Tim Cook On Apple’s (Tumultuous) Relationship With Facebook, “Stay Tuned”

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The Most Important Lesson Tim Cook Learned From Steve Jobs: “Focus Is Key”

When asked onstage at D10 about what could be done about the lack of Facebook integration on iOS despite Facebook’s formidable 900 million users and Apple’s partnership with the much smaller social network Twitter, as well as other stalls in the Apple and Facebook relationship (Ping anyone?), Apple CEO Tim Cook mysteriously replied, “Stay tuned.” Multiple times.

“Facebook is a great company.” Cook said, “And the relationship is solid. I saw Sheryl (Sandberg) earlier outside. We have great respect for each other.”

When Swisher referred to Jobs calling Facebook “onerous” Cook responded, “They have their way of doing things, But people say that about us as well. Just because they have a point of view doesn’t mean we can’t work with each other.” Jobs had specifically referred to Facebook’s terms when negotiating the Ping integration as “onerous,” which means “involving a burdensome amount of effort and difficulty,” according to Webster’s.

Perhaps an all grown up, post-IPO Facebook will be less of a burden to deal with?

Swisher called the two companies “must haves” i.e. symbiotic, and it’s true; Facebook is keeper of the world’s largest social platform and Apple is the most formidable mobile hardware player. “We appreciate each other,” Cook said, “We want to provide customers with simple and elegant ways to do what they do. And Facebook has 100s of millions of customers … We want (all of those customers) to have a better experience, so stay tuned.”

The guarded Cook obviously did not go into detail on what the “stay tuned” means, but as Facebook is attempting to make its own foray into mobile, the idea of the two companies working together in the future is certainly interesting and still very much a possibility, Cook’s “stay tuned” implies.