Apple's Cook: 'I hate litigation'

As his company announced yet another record-breaking financial quarter, chief executive Tim Cook expressed a less aggressive tone than that of Steve Jobs when it comes to patent suits

Apple chief Tim Cook would prefer to settle the company's many patent lawsuits, he said following the announcement of record quarterly results on Tuesday.

Tim Cook

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has expressed a less aggressive tone than that of Steve Jobs when it comes to patent suits, as his company announced record-breaking results. Image credit: Sarah Tew/CNET News

Apple is in patent litigation all over the world, mostly with Android manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola and HTC. In many cases Apple is the one being sued, but it was also the initiator of a legal frenzy under the leadership of the late Steve Jobs.

"I've always hated litigation, and I continue to hate it," Cook said in an earnings call on Tuesday, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "We just want people to invent their own stuff."

"And so if we could get to some kind of arrangement where we could be assured that's the case and a fair settlement on the stuff that's occurred, I would highly prefer to settle versus battle," Cook continued. "But the key thing is that it's very important that Apple not become the developer for the world. We need people to invent their own stuff."

The tone of Cook's words contrasted strongly with that of Jobs's pledge to "go thermonuclear war" on Android, although that quote was only revealed posthumously in Walter Isaacson's biography.

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40bn in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product," Jobs was quoted as saying.

Glowing results as usual

The second quarter of Apple's financial year, ending on 31 March, was the strongest such quarter for the company yet. Much of this was down to rapid growth in the Asia-Pacific markets, particularly China.

Quarterly revenue was $39.2bn (£24.3bn), up 59 percent from $24.7bn in the corresponding quarter last year. Profits were 93 percent up, from $6bn in the second quarter of the 2011 financial year to $11.6bn in the most recent quarter.

In terms of sales, iPads saw the biggest growth — Apple sold 11.8 million of the tablets in the quarter, up 151 percent year-on-year. However, this was partly down to the fact that the outmoded iPad 2 is now available at a relatively cheap price.

iPhone sales were up 88 percent year-on-year, with 35.1 million units sold in the quarter. Even Mac sales were up seven percent — according to Cook, Apple has now outgrown the general PC market for 24 straight quarters.

However, iPod sales continued to slide, with the 7.7 million sales in the quarter representing a 15 percent year-on-year decline.

According to Apple, the App Store now has more than 600,000 apps, 200,000 of which are specifically for the iPad. The 25 billionth app was downloaded in March.

The iCloud service has picked up more than 125 million customers since launching in October, the company added.

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