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Tim Cook: Facebook is a 'friend' not a 'foe,' a la carte TV unlikely in near term

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Apple CEO told the company's shareholders on Thursday that Facebook is a "friend," not a "foe," and that the two can do more together. He also mentioned Apple offering an a la carte video service would be unlikely in the short term.

Tim Cook
Tim Cook

In response to a question from an audience member about whether Apple considered the web company a "friend" or "foe" at Apple's shareholder meeting Thursday, CEO Tim Cook explained that the two companies are aligned, with little overlap in their respective businesses, saying:

"We do a lot with them, and our users are using Facebook a tremendous amount. It’s not like some other companies [where] we see a significant overlap in the things we do, I have always thought that the two can do more together."

It looks like Facebook feels much the same, saying in a statement, "iOS is an important platform for Facebook and we have a good relationship with Apple." Whatever hard feelings there might have been about the failed iTunes/Facebook integration deal must be water under the bridge.

Cook also discussed Apple's massive $98 billion cash reserve and what the company might do with it, acknowledging that Apple has "more than we need to run the company." There's some speculation that Apple might return some money to its shareholders through quarterly dividend payouts (a practice Apple stopped in 1995 when its fortunes were dire), but Cook only said that the board and management are "thinking about this very deeply" and that "this isn't a case where 100 percent of people are going to agree with what we do."

Apple's CEO also cryptically answered questions about the possibility of Apple offering an a la carte video service along the lines of Hulu, saying that the company is interested in selling devices, and that any such service would be unlikely to come quickly. What that says about the current crop of Apple-designed HDTV rumors is anyone's guess from a company notorious for its misdirection.