Mike Isaac

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Tim Cook: “Does Apple Need to Be Social? Yes.”

Facebook created the definitive social network. Google followed suit with Google+. Must Apple create its own version of a social network?

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the answer is no; it doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. But that comes with a caveat: “Does Apple need to be social?” Cook asked rhetorically. “Yes.”

The idea, Cook said in conversation with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at D10, isn’t that Apple needs to own the network itself. It’s to take that social integration and use it to improve upon the company’s existing products.

“Things like this make our devices even more useful to people,” Cook said. Think of Twitter’s integration into iOS, and later, the Mac OS.

But what about Ping, the ill-fated, iTunes-based social network that has languished ever since its launch in 2010?

“We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said, ‘this isn’t something that I want to put a lot of energy into,'” Cook admitted (after trying unsuccessfully to avoid the question).

So does that mean Ping is dead? “I don’t know,” Cook said. “We’ll look at it.”

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