Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook pushed back against allegations that the company is losing its innovative edge in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. Many industry watchers have noted that the company has not entered a new product category since the debut of the iPad in 2010 under the tenure of CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs. Unless the iPad mini is considered a “new” product category, all of the products released since 2010 have essentially been refreshes of previously existing products.
However, Cook has repeatedly emphasized that the company would reveal multiple new categories of products this year. “There will be new categories,” Cook told the Wall Street Journal. “We’re not ready to talk about it, but we’re working on some really great stuff.”
Although Cook declined to provide any specific details, he noted that any “reasonable” person would consider the products that Apple is working on as new categories, reports the Wall Street Journal. Cook’s recent comments to the Wall Street Journal aren’t the first time that the Apple CEO has expressed his confidence in the company’s future product plans.
During Apple’s recent fiscal first quarter earnings call, Cook claimed that the company’s ability to innovate has never been stronger. “I’m very confident with the work that’s going on, and I think our customers are going to love what we’re going to do,” said Cook.
Cook also noted that the biggest challenge for Apple has been narrowing its focus to a few select ideas, rather than a lack of innovation. “I would just say, innovation is deeply embedded in everybody here, and there’s still so much of the world that is full of very complex products, etc.” stated Cook. “We have zero issue coming up with things we want to do that we think we can disrupt in a major way. The challenge is always to focus to the very few that deserve all of our energy. And we’ve always done that, and we’re continuing to do that.” Some industry watchers believe that one of Apple’s disruptive new products this year will be an iWatch with health-monitoring features.
The Apple CEO also reiterated the company’s focus on quality over quantity in his recent comments to the Wall Street Journal. “I just want to say that the macro thing for us is making a great product and we must do that,” said Cook. “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.”
On the other hand, Cook also said that he believes that the company still has growth opportunities in its existing product categories. Cook pointed out that — if smartphones that are utilized as feature phones are excluded — Apple’s iPhone has a first or second place market share ranking in almost every country. “In the other places where we are number two, I’d rather be number one,” Cook told the Wall Street Journal. “And you can bet that we’re working on that.”
Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)