iPad Air, iPad 4 Stacked

Although Apple earnings revealed interest in its iPad might be waning, CEO Tim Cook said he's still excited about the company's slate family, and believes the best is yet to come.

During the company's earnings call on Tuesday afternoon, Cook said he still envisions significant innovation coming to the iPad. Cook, of course, didn't provide many details on what he's referring too, but the rumors we've been hearing might provide some insight.

For one, Apple is expected to introduce Touch ID to the iPad this fall, which would make sense considering the company has opened the technology up in iOS 8. We're also hearing the device could be even thinner than past models, along with an even faster processor. In addition, Apple is also expected to introduce a 12.9-inch model, though details on that are pretty scarce; introducing another size, however, would certainly help bring some life into the category, which brings us to Cook's next comments.

Cook emphasized Apple's focus on the education and enterprise markets, which would be a perfect environment for a bigger, more advanced iPad device. Not only could it be marketed as a more productivity-friendly device, but it could really endear itself to the crowd who might be leaning toward Microsoft's Surface lineup, which introduced its best device in the Surface Pro 3. With the IBM deal coming through last week, Apple's intentions are very clear for business customers; it wants to dominate that sector, while also having a significant influence in classrooms, too.

Most intriguing, though, were Cook's comments on how he believes there's still innovation in the tablet market. Android devices have taken a pretty substantial bite out of Apple's market share, to the point where the iPad isn't necessarily the automatic choice these days. But Apple's outlook is positive despite declining sales, and Cook believes now's the perfect time to bring more innovation to its tablets—a category Cook says Apple created.

Since selling its first tablet in 2010, Apple said it has sold more than 220 million iPads, so the company is still in a league of its own in that regard. However, the company clearly needs to change its approach if it wants to re-capture that same magic from a few years ago. Whether that's something as simple as adding Touch ID, or maybe something else entirely Cook hasn't yet revealed.

We'll find out (hopefully) later this year.