Steve Jobs will forever be remembered for phrases he coined or made his own — insanely great, put a ding in the universe, here’s to the crazy ones and scores more. Tim Cook is still making his claim, but we might have heard a phrase that perhaps fits both him and Apple — maniacally focussed.

What’s up with that?

The first, or at least the top Google search result, reference for “maniacally focussed” comes from Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman back in June and he was talking about cutting costs — a lot of people will be losing their personal staplers, I guess.

That said, Tim Cook only used the words “maniacally focussed” twice in Tuesday’s Quarterly Earnings Call (transcript), but it really struck a chord:

Shannon Cross, Cross Research: Okay, great. And then could you talk a little bit, Tim, about what your conversations are like with the carriers in terms of pricing, subsidies…

Tim Cook: …Our role is to make the very best smartphone in the world that has an incredible user experience, far superior to anything else, that customers want to use every day. And, I think at the end of the day, the carriers want to provide their customers with what their customers want to buy. So, the most important thing for Apple by far is to continue making the best products in the world and we are very deeply committed to do this. And, we’re maniacally focussed on it.

Brian Marshall, ISA: Clearyly, Apple’s design philosophy has been about building great products as opposed to kind of going into the market and hitting certain price points. But, ya know, how do you think about the opportunities, to address some of those opportunities that are down at some of those lower price points with your existing products without, ya know, essentially compromising some of the core features that basically make Apple’s product great?

Tim Cook: Brian, it’s Tim. Our North Star is to maniacally focus on making the world’s best products. Economic turmoil may push us side to side, but we’re gonna stay on that journey and stay focussed on making the best products and not deviate from that. We’ve seen again and again through the years that during these types of periods are when we distance ourselves further from people that don’t innovate and it increases the gap between us. So, that’s what we’re focussed on.

Again, maniacally focussed isn’t an entirely new term and might, in fact, might ultimately be attributed to Steve Jobs. Nevertheless, perhaps Tim Cook hit on a catchphrase that he can call his own…

What’s your take?

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