Apple's Cook won't rush new products
In an interview, the CEO says the company is taking the time to get them right. 'Our objective has never been to be first. It's to be the best.'
By Daisuke Wakabayashi, The Wall Street Journal
He paused before adding: "Maybe it will take some new products."
Cook knows that's the biggest question hanging over the company: whether it can repeat the innovative success with a new product category -- as it did with the iPhone in 2007 and iPad in 2010. He has promised that Apple will break into new product categories this year, but so far has revealed nothing.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Cook said Apple is hard at work but it will not rush.
"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."
How close is that? Cook lets out a laugh and said he didn't accidentally tip his hand. The company, he said, is closer to announcing a new product than it was at the end of January, yesterday or ten minutes ago. Not much help.
Cook did say that Apple's 15 percent year-on-year increase in earnings per share and rising gross margin – both their highest in six quarters – are proof that "the current product line can do amazingly well."
He added: "New things will only make it better."
Cook also made it clear that new products may extend beyond hardware. What about mobile payments? Apple has many customer credit cards, and fingerprint sensor in its iPhone 5S. It also has made some recent moves in the area.
"I think it's a really interesting area. We have almost 800 million iTunes accounts and the majority of those have credit cards behind them. We already have people using Touch ID to buy things across our store, so it's an area of interest to us. And it's an area where nobody has figured it out yet. I realize that there are some companies playing in it, but you still have a wallet in your back pocket and I do too which probably means it hasn't been figured out just yet."
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