Tim Cook Doesn't Care if Android is Beating iOS in Sales
May 29, 2013 12:30 PM
Apple's chief hints at new products -- iWatch, smart TV -- plus talks taxes, Lisa Jackson hiring, and lawsuits
(the eleventh annual
All Things D
press event), Apple, Inc. (
) chief executive Tim Cook delivered an interesting keynote interview.
I. Tim Cook Isn't Jealous of Android -- or so he Says
The interview comes at an interesting time. Apple is
continuing to struggle in China
profit margins have slid
for the first time in years; and its share prices
hover at a relatively "low"
(in Apple terms) $440 USD, having
briefly dipped below $400 USD
. Meanwhile, Android rivals' devices are selling well -- in the month after its launch HTC Corp. (
moved 5 million
, while Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
shipped over 10 million
Galaxy S IV
handsets in the first month on the market.
But Tim Cook claims he isn't concerned about Android outselling iPhones in unit sales. He remarks, "Is Apple in trouble? Absolutely not. Let's zoom out and let me give you my perspective on it. We're a product company, so we think about products.... For us, winning has never been about having the most. Arguably, we make the best PC, but we don't make the most."
He points to strong sales figures (even if those figures show slowing growth), but is especially ardent about usage, commenting, "More important than the numbers -- customers
them. The usage of these products is unbelievable. The latest NetApp numbers look at usage, and I follow these closely. Usage worldwide, smartphones and tablets, from web traffic -- 59 percent is from iOS. Worldwide! I look at that, and I feel pretty good. We had an unprecedented number of new products last year."
Tim Cook is enthusiastic about new products like the iPad Mini, even if profit margins and growth have slid a bit.
Those "new products" include
the iPad Mini
(launched in Nov. 2012), the fourth generation iPad (also Nov. 2012);
a third generation Apple TV
(Mar. 2012); new
(Sept. 2012); refreshed Mac computers
including the Retina MacBook Pros
; and, of course,
the iPhone 5
II. "Game-Changer" New Apple Products Company
And Mr. Cook says new products are on the way, enthusing, "We're still that company. We have some incredible plans that we've been working on for a while. We have some incredible ideas. The same culture, and largely the same people that delivered the iPhone and iPad, are still there. The culture is all still there, and many of the people are there. I think we have several more game-changers in us."
What are those "game-changers"?
One will almost certainly be a "smart TV". Tim Cook announced that Apple TV --
once a "hobby" product
of late Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs -- had crossed the 13 million unit threshold, thanks to strong sales of around 7 million units in 2012. That contrasts favorably to some of Apple's
chief set-top box competition like Roku
, which has moved a mere 5 million units to date [
]. All that success, he adds, is without any major effort in terms of publicity -- "We aren't marketing it," he states.
But Tim Cook is still
greedily eyeing the smart TV
a flat panel set
with a built-in smartphone-like operating system (which provides internet browsing, media playing, and gaming without a set-top box). He comments, "We think a lot about the TV experience can be better. We answered some of those, not all of those, with the Apple TV, and we're still working on that."
Apple is likely looking to eventually transplant the "guts" of Apple TV directly
into a Smart TV set. [Image Source: Engadget]
In other words, Apple is likely working on a smart TV and/or television geared services, but is still
struggling to perfect them
The CEO also hinted at an upcoming
the smart watch
. Discussing the appeal of Google Inc.'s (
) Glass Explorer wearable Android device, he argues, "It's tough to see this having a broad-range appeal. But, I think wearables are incredibly interesting. I think it could be a profound area for technology. I wear glasses because I have to. I can't see without them. People generally want glasses to reflect their fashion, their style and so forth. From a mainstream point of view, this is difficult."
Interviewer Walt Mossberg (of
All Things D
The Wall Street Journal
) smartly asked, "But, the wrist is not?"
To which Mr. Cook replied, "I think the wrist is natural."
Apple won't be alone;
Samsung is also working on a smart watch
as is Microsoft
). But it sounds like we could see
an Apple wristwatch product this year
(another clue lies in the iPod Nano which reversed its shift to a
smaller wrist-watch wearable form
returning to a larger touch-screen
late last year).
A fan-made mockup of the Apple iWatch [Image Source: Lunatic]
Tim Cook suggests that sensors will play a key role in the upcoming product, enthusing about his NIKE, Inc. (
) Fuel Band. Thus it sounds like Apple's wristwatch product will likely have some sort of built in functionality for athletics (think run tracking) and perhaps proximity aware sensing (similar to the Galaxy S IV; hold up wrist watch near face to give voice-commands or perhaps even cellular calls).
