Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook beat back the notion that the company is losing its "cool" factor, arguing Apple still has several game-changing products up its sleeve. He also said that the company is focused on building the best smartphones it can, and suggested Apple is not that concerned about winning additional market share.
Speaking for more than an hour at the opening keynote of AllThingsD's D11 conference Tuesday evening, Cook touched on a wide range of subjects, including Apple's iPhone business, product strategy, iOS operating system and potential further foray into TV.
However, Cook started off the discussion by saying that Apple is "absolutely not" in trouble, and that one need only look at the tens of millions of iPhones and iPads it has sold in recent months. Analysts have voiced concerns that Apple has not released a new hit product since the introduction of the iPad, concerns that have dragged on Apple's share price in recent months. But Cook hinted--without divulging many details--that Apple has new products in the pipeline.
"We have some incredible plans that we've been working on for a while. We have incredible ideas," he said, according to The Verge. "The same culture and largely the same people that brought you the iPhone, the iPad mini, the iPod and some who brought you the Mac, the same culture is there. I think we have several more game changers in us."
Those remarks echo what Cook said on the company's earnings conference call in late April when he said "our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services we can't wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014."
Cook touched on the idea of wearable computing, which Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is pushing with its Glass initiative. There have been rumors that Google, Apple, Samsung Electronics and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are all working on smart watches that mimic many of the functions of smartphones.
"I would say that the ones that are doing more than one thing, there's nothing great out there that I've seen," Cook said of wearables. "Nothing that's going to convince a kid that's never worn glasses or a band or a watch or whatever to wear one. At least I haven't seen it. So there's lots of things to solve in this space."
Cook said "it's an area that's ripe for exploration." Though he declined to mention specific plans, he said the market for wearables is "a very important branch of the tree. I think the iPhone pushed us forward fast and the tablet accelerated it. I think wearables could be another branch."
There has been a great deal of debate in the tech press lately about whether Apple should be more focused on growing market share to match Android or its share of profit in the smartphone market (where it already dominates). According to research firm Gartner's latest figures, Android captured 74.4 percent of the global smartphone market in the first quarter, up from 56.9 percent a year ago, and Apple's share sunk to 18.2 percent from 22.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012.
Some analysts have said Apple will need to make a lower-cost iPhone to go after consumers in emerging markets who cannot afford one, rather than decreasing the price of older iPhone models. As he has in the past Cook touched on the topic obliquely: "We haven't so far. That doesn't shut out the future," he said. "It takes a lot of really hard work to do a phone when you manage the hardware and software and services in it. We've put our focused on doing that right. We haven't been focused on working multiple lines."
Cook said different iPod lines such as the Shuffle and Nano "all served a different person, a different type, a different need. For the phone that is the question. Are we now at a point that we need to do that?"
Of Android's market share, Cook said: "Do I look at it? Of course. I don't have my head stuck in the sand. For us, winning has never been about making the most. Arguably we make the best PC, we don't make the most. We make the best music player, we wound up making the most. We make the best tablet, we make the most. We make the best phone, we don't make the most phones."
- see this complete AllThingsD video
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- see this The Verge live blog
- see this The Verge article
- see this NYT article
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