Apple CEO: iOS and OS X aren't Merging into a Single OS

Apple CEO Tim Cook says iOS and OS X aren't converging into a single operating system even though they share many similar traits. Speaking with Ireland's The Independent, that's not what customers want, and it isn't the experience Apple wants to create.

The OS X iPad? Tim Cook says nope.The OS X iPad? Tim Cook says nope.

The feature sharing between iOS and OS X, plus the overall power and performance in Apple's own A-series processors, has led to speculation that at some point we'll see Macs and iPads running the same operating system—much like Microsoft has done with Windows on PCs and tablets. According to Mr. Cook, that's not going to happen.

Mr. Cook said,

We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad. Because what that would wind up doing, or what we're worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants. So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either. You'd begin to compromise in different ways.

He went on to say that while the processor architecture for Macs and iPads is more similar than it has ever been, people don't use the devices in the same way. As such, they need their own operating systems and Apple wants the two working together.

"What we've tried to do is to recognize that people use both iOS and Mac devices," he said. "So we've taken certain features and made them more seamless across the devices."

This isn't the first time Mr. Cook has said iOS and OS X won't merge into a single operating system, and it isn't the first time he has commented on customers using Macs and iPads in different ways. Still, we will most likely see more features cross between the two platforms in future OS versions.

Mr. Cook's reassurance was likely at least in part a follow up to a comment he made a few days ago where he questioned why anyone would buy a PC any more. That comment, he said, was about Windows-based PCs, and not Macs. Mr. Cook said Macs aren't seen as the same as PCs by Apple.

As iOS and OS X become more similar, it'll get harder to believe they aren't on a path to become a single unified operating system. Mr. Cook says that isn't happening, so it looks like an iOS laptop or OS X tablet won't be coming any time soon.