Apple’s Tim Cook confirms ‘there will be new categories’ this year

Daniel Bader

February 7, 2014 11:19am

The iPhone is old news. The iPad? Pfft.

If you’d take Apple’s share price as the state of the company’s health, it’s trending down. Despite a quarter of record revenue and huge profit, Apple’s revenue growth has slowed significantly in the past year, and it experienced a decline in operating profit — though still astronomically high by any company’s standards — which rattled investors. The company did manage to sell record numbers of devices — 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads — last quarter, but consumers want to see something new and interesting.

The iWatch is interesting. Analysts and followers of the company have been speculating about a potential smartwatch for at least two years, though it’s only been in recent months that any substantive proof of its existence has emerged. Apple hasn’t exactly tried to hide evidence that it is up to something new, acquiring small startups and hiring individuals focused on the health and fitness industry, such as former Nike design director, Ben Shaffer, and scientists focused on making body measurements more accurate.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, confirmed “there will be new categories this year,” and the company is “working on some really great stuff.” Despite prevailing rumours that there will be two new iPhone models this fall, both larger than the current 4-inch iPhone 5s flagship, the product getting the industry most excited, the so-called iWatch, doesn’t even exist.

What does exist, though, is a fervour for the wearable technology market, which is beginning to gain traction in mass-market products like the Pebble Steel and, to a lesser extent, Google Glass. From lifelogging to arm sensors to brainwave tracking, the consumer market for wearable technology is coming quickly, though there is still reason to be skeptical of its longevity.

Don’t count on the iWatch being cheap, either. Apple makes a small number of products, and Cook claims, “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.” Ultimately, though the market share will come in time, the company’s main goal, especially for a first-generation product like this rumour smartwatch, is to first and foremost make a good product.

SourceWSJ, 9to5Mac

  • Zed

    Not to be cynical, but new categories of what? There can be some revamped iPads, Macs, iPods, but not necessarily new iPhones (in different sizes) or the rumored iWatch.

    It’s a vague statement, IMO, which has the purpose of increasing stock value, nothing more.

    • It’s Me

      When pressed, he said they would new categories for Apple. The implies it isn’t going to be an iPhone or iPad or Mac.

    • alphs22

      Why would Apple want to take excitement away from their own product launches?

      Also he was answering a question in an interview, not rambling on to the general public to boost his company’s value.

    • TrainAss

      What excitement? Only people that get excited over an Apple product release, are the cult members.

    • alphs22

      Okay. Regardless of what you personally feel about their products, Apple launch events are still some of the most important days in tech every year, if not the most important. Their product launches carry a lot of weight and importance.

    • It’s Me

      And the tech media. And the mainstream media. And the millions. and growing, of regular customers that happen to like Apple products.

      Is it really the best the haters can come up with is “it’s the cult members”? Meanwhile, they seem intellectually unable to see the irony that it is them that feel the need to spread the word of the evils of Apple. Sorry, but you doorknockers come off as the religious nutjobs these days.

    • WatDah

      I am now your fan.

  • DL1119

    I fail to understand how iPhone 5c is a “great product”, Mr. Cook.

  • Patrick Serrano

    Meh

  • Plazmic Flame

    Does an iPhone with a larger battery count as a new category??

    • wes

      Lol

    • It’s Me

      As much as a phone with a bigger display or a tablet with a mic and earpiece do.

  • tomas

    Early signs of the Apple rotting? Companies that break records on revenue and sales typically don’t decrease in share value. Apple is in a bad position and there brand reputation is rotting and investors know this. They have no innovation and are living in a shadow of what the company was based on. Not having innovation is perfectly fine but Tim Cook isn’t the wizard Steve Jobs was at getting people to buy the new products every year with limited changes. 5 more years and they will be Blackberry. Android specifically Samsung is gaining significant market share. Apple doesn’t have what it takes with companies that are actually innovating, look as Samsung’s approach of creating a bunch of crap and seeing what catches on. Apple is just sitting in the shadows watching what succeeds with Samsung and make a copy of it.

    • Henry

      I think you make it out to be worse than it is, Apple stock is still one of the safest bets. Innovation is great but even just following the trend Apple will sell multi-millions of whatever they make. Just sayin, if iPhone 6 is 99% the same with a bigger screen that’ll give Apple another 50+ million phone sales. I prefer Android but I deal with enough customers to know that iPhone/Apple fans are still growing in numbers.

    • tomas

      There’s a larger market than just North America and Europe. Where do you think the largest consumer base is? It’s in the developing world where Android is king. People in those countries are starting to earn more and are willing to spend on high end phones. Not as much as an iphone but they can get a quality android phone for $300. Apple’s market share is going to stagnate soon. They can only grow so much in a limited market.

    • It’s Me

      Let’s be clear, you can get a lower quality android, with older and/or lower grade parts for $300 (or less). And look how well those companies are doing catering to the lowest paycheque category.

    • realitycheck

      Quality android phone for 300? Please elaborate.

    • It’s Me

      “Lower quality”

    • realitycheck

      sorry it was a reply to tomas….

  • Andrew Ishak

    Maybe we’re finally going to see the iTV? The big-screen Apple TV that was rumored for a 2012 release?

    • Henry

      I can’t understand anybody’s desire for an Apple branded tv. I have a 60″ Panasonic LED, fantastic (it was $1500). I just added Apple tv for $110. An Apple branded tv would only come maybe two or three sizes and if a 60″ was available it would be $3000 or more. And then what when it’s outdated, like in three years, just replace the TV? It seems to me anybody that thinks they want a big screen Apple tv has not thought it through.

  • It’s Me

    Marketshare is about the same.
    Unit sales are going up and up.

    As for seeing them in movies and shows, it’s called product placement. Afaik apple hasn’t paid for product placement since the 90s. Meanwhile Samsung pays anyone and everyone and gives away 1000s of phones to get them seen. Every Olympic athlete gets one this year. But the condition is no athlete is allowed to discuss a competing product (they aren’t being paid but Samsung mandates this as a condition for an athlete being allowed at the Olympics). Athletes were instructed to cover any apple logos on their stuff. Seeing Samsung and androids doesn’t mean anything.

    • ScooterinAB

      It’s not about product placement. I’m talking about when you see a phone either being used but not flaunted or a drawing to depict a phone (like an advertisement showing that you order with your computer, tablet, or smartphone). Like when you see a drawing of a smartphone, it used to look like an iPhone. Now they look different. Or in commercials when you can’t see enough of a phone to identify it, but you can tell that it’s not an iPhone.

    • It’s Me

      Often that is still product placement. The “better” product placement looks natural. If Samsung drops by a set with a bag of free phones, chances are they will be used during filming. They do that.

      But, with androids marketshare one would expect you’d never, ever see an Apple product with the need for placement. Odd that you still see so many.

      But, aside from that, it sounds like you are looking way too hard. Might be better if you just shut out the voices and enjoy the movie :)