“There will be new categories,” Tim Cook told The Wall Street Journal in an interview regarding Apple’s recent buyback of more than $14 billion in stock. “We’re not ready to talk about it, but we’re working on some really great stuff.”
Now, Cook has alluded to Apple getting into new product categories before. But speaking with the Journal, the CEO seems more intent than ever on convincing worried investors that his company has some major things in the pipeline…
The Journal’s Daisuke Wakabayashi reports:
“Thursday, Mr. Cook reiterated that Apple plans to enter a new category this year. Apple watchers are speculating about wearable devices or a new television platform.
“There will be new categories. We’re not ready to talk about it, but we’re working on some really great stuff,” Mr. Cook said. When asked whether a new product category could mean an improvement on an existing product like an iPad Air, a lighter version of its tablet computer, or new services such as mobile payments, Mr. Cook declined to comment.
He said that anyone “reasonable” would consider what Apple is working on as new categories.”
Cook also wanted to make it clear that Apple remains a “growth company”—something investors have repeatedly questioned over the last year as the iPad maker’s revenue growth has dropped to less than 10%, and its net income to 11%.
“He said his statement that Apple doesn’t aim to make the most phones has been misunderstood.
“I don’t view that as being satisfied with being small or however you want to define it,” he said. “I just want to say that the macro thing for us is making a great product and we must do that. If we can’t do that, we’re not going to force ourselves to hit a price point that makes us produce a product that we’re not proud of because we lose who we are in that. We’re not going to do that.”
And finally, the CEO talked about acquisitions, another hot topic with investors who feel Apple’s $160 billion cash pile is burning a hole in the company’s pocket. Historically, Apple hasn’t made big acquisitions, but it’s not out of the question.
“The Apple CEO said its history of opting for smaller deals doesn’t mean that the company won’t pull the trigger on a big acquisition if it makes sense.
“We’ve looked at big companies,” said Mr. Cook. “We have no problem spending 10 figures for the right company, for the right fit that’s in the best interest of Apple in the long-term. None. Zero.”
I recommend checking out the entire interview, as Cook seems more candid than his usual self. It almost comes off as a bit of a defensive PR move, which would make sense after Apple’s stock dropped more than 8% following its Q1 earnings.
Apple seems to be fighting the perception that its best days are behind it, but there’s only so much words can do without action. I for one am looking forward to seeing if it can live up to its own hype this year: larger iPhone, iWatch, new Apple TV.