Cook also said Apple has a complicated relationship with Samsung, one of Apple’s biggest component suppliers and its chief rival in the smartphone and tablet markets.
The two companies are in the midst of patent-infringement lawsuits around the world, including one in California, where a jury said Samsung should pay Apple more than $1 billion in damages.
“Life is a complex thing sometimes, and yes, it’s awkward,” Cook said. “I hate litigation. I absolutely hate it. For us, this is about values. What we would like, in a perfect world, is for everyone to invent their own stuff.”
Apple opted to take Samsung to court “after lots of trying,” Cook said.
“We felt we had no other choice,” he said. “We tried every other avenue, and so we’ll see what happens in the future.”
Cook also recalled the meeting last year when Jobs asked Cook to become CEO. Jobs, who would become chairman, said he wanted a smooth transition, and that Cook shouldn’t burden himself with wondering how Jobs would run the company.
“The conversation occurred at a period of time when I felt Steve was getting better, and I think he felt this way as well,” said Cook, who was named CEO in August 2011. “So from that point of view, I was a little surprised.”
Cook said he expected Jobs to serve as chairman for a “long, long period.”
Asked about missing Jobs, who died the following October after a long battle with cancer, Cook said, “I do, every day.”