"Apple doesn't have to own a social network," he said. "We tried Ping and the customer voted and said, this isn't something I want to put a lot of energy into. Some customers love it, but there's not a huge number that do, so will we kill it? I don't know. I'll look at it."
Made in the U.S.A.
Mossberg asked Cook about the limitations of the high-tech supply chain in the United States, and if there was any way Apple could once again have factories in the United States. Cook, in response, made the point that several key components of Apple products are made in the U.S.
"This isn't well known, but the engine for the iPhone and the iPad is built in the U.S.—not just for the U.S. but the world." He was referring to the Apple A5 processor, which is made by Samsung in Austin, Texas. And "the glass for your iPhone is made in a plant in Kentucky," he said, referring to Corning's Gorilla Glas plant in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
But, Cook said, the fact is that many key parts of the manufacturing sector simply aren't supported in the United States. "The tool-and-die maker skill in the U.S. began to go down in the '60s and '70s," he said. "So there has to be a fundamental change in the education system, to bring back some of this." He also cited "hundreds of thousands" of mobile-app development jobs in the United States that have been created by the App Store and success of the iPhone.
Remembering Steve Jobs
With Steve Jobs having made several memorable D appearances, it was only fitting that Cook spent some time on stage to remember Jobs and recount how Jobs's death had affected him.
"It was absolutely the saddest days of my life when he passed away," Cook said. "Maybe as much as you should see or predict that, I really didn't. But at some point, late last year, somebody kind of shook me and said, it's time to get on. So that sadness was replaced with intense determination to continue the journey. So that's where it is today."
Cook said that he's not troubled about making decisions that Jobs might not have made, recounting a visit to Jobs's home after Cook was made CEO. Jobs told Cook the story about how, after Walt Disney died, people at Disney would constantly ask themselves "what Walt would have done."
"And he looked at me with those intense eyes that only he had, and he told me to never do that, to never ask what he would do," Cook said "Just do what's right. And so I'm doing that."
Cook insisted that nobody could replace Jobs, so he wasn't going to try.