We were recently chatting with an industry veteran, who works for one of Apple's rivals. We were asking this person about the state of the PC business.
HP, Samsung, Acer, Dell, just to name a few, are struggling to eek out a profit from PC sales. Meanwhile, Apple is cranking along with a 45 percent gross margin.
Our industry veteran explained the difference between Apple and the rest of the pack pretty simply: "If it weren't for Tim Cook the iPad would cost $5,000."
Cook was able to figure out logistics and manage the supply chain so Apple could earn those fat margins. This isn't the first time we've heard people marvel at Cook's operations ability, but it was the best phrasing for it we've ever heard.
It's also a good reminder of how important Cook is to Apple.
The real reason Apple is the most valuable company in the world right now isn't that it makes ultra-sexy iPads and iPhones. It's because it makes ultra-sexy iPhones and iPads and charges the same price as its rivals, or less, for those gadgets.