Tim Cook to talk iPhone 6, Beats and Steve Jobs on Charlie Rose

In a two-part interview, Apple's CEO expounds on the company's past, present and what lies ahead.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
3 min read

Apple CEO Tim Cook sits down with PBS' Charlie Rose to talk shop. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

It's been a busy week for Apple. The company unveiled several new products -- including a plus-size iPhone and an Apple Watch -- and now CEO Tim Cook is sitting down with PBS' Charlie Rose to discuss what's been going on and the road ahead.

In a two-part series, Cook hits on topics including Apple TV, the company buyout of Beats and Steve Jobs' legacy. The first part of the interview airs Friday night and the second part can be viewed on Monday. PBS shared a transcript of the interview with CNET. Here are some tidbits:

Apple isn't the first company to come out with a smartwatch. Nevertheless, the Apple Watch debuted with much fanfare on Tuesday. It comes in several different styles, interacts with an iPhone and doubles as a fitness monitor. Cook implied that even though it's not the first smartwatch on the market, he believes it will still have commercial success.

"The Apple Watch is the most personal device we've ever created," Cook said. "We explored many different things and as the product came to fruition, it became not only the timepiece that you would expect, but a device that can do many different things, including, really, a whole new way of communicating and connecting with people."

Cook called the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus "the biggest advance in iPhone history" and the "best iPhones we've ever done." When Rose asked if the larger-size phone was created to battle Samsung's Galaxy S5, Cook said "we could have done a larger iPhone years ago. It's never been about just making a larger phone. It's been about making a better phone in every single way."

Apple television set
It's been rumored for years that Apple has been working on a TV set. Cook didn't clarify if this is actually in the works, but he did say television "is something we have great interest in." He said viewers' current TV experience is "stuck in the '70s" and it "almost feels like you're rewinding the clock and you've entered a time capsule, and you're going backward."

Apple agreed to buy Beats, the company behind the street-fashionable headphones as well as a subscription streaming music service, for $3 billion in May. Cook told Rose that he made this decision because he saw talent in Beats' team and was impressed by its subscription service. He called Beats founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine "creative geniuses" and said they've "done a fabulous job with the brand."

Steve Jobs
"I think about Steve every day," Cook told Rose. "He is deep in Apple's DNA. His spirit will always be the foundation of the company." In fact, Cook said, the company has left Jobs' office exactly as it was, with his name still on the door.

When Jobs picked Cook as his successor, Cook said, he was surprised but trusted Jobs' decision. "He knew, when he chose me, that I wasn't like him, that I'm not a carbon copy of him. And so he obviously thought through that deeply, about who he wanted to lead Apple," Cook said.

"I've never had the objective of being like him, because I knew, the only person I can be is the person I am," he told Rose. "I've tried to be the best Tim Cook I can be."

Down the road
While Cook stayed tight-lipped on what Apple is dreaming up next, he did say "there are products we're working on that no one knows about, yes. That haven't been rumored about yet."

"We know we'll only do our best work if we stay focused," Cook said. "The hardest decisions we made are all the things not to work on."

In the full interview, Cook also talks about Apple's recent deal with IBM, social networking and much more. It airs on PBS on Friday and Monday evening, viewers should check local listings for details.