Tim Cook has steered Apple through three years of increased competition from rivals since he took the helm as the tech giant's CEO.
When visionary founder Steve Jobs chose Cook as his successor, he offered two pieces of advice: Not to think of what he (Jobs) would do and to “do what’s right.”
In the past few months, Cook has shown the breadth of his vision for Apple by taking charge on two vastly different deals.
He helped make Dr. Dre the self-proclaimed “first billionaire in hip hop” with the $3 billion acquisition of Beats -- a company known best for their premium line of headphones.
Cook unveiled another deal Tuesday when he announced Apple would team up with IBM, a former rival, to sell more iPads and iPhones to corporate customers.
"I think that from a high level Cook is willing to work with people where Steve Jobs was not willing to work with people," Gene Munster, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, told ABC News. "He clearly believes more in cooperation versus competition."
Patrick Moorhead, principal technology analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, told ABC News that the diversity of the deals show Cook is "positioning himself as a unique leader."
"He seems to embrace things that a previous Apple wouldn’t do before," Moorhead said.
That means working with IBM -- the original Big Brother company that Apple poked fun at in the groundbreaking "1984" TV commercial.
While 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies use iOS devices, according to Cook, the IBM partnership will allow Apple a way of bringing its products to corporate customers who may be using other devices, while integrating IBM's data and analytics.
The companies will also collaborate on a "MobileFirst" platform of industry-specific business apps, including retail, healthcare, banking, travel, transportation, telecommunications and insurance, among others.
According to Apple, enterprise solutions will begin rolling out this fall and into 2015.
"It is big in that Apple has historically put no effort into enterprise," Munster said of the partnership. But "if you look at the impact of the numbers, it's a little bit more of a gray area."
Under Cook’s stewardship, Moorhead said he expects to see even more partnerships and acquisitions in the future, cementing not just a new era at Apple, but Cook’s legacy as a leader who can "think different."
"I would expect more partnerships, more acquisitions, more collaboration," Moorhead said.