Apple CEO: Facebook is a friend

Apple and Facebook have a complicated history, but their relationship could get better. Apple CEO Tim Cook considers Facebook a friend and believes "the two companies could do more together."

Apple is still choosing Twitter over Facebook whenever it can, but the world's largest social network shouldn't give up hope just yet. The consumer electronics giant had a shareholders meeting in Cupertino earlier this week, during which Apple CEO Tim Cook had a few positive things to say about the relationship between the two companies.

Here's a relevant excerpt courtesy of CNBC:

1:52 P.M. : Shareholder: "Question on Facebook, friend or foe — and where does social networking into the picture. Also: I just bought a big LG TV and have 60 days to return it. Should I return it?"

Cook: "Facebook: friend. We do a lot with them, our users use Facebook an enormous amount. ... I've always thought that the two companies could do more together." ... "We've integrated Twitter ... It's been great for Twitter, but it's been great for our users" .... iMessage "the volume is incredible."

Cook: "Obviously, I'm not going to comment on your second question (TV)."

Facebook was supposed to be integrated into iOS 4. Cupertino wanted to code its own Facebook features because it lacked confidence in Menlo Park's ability to build a great app, so it built the social network into its mobile operating system. Facebook said no and negotiations broke down. Apple then went with Twitter in iOS 5. Last week, when Apple announced OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, the new version of its desktop operating system included Twitter integration, and Facebook was shunned once again.

Two other episodes have previously demonstrated a strained Apple-Facebook relationship: one regarding Ping and the other regarding the HP TouchPad. I've argued before that the partnership between the two technology giants started to turn around last year, possibly because the duo shares a mutual enemy: Google.

Facebook gave Apple quite a boost in 2011, including an official iPad app and the Facebook Platform for Mobile. I've speculated before that 2012 might be the year Apple returns the favor with some iOS integration but the OS X Mountain Lion developer preview has made me think twice. Still, Cook's recent comments should give Apple customers and Facebook users new hope.

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