III. Major Overhaul to iOS Confirmed
On the operating system front, Tim Cook confirms that major updates to OS X and iOS
will be rolled out in time
2013 Worldwide Developer Conference
(WWDC), which runs June 10-14 in San Francisco, Calif.
While he did not specifically confirm the widespread rumor that
iOS 7 will imitate Microsoft
's Windows Phone/Windows 8's "flat" look, he did confirm part of the rumor -- that Jony Ive (who designed the original iPhone body) is hard at work perfecting the major update to iOS.
An artist mockup of what iOS 7 might look like [Image Source: YouTube/Simply Zesty]
He comments, "Jony Ive has been really key [to this version.]"
He also indicates that his company is hard at work trying to repair
one of its major misses -- Maps
. He says, "I think it's very important. Mapping is complex, and not just the underlying data of the map, but things like POIs and the other pieces around it. We have an enormous investment in Maps. We've made many, many improvements over the last several months, including a very significant change in Japan. We think location is very important. [The product is] greatly improved, but not there yet. We're putting a lot of bright people on it. We screwed up there."
The executive shot down the rumor that Apple had made a bid for turn-by-turn directions company
. Waze is a popular Israeli startup who has its own maps, based on a crowd-sourced approach. The company has popular apps on Android and iOS and is particularly good at giving directions in that it "sees" traffic backups and suggests alternate routes thanks to its crowd-sourced strategy.
Google and Facebook.com, Inc. (
) are rumored to be in contention for the app.
More surprisingly Mr. Cook suggests that Apple may eventually go -- to an extent -- the route of Google, opening up some of its base APIs. He comments, "Of course -- on the area of APIs, I think you'll see us open up more in the future. But, not to the degree that we put the customer at risk of having a bad experience. Will we open up more? Yes."
IV. Lawsuits and Taxes
Tim Cook also addressed three of the key controversies facing his company -- environmental compliance, taxes, and lawsuits (against) Android.
On the topic of lawsuits, Mr. Cook defends Apple's
decision to sue Samsung
commenting, "The pluses for the broader industry, is that I think we're running the standards-essential issue largely to ground. There were several companies trying to get injunctions for standards-essential patents. When Google sued us, and Samsung sued us with standards-essentials injunctions on our products -- largely, the world has said that this isn't right, and that it's an abuse. Not just for Apple."
Apple's CEO says he doesn't like to sue people. [Image Source: Gizmodo]
Apple struck first against Samsung and HTC. In the case of Google subsidiary Motorola, it was Motorola who struck the first blow and Apple who countersued in cases that were eventually tossed from court with prejudice
but three times
When pushed by
's editor Nilay Patel, who said, "But you sued Samsung first, and
you just added the Galaxy S4
Mr. Cook continued to dodge the question of his company's ongoing legal war with Samsung, equivocating, "Generally, I don't like lawsuits any more than I did last year. But, I don't want copying. It's a values thing. This is about values at the end of the day."
It's important to remind readers that Apple has
made a licensing truce with HTC
-- its aggression towards Samsung appears to be largely from a competitive standpoint.
topic of taxes
he continues to
of tax dodging, remarking:
For multi-nationals, the right approach is simplicity. Just gut the code -- it's 7,500 pages long. None of us can read it. Apple's tax return is two feet high! It's absolutely crazy. Let's throw away the expenditures, and let's set a reasonable tax to bring offshore profits back to the US. It helps the US economy.
Our effective tax rates is 30.5%. We pay $6 billion -- that's more than anyone in the U.S.! We aren't in there saying we should pay less -- in fact, we may end up paying more with our approach. But we'd have unlimited ability to pull our money back to the U.S.
I've seen something where people think we have a special deal with the Irish government where we get a two percent flat tax rate. We don't have that. Let me just set that aside.
The basic thing that's being debated -- for a company like Apple that sells things across the world, and develops them in the United States, some people believe that all of the profits around the world should accrue to the U.S. and be taxed in the U.S.
If everything developed in the United States is going to be taxed here, I worry about where development will be. We're now in a situation where we don't always have to make decisions based on financial implications. But for other companies that do? This wouldn't be good for jobs in the United States. I want people to think through the logical next steps [in Congress].
I think when you get a little larger, you get more attention. It comes with the territory.
Indeed other large companies like
Google and Microsoft have come under scrutiny
in the U.S. and European Union over
similar tax dodging accusations
Apple says it isn't dodging taxes. [Image Source: SomanyMP3s]
Tim Cook's support of a flat tax is one shared by many Americans, but Washington D.C. politicians remain largely opposed to the idea, preferring the current convoluted system that allows them to
sneak tax loopholes into legislation
, which in turn
earns them special interest dollars
to win elections.
