous remarks was about his well-known distain for seven-inch tablets, and today we learned that Tim Cook agrees.

Always up for a challenge, Cook decided today’s Apple earnings call would be a good place to start dropping gems of wisdom and All reports seem to point to Cook putting on quite the show for his company. Between reciting numbers about growth and doing some masterful spinning on some of the tough situations like iPhone 5 rollouts, he also managed to make time to pat himself and Apple on the back with one hand while driving a knife into the hopes of Microsoft and others. Here’s a quick round up of some of our favorite quotes from Cook’s instant classic of an earnings call.

iPad Mini Pricing

When asked about the pricing philosophy that Apple uses when deciding the cost for one of its products, specifically the iPad Mini, Cook did his best to explain how quality justifies the cost: “One of the things we try to do is to create a product that people will love for months and years and continue using. That’s what iPad mini is designed to do.” The emphasis here should be on months if you’re an iPad owner. Everyone excited about that new Lightning connector?

It’s not seven inches

The iPad Mini has been a point of contention in Apple’s overall plan, mostly thanks to Steve Jobs’ instance in the pointlessness of that size. Presented with a question about the company’s about face on the smaller sized tablet, Cook took the opportunity to defend the product.

“We would not make one of the seven-inch tablets. We don’t think they’re good products, and we would never make one. Not just because it’s seven inches, but for many reasons. One of the reasons, however, is size. The difference in just the realistic size between 7.9, almost 8, versus 7 is 35 percent.” Feel free to fast forward to the next major Apple event where Cook brags about having the fastest selling 7.9 inch tablet on the market.

Not entirely satisfied with that answer, Cook continued to defend Apple’s little tablet. “When you look at the usable area, it is much greater than that. You know, it is from 50 percent to 67 percent. And also the iPad Mini has the same number of pixels as iPad 2 does.” If you think about it, saying the iPad Mini has the same display power as a product you essentially made obsolete in the same press conference might not be the best line of defense.

Surface tablet neither flys nor floats

Having talked enough about his own company for awhile, Cook moved to discussing Apple’s newest competitor, Microsoft. When asked about the launch of the Surface tablet and how that may change the market, Cook was quick to go on the attack. “I haven’t firstly played with the Surface yet, but what we are reading about it is that it’s a fairly compromised confusing product. …I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats, but I don’t think it would do all of those things very well.” T-Minus 5 minutes before the web blows up with rumors of an invitation to another Apple event announcing a car, and 10 minutes until rumors of an iCar Mini.

We’re not sure if this has been in Cook’s repertoire this entire time and he’s been holding back, but we hope it continues. It’s fun to see guys in Cook’s position speak with some passion and confidence is entertaining. Let’s put it this way, it takes a lot to make a call about earnings interesting to those that aren’t rolling in the profit announcements.