Apple takes a methodical approach when releasing new products. Since launching its iPad Air/iPad mini with Retina combo late last year, the Cupertino company has been quiet—almost silent—about its plans for 2014, simply saying it will break into new product categories soon. Meanwhile, Apple's biggest competitors have already introduced some major products, causing many anti-Apple followers to proclaim the company's best days have long passed. But Apple CEO, Tim Cook, doesn't think so.
Following Apple's earnings call this week, Cook sat down with The Wall Street Journal to talk about the company's future, and why we haven't seen any new announcements so far this year.
You want to take the time to get it right. Our objective has never been to be first. It's to be the best. To do things really well, it takes time. You can see a lot of products that have been brought to market where the thinking isn't really deep and, as a consequence, these things don't do very well. We don't do very many things so we spend a lot of time on every detail and that part of Apple isn't changing. It's the way we've operated for years and it's the way we still operate. I feel great about what we've got coming. Really great and it's closer than it's ever been.
Never mind that Cook is basically repeating his "we've got great things coming" sentiment. Apple fans have patiently waited for the company to deliver on its big "new product" promises, so the pressure is certainly mounting. Hype is destroying the Richter scale. Apple hasn't released a tangible iThing since September of last year, which is basically a millennium in Tech Time. But Cook is right. Things do take time. I wonder which products he's referring to that haven't done very well.
Cook did reiterate that Apple is doing just fine—better than fine. Apple's 15-percent year-over-year increase in earnings per share is proof, and means that customers are just as excited for Apple products as they've ever been, under Jobs or, now, under Cook. So the ship is certainly on a successful course. But how long can the paradise waters stay calm before a tropical storm comes sweeping in? With new products on the way, Cook says that things will only get better.
WSJ also asked Cook about the area of mobile payments, to which the Apple CEO admitted is a "really interesting area," but the fact that you and I still carry wallets around means "it hasn't been figured out just yet." That could be a hint Apple is trying to figure it out, especially with almost 800 million iTunes accounts on file, and a majority of those with credit cards behind them. "It's an area of interest to us," Cook said. So very interesting indeed.