Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook can seem distant at times, but he knows his company and the industry better than anybody else out there. In an interview published by Bloomberg today, Cook addressed the future of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and acknowledged the Nokia problem.

Apple CEO

Nokia doesn’t make smartphones any more because the company did not innovate while it was ahead. When the market changed Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) kept doing its own thing, moving to smartphones far too late and only when the necessity became apparent. Nokia serves as a reminder to Cook and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) “that to not innovate is to die.”

Apple and innovation

The interview, which included input from Apple designer Jony Ive and Head of Software Craig Federighi, shows a Tim Cook very open to talking about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its future. “There’s a segment of the market that really wants a product that does a lot for them, and I want to compete like crazy for those customers,” the executive told Bloomberg.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) does not want to sell devices to users who don’t use them. There’s no point in innovation if inventiveness goes to waste. “For us, it matters that people use our products. We really want to enrich people’s lives, and you can’t enrich somebody’s life if the product is in the drawer,” says Apple’s chief.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) needs to innovate in order to grow. That message resounds from the company itself through to its fans and to the stock market, though the market may get a little confused sometimes. Cook sees the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) purchase of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) as copying Apple strategy.

Cook sees the importance of other companies copying Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) “We’re not looking for external validation of our strategy, but I think it does suggest that there’s a lot of copying, kind of, on the strategy and that people have recognized that importance.”

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch

The iPhone 5c, which will be released tomorrow around the world, is the subject of part of the interview. The model was not well received on the stock market after its  launch. That’s because analysts and investors were expecting Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to go for emerging markets gung-ho with a low priced device.

In the interview Cook responded to market reaction to the iPhone 5c launch. He said “You have to bring yourself back to, ‘Are you doing the right things?’ And so that’s what I focus on, instead of letting somebody else or a thing like the market define how I should feel.”

Cook told Bloomberg, “We never had an objective to sell a low-cost phone. Our primary objective is to sell a great phone and provide a great experience, and we figured out a way to do it at a lower cost.” The iPhone 5c may not be the emerging market tap that analysts were looking for, but it is a new iPhone and it costs the same as an old iPhone did last year.