Tim Cook: new product categories coming in 2014

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The last two months have been very busy for Apple, as the company has refreshed a number of its devices including the iPhone, iPad, the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro. But missing from the fall’s festivities was an all-new product.

The good news, though, is that it appears at least one is on the way. During its quarterly earnings call today, Tim Cook said Apple believes it has the skills to create ‘great products’ in categories it’s not currently participating in…

Here’s the comment, made in response to a question from an analyst during the Q&A part of the call (transcribed via MacRumors):

Q: You talked about new product categories in your introductory remarks. You said this in April as well, saying consumers and investors should expect new products and categories in second half of 2013 and first half of 2014. Should we still have that expectation? New product categories, there have not been any yet? Want to make sure we’re on the same page.

A: Didn’t say you would see them in 2013 and 2014, but you will see exciting new products from us in the fall and across 2014. I stand by that and you’ve seen a lot of things over the last couple of months. In terms of new product categories specifically, if you look at the skills that Apple has from hardware/software and services, and the incredible app ecosystem, this set of things is very unique. No one has a set of skills like this. We obviously believe that we can use our skills at building other great products that are in categories that represent areas that we do not participate today. We’re pretty confident about that.”

Of course, we could speculate all day on what Cook meant by this, but there are a few recurring rumors that are worth mentioning. There’s the long-talked-about smartwatch, referred to as the iWatch, and the Apple television set.

Chatter regarding the iWatch has picked up in recent months. Bloomberg says Apple has over 100 designers working on the project, and it continues to hire folks with an expertise in wearables. The device is expected to launch in late 2014.

And as for the so-called iTV—Apple’s full-sized television set—we’ve all but given up hope of it seeing the light of day, but rumors continue to circulate. The most recent claims the company is planning to launch 55″ and 65″ 4K sets in 2014.

What ‘new product categories’ do you think Apple could be working on?