Apple's No. 1: Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures at the Apple Developers Conference in San Francisco, Monday, June 11, 2012. New iPhone and Mac software and updated Mac computers were among the highlights Monday at Apple Inc.'s annual conference for software developers. (AP/Paul Sakuma)It was only a year ago at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that the late Apple chief executive officer Steve Jobs made his last keynote address, wowing the audience with his usual charisma.
Successor Tim Cook has shown himself more inclined to let others do the talking.
Cook, 51, went on stage to deliver his first keynote address at WWDC to rapturous applause. Much like Jobs would have done, he got the developer crowd cheering with updates on how well the Apple App Store is doing.
However, unlike Jobs, Cook's tone quickly turned serious when he said: “What we do together is much more important than any set of numbers could ever reflect.”
While Jobs would have been talking about blowing the competition away, Cook was talking about making people's lives better.
Pausing for a moment and almost choking, Cook continued: “There are such heart-warming stories out there of what the combination of our incredible devices and your amazing apps have made in people's lives.”
A video then rolled out, showing how apps have helped the blind explore the forest and children learn anatomy.
This is becoming a hallmark of Cook's management.
Ever since he took over as chief executive, Apple has become increasingly “humane,” implementing an employee charity program, joining the Fair Labor Association for better working conditions and granting dividends to shareholders.
What's more, Jobs would have dominated the keynote address, but Cook has taken a more laissez-faire approach.
After his introduction, Cook handed the stage to Apple senior vice-president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller. He did not even return to introduce his lieutenants for the products Apple unveiled on Tuesday – something Jobs would have done.
He only came back towards the end for a quick summary.
This is probably going to be the template for future Apple launches. Yet no one inside the conference hall seemed to mind.
Jobs' legendary showmanship and reality distortion field seemed all but forgotten. Instead, everyone seemed fixated on the products.
The audience cheered at the razor-thin MacBook Pro with its ultra high-definition Retina Display. They were wowed by Apple's next operating system OS X Mountain Lion. They clapped at the 3-D flyover of Apple's own Maps app.
Perhaps, Cook knows better by letting Apple products do the talking. And perhaps finally, Apple is no longer a one-man show.