Apple’s Cook: Facebook is as Awesome as We Are

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) chief executive Tim Cook thinks highly of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and told a group of investors a few months ago that the Mark Zuckerberg-led company was the closest to being like his own.

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Cook made the comments in February during an impromptu talk he delivered following Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer’s presentation to the company’s investors at its headquarters, and has been documented by Adam Lashinsky in his article in Fortune magazine.

“Asked his opinion of Facebook, Cook called the neighboring upstart ‘the one company that is closest to being like Apple,’ adding that he had huge respect for Facebook, with which Apple could work more closely,” the article says. Cook also answered several other questions posed to him by the shareholders. “He answered every question head-on and didn’t skirt any issue,” one investor says.

The two companies had not been on very friendly terms a few months ago when Steve Jobs was reportedly “livid” when he discovered that Facebook, which had promised to develop a tablet app for Apple first, launched one for Hewlett-Packard’s (NYSE:HPQ) WebOS instead.

However, Jobs also expressed his admiration for Facebook chief executive Zuckerberg in Walter Isaacson’s biography of him. “…I don’t see anybody other than Facebook out there, just Facebook,” Jobs says. “They are dominating this. I admire Mark Zuckerberg… for not selling out, for wanting to make a company. I admire that a lot.”

Cook had also found words of praise for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) during his company conference call in April, saying it was “a different kind of competitor” that has “different strengths” from Apple and that “will sell a lot” of Kindle devices, the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android-based tablet that is one of the iPad’s competitors.

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