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INNOVATE

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Innovation Doesn't Mean a New Gadget

Innovation isn't about making new products, Cook said at the D: All Things Digital Conference. You only need fresh ideas.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at the D: All Things Digital Conference Tuesday night, answering questions on the company's cool factor and whether Apple has any plans for wearable tech. 

Though he offered mostly canned responses on his vision for the company and Apple TV, Cook spoke pointedly about Apple's mission to innovate. 

Early on in the conference, All Things D reporter Walt Mossberg noted it had been a while since Apple last put out a hit. "The iPad Mini was a really good move," he said, "but it wasn't a game-changer the way the iPad was." 

Cook's response was polite but assertive. "Many people define innovation as a new product," he said. "We have some incredible plans we've been working on for awhile. We have some incredible ideas. The same culture and largely the same people that brought you the iPhone, the iPad mini, the iPod, and some who brought you the Mac, the same culture is there." 

In other words, Apple doesn't need to constantly create new products to be innovative. The vision, the quality, and the people are what make it forward-moving. 

"For us, winning has never been about making the most," Cook said later on. "Arguably we make the best PC, we don't make the most. We make the best music player, we wound up making the most. We make the best tablet, we make the most. We make the best phone, we don't make the most phones."

As any entrepreneur would point out, the proof is in the usage. Cook noted "satisfaction is off the charts," and despite having formidable rivals in Samsung and Android, Apple's continual focus on quality has served it well. "We've sold 85 million phones. Forty-two million iPads," he said. 

For a full transcript of last night's event, check out The Verge's live blog and watch the full 81-minute video below. 

IMAGE: Getty
Last updated: May 29, 2013

JILL KRASNY | Staff Writer

Jill Krasny is a staff writer for Inc. magazine, where she covers the intersection of entertainment and startups. Prior to Inc., she was a writer for MTV and Esquire and an editor at TheStreet. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in communication. She lives in New York City.




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