At the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference today, Apple’s CEO answered questions on a number of topics, including the company’s cash usage strategy, Greenlight’s lawsuit, acquisitions, and innovation.
On that last topic, Cook confidently answered, “It's never been stronger.” This, in spite of having yet to release a revolutionary product since he took the reins from the late Steve Jobs in 2011.
Speaking about innovation, Cook continued, “It's so embedded in Apple...the desire to make the very best products in the world. It's in the DNA of the company, and so I feel fantastic about it.”
The Apple CEO suggested that analysts also need to pay attention to the “essentials” for innovation, stressing that “there’s no [particular] formula” according to which innovation is delivered by a company like Apple.
“But some of the essentials are skills and leadership,” Cook said, seemingly shifting attention away from the rumors like the iTV and iWatch.
“If you look at skills, Apple is in a unique and unrivaled position...expertise in software, hardware, and services,” he said.
Cook believes users prefer “an elegant experience where technology floats to background and customer is at the center.”
“The real magic happens at the intersection of software, hardware, and services, and we have the ability to innovate and create magic there,” he said.
Cook is extremely proud of his executive team, especially after ousting a rotten apple recently (Scott Forstall), putting Jonathan Ive at the center of Human Interfaces across Apple.
“I look around the executive boardroom and see superstars. Jony Ive is the top designer and now turning his attention to software. Bob Mansfield is the leader in silicon. No one better than Jeff Williams at operations. Schiller, Riccio, etc.”
“I've never been more bullish on Apple...we have the talent to pull this off,” Cook said.