Apple CEO Tim Cook exercised his ability to out-wait his interviewers at AllThingsD conference

“In trying to cover Tim Cook’s roundly criticized performance at a major technology conference Tuesday evening near Los Angeles, reporters grasped at straws for kernels of news from the Apple CEO,” Adam Lashinsky writes for Fortune.

“It is a strange sight to see the CEO of Apple, a company known for its brilliance and vision, decline over and over to discuss just about anything in any detail,” Lashinsky writes. “It was the second year in a row Cook opened the prestigious AllthingsD conference and the second year in a row he divulged precious little about what is going on at Apple.”

Lashinsky writes, “The interview conducted by journalist-luminaries Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher was alternately painful and tedious. Over and over they asked Cook to spill the beans on future products, and over and over he demurred — a predictable response, by the way. Dan Benton, the famous tech-oriented hedge-fund investor, put his finger on the problem with Cook’s public persona during a subsequent Q&A session. ‘Why won’t you give us a view of the future,’ Benton asked, suggesting that Google, with its innovations around Google Chrome and Google Now has become far better than Apple at painting a picture of things to come. Cook’s response: ‘We believe in the element of surprise.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Anyone who thinks an Apple executive is going to reveal anything of significance at a non-Apple event simply hasn’t been paying very much attention for the last 16 years.

Related articles:
Watch the complete D11 interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook (with video) – May 29, 2013
Tim Cook sees Apple releasing several more ‘gamechangers’; says Google Glass has ‘only limited appeal’ – May 29, 2013
Live coverage of Tim Cook’s D11 appearance – May 28, 2013


  1. “It is a strange sight to see the CEO of Apple, a company known for its brilliance and vision, decline over and over to discuss just about anything in any detail,” Lashinsky writes.

    Strange? Not if you’ve been paying any attention to Apple at all for the last 15 years or so. Where do they find these idiots?

  2. Dan Benton’s question was inane, as was that entire “D” interview. I think Tim should go bowling next year, it would be far more productive and less irritating for him (or at least, me).

  3. Having Cook speak at these conference is a waste of time – he always says nothing of importance and gives very little detail about Apple the company or it’s products. He just repeats like a cult leader – Apple’s northstar is to make great products.

  4. Or was in kindergarten 16 years ago.

    A lot of websites pride themselves on their editorial staff under the age of 30, and a world where Bill Gates was a crook as opposed to a philanthropist, where Google was a cool search engine and nothing else, and where Apple was a dirty word in popular tech circles (not to mention a pre-social media, pre-blogosphere world where there was no constant noise) is outside of the context of their very limited experience.

    Gigantic doses of salt should shoot out of every device when they connect to the web. I think that’s coming in iWatch.

  5. Which part of ‘We believe in the element of surprise.’ is Lashinsky too thick to understand ?

    Is there any precedent for any Apple executive to announce Apple’s forthcoming plans or products at an event like this ?

    No informed person would have expected Tim Cook to give any juicy details, only a misinformed fool would imagine otherwise.

  6. Might as well be Steve Jobs at the helm, also impervious to mind-reading, bullying, and cheap tricks. Guess that culture of secrecy and surprise is holding up, darn it.

    They may have hoped Tim Cook would give them a scoop of some kind just because he is in the hot seat lately, but he didn’t squirm at all. Oh, well, back to baseless speculation and character impugnment.

    1. given the propensity of apple’s rivals to plagiarize and outright steal their lunch – do the names bill gates , eric the mole, samsung and myriad venal anal-cysts ring any bells? – why would tim cook enable and encourage the blessings of these parasites?

      i am a long time satisfied customer of most things apple and i would love to know what’s in the pipe line. but, i believe tim is correct, i enjoy being surprised, even amazed by the presentation of game-changing products. i trust apple knows how to handle their business.

  7. By trying to pry the lid off of future Apple products, AllThingsD wasted everyones time – never going to happen. Had they asked Tim about the effects of of lagging IP litigation, tax law, and corporate espionage together with some general questions regarding the importance of design, product ecosystems, corporate personalities, manufacturing partners, etc…. Then maybe we could have all learned something.

  8. MDN take, you are off a little, Steve did a product reveal at AllthingD 1 year (I think it was the AirpPort express).

    But for the most part, this is a wast of time for Tim, as he has nothing to say that is not related to his job at Apple and he wont say anything that is related to his job at Apple.

  9. I swear…ANALyst have always been pretty stupid, but this guy actually thinks that Apple will divulge information on upcoming new products during an interview? So that competitors can easily start their copy machines as soon as its over? Hilarious….

  10. 80 minutes of zero value. A shame what they asked, but also a shame what Tim answered. When he agreed to go there he must have known what they will ask so he had to prepare more interesting answers. Just a muppet show of the three slowest sparking persons in tech industry.

  11. Blame the interviewer(s), there is plenty of insight that can be gained on current products that we don’t usually get to hear. This was the perfect opportunity to talk about them in depth, yet they chose to repeatedly ask questions they new they wouldn’t get answers to.

  12. I think the article is disingenuous. I don’t believe anyone, anyone thought that Cook would reveal anything. So why bother to show up? I’m all for secrecy but why bother to show up? His time could have been filled by someone that would have been much more interesting. A waste of time.

  13. I have to agree with the commenters who pointed out that Cook should have been asked questions he was willing to answer instead of questions they knew he would not. Idiots.

    Move D12 to AFTER WWDC and then they can go in depth about what was just announced and get a load of info instead of nothing.

  14. People don’t get it. Apple is a publicly-traded company. The Security Exchange Commission (SEC) requires by law that any company listed on its exchange must make announcements in a certain way so that information is provided to all channels of media at the same time. Apple is doing exactly what it’s allowed to do under law. People just have to be patient and endure the element of surprise. It’s human nature for people who don’t get information that they need or want, to make it up or speculate.

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