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Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook was on The Charlie Rose Show last night for the first of a two-part interview about topics ranging from the company’s new products to the legacy of Steve Jobs.

But one comment in particular will sting for Amazon, as Cook essentially dismissed efforts by Jeff Bezos & Co. to compete in smartphones and tablets.

“They’ve come up with a phone. You don’t see it in a lot of places. They have some tablets. But they’re not a product company. Apple is a product company. And so, in the long term, will they become a bigger product company? I don’t know. You would have to ask Jeff what his plans are. But when I think of competitor, I would think of Google… much above anyone else.”

His choice of words was a little brutal, but the comment speaks to Amazon’s lack of traction with its new Fire Phone, and the extreme seasonality of the company’s Kindle Fire tablets.

Of course, Amazon’s traditional strength has been in commerce, and Apple is encroaching further into that area with its Apple Pay system.

The full interview isn’t yet online, and Charlie Rose’s site appears to be down this morning, but ZDNet has extended written excerpts from Cook’s remarks, and the Wall Street Journal also has a summary of his comments. Also see these clips released by the show.

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