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Apple's chief hints at new products -- iWatch, smart TV -- plus talks taxes, Lisa Jackson hiring, and lawsuits

At D11 Conference (the eleventh annual All Things D press event), Apple, Inc. (AAPL) 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; its 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. (TPE:2498) has moved 5 million "One" smartphones, while Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930shipped 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 love 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 iPod Touch/Nano (Sept. 2012); refreshed Mac computers including the Retina MacBook Pros; and, of course, the iPhone 5 (Sept. 2012).

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 [source].  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 wearable product -- the smart watch.  Discussing the appeal of Google Inc.'s (GOOG) 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 and 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  Corp. (MSFT).  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. (NKE) 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 for the 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.

iOS 7 flat
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.  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, Inc. (FB) 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 v. Samsung
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 not once, not twicebut three times.

When pushed by The Verge'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.

On the topic of taxes he continues to deny accusations 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 money
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 (EPA) chief Lisa Jackson to help with Apple's compliance efforts.

Lisa Jackson
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.

Source: All Things D

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Why such a big deal?
By BRB29 on 5/29/2013 1:01:14 PM , Rating: 5
If you look at Apple's history, they never cared to monopolize any market. They just want to sell at very high profit margins and used product differentiation. Android beating IOS in sales doesn't mean much besides the market has matured and more competition. It also means the market is close to reaching saturation. Ipods sales also have slowed down along with many of their older products. It looks like a business cycle to me.

Hopefully, Tim Cook can do as good as Steve Jobs. Probably not but i don't see Apple going away any time soon. They have so much cash that they can start building cars if they feel like it.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By moremilk on 5/29/2013 1:33:11 PM , Rating: 4
yeah, except they only made money when they had a monopoly ...
without the itunes/ipod/iphone/ipad line, they would still be near bankruptcy ...

if you're an investor in Apple (like me), you have to be worried that they are not worried ... :) And, for 1+ years we heard about the apple TV and the watch as upcoming products, both expected to be niche products. So you have to wonder where will the cash be coming for with the core markets more and more commoditized.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By EnzoFX on 5/29/13, Rating: -1
RE: Why such a big deal?
By datdamonfoo on 5/29/2013 2:35:53 PM , Rating: 2
Always increasing? Mac sales were DOWN this quarter. Unlike Lenovo, which increased.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Nortel on 5/29/2013 4:02:29 PM , Rating: 1
Selling 4.1 million Mac's is far from bankruptcy.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By moremilk on 5/29/2013 4:38:42 PM , Rating: 3
before itunes, they were near bankruptcy until they were saved by MS. A lot of the mac sales are due to the popularity of their mobile eco-system that spills into the desktop area. I don't know if their increased market position is now enough to sustain it in the absence of that eco-system, the PC market is very low-margin and while they are more expensive, their costs are probably much higher too. Since even the highest volume players are having trouble making a profit, it's debatable if, on its own, their desktop unit would be profitable.

but that's besides the point, the main thing is that their market price is determined on expectations of multi-billion dollar quarterly profits, and that's the danger zone for Apple. With a diminishing market share in a market that's trending towards commoditizing, they will be in big trouble.

then again, I'm sure their very aware of the dangers, but what they are going to say ... Truth is, they need a new mass-market line in the next 2-3 years, or else the current market price will plummet, especially with the massive cash depletion. Wouldn't be surprised if cook is out of the job in 2 years to be honest.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By maugrimtr on 5/30/2013 9:13:51 AM , Rating: 2
The OP needs to read some history. Apple have never had a monopoly because they were never a thriving business like Microsoft then was. Their high end was actually a niche, a slice of the market under-served by competitors. If they had the means of establishing market dominance, only a crazy person would have passed that over. Steve Jobs was many things, but he wasn't quite that crazy.

Their success was to switch to portable products. The iPod drove them forward into something other than a PC Company, and they managed to leapfrog everyone else on the planet in getting out a good, attractive and everyday useful smartphone (followed later by the iPad). I don't begrudge them a well deserved cash reserve.

Apple's current problem is that they are still clinging to their niche mentality. They release one smartphone model each year. It serves a particular part of the market. The rest of the market who want something different swarm to Samsung, HTC, etc. who release multiple differentiated models from high end phones to cheap bricks. Apple could have done this years ago, as they eventually did with iPods. They're paying for it now by suffering a major competitor in a market they should have completely dominated in.

