Tim Cook holds iPad (with Katie Cotton, Jacqui Cheng)

Apple CEO Tim Cook isn’t worried about the company’s tablet sales, even when industry analysts and consumers have been yammering on about it being a slowing market. Words from the Apple boss came in a brief interview with ReCode’s Walt Mossberg,   moments before a report went live detailing plans for a larger iPad out of Cupertino. 

“In a brief interview about tablets I had this week with Apple CEO Tim Cook, he said, ‘We couldn’t be happier with how we’ve done with the first four years of the iPad,’ and added that, ‘I’d call what’s going on recently a speed bump, and I’ve seen that in every category,'” Mossberg wrote in a column on ReCode on Tuesday.

It’s not often we get a peek into Cook’s head, so he must really be on a path to calm the negative perception of iPad sales before the fall. But the numbers don’t lie. Last quarter Apple reported 13.2 million unit sales for the tablet, versus 14.4 million expected, and the consensus is that this will be the trend moving forward as consumers continue to migrate to larger smartphones.

It’s not surprising Cook and his team are looking to shakeup the iPad lineup, which could help drive sales. Bloomberg, a publication some believe is a mouthpiece for Apple, reported on Tuesday the company is preparing a larger 12.9-inch iPad for early next year.

Research firm NPD DisplaySearch predicted in a July research note that tablet shipments will grow 14%, to 285 million units in 2014, way below the previous forecast of 315 million units. NPD says by 2017, the annual growth rate will drop to single digits.

[ReCode]