Apple CEO Tim Cook Has Some iRegrets

The PC industry may be on a steep decline, but like all those old Mac advertisements — namely the “I’m a Mac, You’re a PC” campaign — tried to make it clear, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) computers aren’t any old PC, and the company plans to keep making them.

Apple’s earnings call Tuesday evening had a lot of news for investors — from the increasing dividends and share buybacks to the delay of new product releases until autumn and 2014. But one surprise came from the mouth of Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook in the form of a regret.

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Late last year, Apple launched the iPhone 5, iPad Mini, and the latest model of its iMac all-in-one computer. After those launches, Apple hasn’t released any hot products, which may have contributed to a large portion of the negativity bobbing around Apple lately.

The iPhone 5 launch probably couldn’t have been held off, as it had been almost a year since the iPhone 4S was launched. Cook said he was pleased with the timing of the iPad Mini’s launch, as the company was able to get it quickly into the hands of millions of customers. But, the iMac could have been timed differently, and Cook would have been more pleased…

In the conference call, Cook said of the iMac launch, “In retrospect, I sort of wish we had done it after the turn of the year.” It wasn’t just an issue of not having products to launch in early 2013, but also a matter of not being prepared to launch the iMac. The new computer struggled with production issues that made it hard to keep up a sufficient inventory. “We felt our customers had to wait too long,” Cook said.

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Mac sales dropped 17 percent year-over-year to 4.1 million in Apple’s first quarter, and they ended up at 3.95 million in the second quarter — about even with the year-earlier quarter. Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said that “strong year-over-year growth in desktop sales [were] offset by decline in portable sales.”

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