By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
December 7, 2012

FORTUNE — We always knew that Steve Jobs was going to be a tough act to follow, so I suppose his successor should be forgiven if he came across in his NBC and Bloomberg Q&As Thursday as painfully sincere and even a little schmaltzy — something the more cynical Jobs always managed to avoid.

The big PR coup in both interviews, of course, was the news that Apple (AAPL) is bringing some — but not much — of its manufacturing work back to the U.S. Cook also gave Bloomberg’s Josh Tyrangiel a better explanation for why Scott Forstall had to go, and some of the detail in his description of Jobs’ parting words struck me as new.

As for the rest, here are the quotes that stuck out for me:

I despise politics. There is no room for it in a company. My life is going to be way too short to deal with that.

The DNA of the company, the thing that makes our heart beat, is a maniacal focus on making the best products in the world.

If you think about Android, it’s more like the Windows PC model. The operating system comes from company A. Company B is doing some integration work, and maybe the services come from yet somewhere else. I think we know the kind of customer experience that produces.

Look at netbooks. Many people thought netbooks were the coolest thing ever. Many companies hyped them. In fact, the sales boomed, and then what happened? They crashed, because they were awful! They were flimsy products with crappy, cramped keyboards. They were underpowered. They were just awful.

We will only do a few things. And we’ll only do things where we can make a significant contribution. I don’t mean financially. I mean some significant contribution to the society at large.

Eighty percent of our revenues are from products that didn’t exist 60 days ago. Is there any other company that would do that?

The full interview: Tim Cook’s freshman year at Apple

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