May 30, 2012, 1:41 PM — Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the Wall Street Journal's tenth annual D: All Things Digital conference, appearing at the same event that his predecessor, Steve Jobs, had headlined several times before. Answering questions from conference hosts Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, Cook said his company is doubling down on Siri, played coy about Apple's approach to the gaming and television markets, and spoke emotionally about Jobs's death.
Double doubling down
As with any public appearance of an Apple executive, there was a good-natured give and take about future product releases. Mossberg and Kara tried to cajole Cook into revealing future product details, knowing full well that he would do no such thing. (In fact, the Apple CEO declared that the company was "doubling down on secrecy" when it comes to product releases.) However, he did offer a few tantalizing tidbits, most notably about the Siri feature of the iPhone 4S.
"Customers love [Siri], but there's more that it can do," he said. "And we have a lot of people working on this. And I think you'll be really pleased with some of the things that you'll see in the coming months... we've got some cool ideas about what Siri can do. And so we have a lot going on on this. I think you'll be pleased where we're taking Siri. We're doubling down on it."
TV or not TV?
Similarly, with rumors swirling about Apple possibly working on a physical TV set, Cook explained the company's attitude toward the current Apple TV product and the TV world in general
"We've stayed in the Apple TV product business, and we're not a hobby kind of company.... Our tendency is to do very few things, put all of our wood behind a few arrows, and if something creeps in and isn't a big success we get it out of the way and move on," he said. But he said Apple has stuck with the TV market, and Apple TV sales are growing. Cook said Apple sold 2.8 million Apple TVs in all of 2011 and sold 2.7 million in the first six months of its 2012 fiscal year, and says that customer satisfaction with the device is "of the charts."
"So we're going to keep pulling this string and see where it takes us," he said. "I think many people would say this is an area in their life that they're not really pleased with. The whole TV experience. So it's an interesting area. We'll have to see what we do. Right now, our contribution is Apple TV."