Last night at AllThingsD’s D11 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with well-known tech pundits Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher to talk Apple, taxes and, of course iOS.
Without giving anything away (it is Apple after all) he confirmed that WWDC next month would see the introduction of a new iOS version overseen by previously hardware-focused Jony Ive. The design maven has been responsible for many of the impressive design changes to occur to the iPhone in recent years, and with the firing of Scott Forstall as the head of software Ive was asked to step up and run both departments.
Early reports on iOS 7 call it “flat” and “monochrome” with an emphasis on simplicity. Tim Cook did say that the company would more broadly open its APIs to developers, which would alleviate some of the current frustration for inter-app communication and, potentially discord between accessory manufacturers (Pebble springs to mind but there are more) and iOS-based products. Apple is unlikely to move the API dial closer to Android, though, which exposes its framework so broadly as to occasionally be a security and privacy risk.
Cook also mentioned that he would be willing to port Apple properties and software to Android if it made sense for the company, much like Google has done with its Gmail, Maps, YouTube and other products. This is very unlikely to happen — Apple doesn’t make any software for other operating systems and likely never will — but it’s interesting that the company has even considered it.
When asked about competition from Samsung and Google, Cook responded that fierce competition is not new to the company and that Apple has continued to create “the best products” independent of market pressures. And though Apple is being trounced by Android in terms of market share, Cook claimed his goal is not to outsell in terms of numbers but to create the best products and earn the most money.
He shot down the need for a cheaper iPhone to broaden the company’s reach in developing markets, saying that the iPhone 4 and 4S are doing great work in the lower-cost segment. He also dismissed questions about an Apple television or wearable computing device but stated, as he always does, that they are both “great areas of interest for Apple.”
We’re not expecting any new product launches until later this fall, but iOS 7 and perhaps some Haswell-powered laptops will be announced at WWDC early next month.