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TheStreet Open House

Former Intel Chairman, CEO: 'Steve Was Apple, Period'

Stock quotes in this article: AAPL, INTC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- On Monday morning, former Intel (INTC) Chairman and CEO Craig Barrett made an appearance on CNBC that flew under the radar.

After discussing Facebook (FB), CNBC asked Barrett what he thought about Apple's (AAPL) present and future under Tim Cook.

Here are key bullet points from Barrett, taken directly from the CNBC video transcript of his appearance:

  • "I think Apple has done a fantastic job."
  • "Steve was Apple, period. He had great lieutenants working for him -- Mr. Cook, others -- but it was Steve Jobs."
  • "If the next level can step up, Tim can step and continue the product rollouts, then more power to them."
  • "Steve was really unique. He could take a product which was already in the marketplace, wrap a good user interface on it and market it when everybody else thought it was dead. When the iPod came out there were a million MP3 players out there . . . It was timing, packaging, the user interface. Steve did all of that exquisitely."

    If you didn't actually see that interview, it's worth checking out the video. Pay attention to Barrett's mannerisms.

    I would never put words in Barrett's mouth, but it's safe to assume, at the very least, he subscribes to the near-term bull, long-term uncertain case on Apple.

    Granted, I am a bit more bearish long-term, but I'm not the former chairman and CEO of Intel. So, in one respect, I have more leeway to say how I feel. The last thing Barrett wants to do is create a public relations dust-up like the one current chief Paul Otellini inadvertently started, according to Bloomberg, with Microsoft (MSFT).

    At the same time, for every bit of confidence I have in my own thought processes, I understand if you put slightly more weight in what Barrett says. However you slice it, the (very well-deserved and spot-on) fawning he did over Jobs, with a "more power to" Cook and company if they can keep it up sandwiched in between, does not necessarily give off a bullish smell beyond the immediate product pipeline.

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