NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If I have the chance to meet Tim Cook, I will give him a big hug right after he punches me.The Apple (AAPL - Get Report) CEO not only needs, but deserves a hug. Steve Jobs put Cook in an impossible situation.
If Apple believes in the fairy tale that it -- a company that derives about 90% of its revenue from hardware sales -- is a software company, it better start coming through with top-notch software and services. It's the beautifully designed, premium-quality, intuitive hardware that makes the Apple user experience second to none. The OS and iOS provide the foundation that makes it all tick, however, beyond the broad ecosystem, Apple software and services are run of the mill.
Outside of the operating systems, I can't think of Apple software or services I use by choice. It's almost always by default. Because I love Apple hardware so much, I accept less-than platforms -- e.g., iTunes, iCloud, Calendar, iMessage -- because they're just more convenient than better third-party options. When it's possible or there aren't too many hoops to jump through, I almost always use software and services from other companies, ranging from Microsoft to Google (GOOG - Get Report) and Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report) to developers most of us have never heard of. So, yes, Apple's software and services make the OS/iOS-powered ecosystems sticky, no doubt. But we shouldn't correlate Apple devising a situation where you have to use more of its software than you might otherwise freely choose -- all else equal -- with the notion that that software is any good.
Herein lies where Apple is most screwed. If it is indeed -- and needs to be a software company in a world where Google, for example, has come to play -- it doesn't have the right person leading from out in front. Tim Cook has probably never coded a thing in his life. But, beyond that, even if we don't compare Cook to Jobs, he simply does not walk, talk and act like the type of visionary CEO Apple needs. It needs a guy like Jack Dorsey who saw the future with Twitter and keeps on seeing it with Square. Or its present leader, Dick Costolo, who took Twitter over as Dorsey exited and not only hit every beat, but keeps making things better. These guys know software and services; leave the supply chain and other back office and back cover details to guys like Cook. But, for their own sake and the sake of Apple's future, keep them in their proper place. Follow @rocco_thestreet -- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.