Tim Cook calls Siri “profound innovation”, talks patent disputes, and Thailand. Tablet market could be bigger than the PC market

Live from Apple Q4 2011 earnings call, Tim Cook is answering questions from the press and just discussed, among other things, his thoughts on Siri, patents disputes, and the disaster in Thailand.

Of course Cook was asked to comment about Siri and did so using the words “amazing” and “incredible” calling it a “profound innovation” and saying, “over time…many, many people will use it in a substantial way”.

Talking on patent disputes, Cook of course wouldn’t discuss specific cases but did note:

“We spend a lot of time and money and resource on coming up with incredible innovation…we dont like it when someone else takes those”, he continued, “unfortunately we’ve been pushed into the court system as a remedy.”

When asked to talk about the potential unibody enclosure shortage we reported yesterday, he mentioned it’s being treated as a concern and that Apple is “currently investigating”. He also talked about the recent disaster in Thailand and its potential impact (quote via This is my next):

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“We have multiple suppliers, there are several factories that are not operable, and the recovery timeline is not known. The weather hasn’t allowed an ability to assess those. Our primary exposure is on the Mac… I can’t give you a precise accounting, but it’s something I’m concerned about. There will be an overall industry shortage of disk drives, how it affects Apple I’m not sure.”

When asked to talk about where the company plans to spend that 80 billion plus in cash Cook noted, “The cash isn’t burning a hole in our pocket” and that they wont be doing anything “silly” with it. He also noted that he isn’t “religious” about holding cash, and the question of where to spend their 81+ billion in cash will continually be discussed by the board.

One interesting comment. When asked about his view on the size of the Tablet market- how big it could get. Cook said “Bigger than the PC market”. What’s bigger than that?

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.