This is the outcome of greed. Apple allowed short term monopolistic like profits to blind them to the importance of diversifying their product. It still is blinding them (though stock drops have a way of encouraging better vision). You'll see Apple stock bounce nicely if those cheaper iPhone rumours are confirmed.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By BRB29 on 5/30/2013 9:27:19 AM , Rating: 2
You have no idea what you are talking about.

Apple machines/devices have always been priced at a premium(meaning high end). They had significant market share in the 80s too. They eventually lost market share to Windows because PCs with windows was cheaper.

Apple machines still sold at a premium but they just had very small market share. That is until Steve Jobs came back.

Since he came back, they dominated the media player market with ipods. Then vastly improved their macbrooks and desktops. Eventually, they owned over 80% of high end market while not releasing anything for the mid and low end market. Notice that with all their products?

See the trend?

They did that with iphones and ipads as well. Even if their product was not competitive, they will still sell it at a premium and would rather dump it then discount it. Have you not notice that retailers are not allowed to give discounts on apple products?

You can draw whatever delusional conclusions in your head but their business model is premium products or superior goods in business terms. Steve Jobs had said that several times.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By w8gaming on 5/30/2013 11:23:06 PM , Rating: 2
I do agree with what you said. I think if Apple has taken the steps to kill Android back in 2001 with cheaper priced models, while they hold the absolute brand image in smartphones, Android would not have gaining such a huge market share as of now. Those Apple defenders are dazzled by the huge cash reserve of Apple, and the current reported profit from sales. But they are ignoring the fact that Apple profit is driven by new sales, they are not a company such as Microsoft or Oracle that the customers are locked in and cannot switch away from their services in a hurry. Now consider what is the incremental improvement from iPhone 4s to iPhone 5, for example, is there enough improvement there for someone already own a iPhone 4s to do a repeat purchase and get the iPhone 5? The smartphone market is already quite saturated that many already own such a device, and new sales are likely to be come from existing customers. If the customers decide the new model is not worth a new purchase, Apple would have lost a sales. Their business model of relying on unit sales will suffer when the newer model failed to attract old customers so the current huge profit in sales might disappear quickly even from their existing loyal customer base. Their premium prices will not work that well in new emerging market such as in Asia. Apple does have good reasons to worry about their future. History has shown dominant players in mobile space can be quickly taken down in a few years before, which can also happen to Apple if they are not careful.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/1/2013 10:42:53 AM , Rating: 2
How could they have killed android in 2001?

RE: Why such a big deal?
By datdamonfoo on 5/30/2013 12:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
But it's a mere pittance compared to almost all other PC vendors.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Lord 666 on 5/29/2013 9:59:24 PM , Rating: 2
The downward trend of Mac sales has more to do with dated product line and the pending Haswell transition. I'm waiting for a Haswell rMBP.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By datdamonfoo on 5/30/2013 12:53:52 PM , Rating: 2
BS. The retina laptops are still relatively new and have done nothing to stem the decrease in Mac sales.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Lord 666 on 5/30/2013 2:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
The 13" rMBP on-board 4000 gpu is inadequate for the display at full resolution. Haswell will fix that. What's BS about that?

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/29/2013 3:42:30 PM , Rating: 3
By that logic they wouldn't sell any Mac's, yet their Mac sales are always increasing, unlike PC sales.

They ARE PC's now though. Some of their stuff is being called the best Windows PC's out there. Ironic right?

If Mac's could still only run OSX, the sales wouldn't be close to what they are today.

Who would care with Android over selling?

Anyone in competition with them maybe? Of course Apple "cares" their being outsold, only an idiot would run a business and not "care" their being outsold. Apple's goal, as is any companies, is to claim as close to 100% of the market as possible.

Tim Cook claiming he doesn't "care" is nothing but saber rattling and chest thumping. He's trying to spin declining stocks, declining market presence, and investor uncertainty into positives by claiming great stuff is right around the corner.

When you have generic phones/devices from god knows where, that cost next to nothing, who wants to compete with that? No one wants a race to the bottom.

Yeah that mentality worked out great for RIM. "We're awesome, we don't have to compete. Our products speak for themselves!"

Do me a favor and please tell me you aren't running a business right now.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Tony Swash on 5/29/13, Rating: -1
RE: Why such a big deal?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/29/2013 4:15:38 PM , Rating: 2
First off I don't want Apple to "go away", stop taking this stuff personal.

Secondly, your point is idiotic. You're trying to make a schism between profits and marketshare where none such exists.

I want my company to have the biggest marketshare AND have the most profits. If I allow my company's marketshare to dip near 10%, I've become a niche company. Sure, I'm still profitable, today, however what this means is future growth and expansion is going to be that much harder. Maybe even impossible.