Lastly on the topic of "green" technology, Tim Cook thumped his company's track record, boasting, "Take the environment. We've been focused on that for a long time. We've eliminated toxins from all of our products. We're running our data centers with 100 percent renewable energy. We own the largest solar farm of any non-utility company (in North Carolina). We try to leave the environment better than we found it."
He reveals that his company just hired former
U.S. Environmental Protections Agency
to help with Apple's compliance efforts.
Former Obama admin. EPA chief Lisa Jackson is joining Apple. [Image Source: Reuters]
He explains, "Lisa Jackson is joining Apple. She recently left the EPA, and she'll now be coordinating these efforts across the company. She'll report to me. I like her a lot, and she's a chemical engineer by background. I actually forget the actual title, but she'll continue to coordinate our environmental efforts across Apple."
Lastly, on the topic of Apple's cash pile, which is
expected to hit $170B USD
this year, Tim Cook insists his company isn't hoarding cash. In addition to
its new dividend and share repurchasing programs
, he reveals that in 2012 Apple acquired nine firms, up from its yearly average of six.
He would not disclose what those firms were (other than the publicly known ones) for competitive reasons.
All Things D
"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
Google's Eric Schmidt: UK Should Change Tax System, Google Not to Blame
May 28, 2013, 10:05 AM
Samsung Tops Chinese Smartphone Sales, Apple Stuck in Sixth Place
May 28, 2013, 9:06 AM
HTC One Hits 5 Million Sales in First Month, Despite Issues
May 23, 2013, 4:04 PM
Apples Tries to Use Decade-Old Patents to Ban Samsung Galaxy S IV
May 22, 2013, 3:00 PM
Senator Rand Paul Calls on Congress to Apologize Over Making Apple Feel Unwelcome
May 21, 2013, 4:59 PM
Samsung S8 and S8 Plus: On Sale April 21 at Major Wireless Dealers
March 30, 2017, 7:35 AM
Are You in the Market for Earphones?
March 24, 2017, 7:35 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8, Rumored Launch Date!
March 18, 2017, 6:45 AM
How about Leica Cameras
March 13, 2017, 6:30 AM
Nokia has ditched this camera technology in its new smartphones
March 7, 2017, 8:45 AM
A Baseball Cap With Camera
March 3, 2017, 7:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
OnePlus 3T – 5.5” Optic AMOLED and Dash Charging Technology
March 23, 2017, 8:45 AM
Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming G1 – Intel Thunderbolt 3 Certified Motherboard
March 9, 2017, 6:25 AM
Huawei P8 Lite 2017 – Android 7 Nougat Smartphone with Octa-Core Processor
March 8, 2017, 7:03 AM
Lenovo ThinkPad T460 - Ultra-Thin and Feather-light
March 3, 2017, 6:00 AM
Nokia has ditched this camera technology in its new smartphones
March 7, 2017, 8:45 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Uber Technologies Inc Driverless Car hit by Human-driver
Mar 30, 2017, 8:00 AM
Android Creator and New Bezel-less Smartphone
Mar 29, 2017, 10:28 AM
More Apps From Google
Mar 28, 2017, 7:15 AM
Are you thinking of performance and speed? Intel claims:
Mar 25, 2017, 7:45 AM
Apple buys an automation app called Workflow. The deal was completed today and brings the app along with its developers.
Mar 23, 2017, 7:35 AM
Apple Announces new color for iPhones and iPads
Mar 22, 2017, 7:45 AM
Instagram: You Can Now Save Live Videos For Later
Mar 21, 2017, 7:49 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8 to Get New Color Scheme
Mar 20, 2017, 7:45 AM
What else to worry about?
Mar 17, 2017, 6:45 AM
Icon of the Day: Intel/ NVIDIA or Mobileye
Mar 16, 2017, 6:15 AM
JUST IN - Twitter Hijacked : High-Profile Account Accesses
Mar 15, 2017, 7:07 AM
Mar 14, 2017, 7:30 AM
News and Tips
Mar 13, 2017, 6:30 AM
iPhone 8 – May Not Get Curved Screen
Mar 11, 2017, 8:00 AM
California paves way to self-driving car tests without humans
Mar 11, 2017, 7:18 AM
Smart Machines V hackers
Mar 10, 2017, 7:00 AM
Uber Can Resume Autonomous Car Testing in California
Mar 9, 2017, 6:50 AM
Mar 8, 2017, 7:09 AM
Mar 7, 2017, 8:45 AM
World news 3-6
Mar 6, 2017, 5:40 AM
Mar 4, 2017, 7:40 AM
Mixed News of the Day
Mar 4, 2017, 6:32 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information