So yes, today, Apple is extremely profitable. However this is still a growing market, and claiming they "don't care" about marketshare is just hype. Anyone with business sense knows this.

I'll say one thing, Steve Jobs sure as shit cared about marketshare. I don't think watching Android capture 70%+ of the global market is what he had in mind for his thermonuclear war.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By retrospooty on 5/29/2013 6:26:13 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly... If Apple didn't care about market share they wouldn't have started copying so many of Androids features after Android started outselling IOS.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Tony Swash on 5/29/13, Rating: -1
RE: Why such a big deal?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/29/2013 6:55:39 PM , Rating: 2
Umm why did you cut off half my quote?

And your post roughly translates into "market share isn't important because Apple isn't leading in it"

Why do I have the feeling if they were you guys would be extolling the virtues of it?

RE: Why such a big deal?
By retrospooty on 5/29/2013 7:30:03 PM , Rating: 3
Because profit wasn't important until Apple was making it. Likewise 4g, larger screen, and many other thongs thatApple caught up on... Because they are only here on behalf of a company, not for any tech or open minded debate

RE: Why such a big deal?
By retrospooty on 5/29/2013 7:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
Because profit wasn't important until Apple was making it. Likewise 4g, larger screen, and many other things thatApple caught up on... Because they are only here on behalf of a company, not for any tech or open minded debate

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/29/2013 8:52:00 PM , Rating: 2

I didn't actually read Tony's entire post. Not even a third of it. Because it's the same goddamn thing he says every time.

It's like he doesn't even realize Google doesn't make their money directly from handset sales. Their not a handset maker! Google's entire strategy IS market share, because the more people using Android and Google's baked-in services, the more Google profits.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By retrospooty on 5/29/2013 10:59:53 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... Yup. Its hard to get through a useless post that you already know is designed to distort the truth to make a company look better. I keep reading for comic value alone... Its not like he will ever say anything different, or do anything but take Apples side no matter what the issue being discussed. Its exactly like listening to a highly partisaned politician. After a few sentences you just start to feel like an idiot for bothering to read it.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Tony Swash on 5/30/13, Rating: 0
RE: Why such a big deal?
By testerguy on 5/30/2013 8:14:10 AM , Rating: 2
And also - Google services are all available on iOS too so whether or not the user is on Android or not is irrelevant.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By testerguy on 5/30/13, Rating: 0
RE: Why such a big deal?
By retrospooty on 5/30/2013 1:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
I never said anything against Apples business model. Clearly its profitable and I have mentioned this before... I don't hate Apple. I hate some of the moves they make and BS responses like "your holding it wrong" and the hippocritical Thermonuclear war thing. I hate loser asses on the internet that feel the need to defend every step any company takes and every product they make. Especially when they skew the whole truth like Tony does on a regular basis. I just don't get the "defend my favorite company" thing, and I post counter to it. I am pretty sure reclaimer hates Apple LOL.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/30/2013 1:11:55 PM , Rating: 2
so occasionally he takes his clear love of the company too far.
Oh the irony...

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Fleeb on 5/29/2013 6:59:50 PM , Rating: 2
But why would they want to create cheaper iPhones for the Chinese "market" if it is not about market share?

RE: Why such a big deal?
By ven1ger on 5/29/2013 7:17:19 PM , Rating: 2
Apple has to have new markets to push their devices into, and the Asian market is probably the largest market that is currently available that has a high disposable income available that it didn't have before. Only thing is that Apple has to compete with a lot of cheaper devices because they are no longer top dog, and with the Asian market, they like flashy but they also want inexpensive. Apple will still be able to entertain high margins in the Asian market, but Android devices will dominate because it will have lower prices for similar hardware features.

With Apple deciding to cast loose Samsung, this is going to be difficult for Apple to try to make the devices cheaper and rebuild their supply chain. It looks better for Samsung because they can make the devices a lot cheaper than Apple can since they make it themselves so, Apple cannot undercut Samsung prices, though Samsung can lower their prices easily, if needed.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/29/2013 9:00:00 PM , Rating: 1
Only thing is that Apple has to compete with a lot of cheaper devices because they are no longer top dog, and with the Asian market, they like flashy but they also want inexpensive.

Asians aren't idiots, that's why.

Apple has cultivated a rock star social movement in America. You're not just buying a product, it's apparently a lifestyle. And they've done this by largely treating their consumers like idiots, and it's worked. Americans today are more dumb and complacent than at any point in history. They're comforted by Apple's "just works" dumbed-down overly-simplistic condescending way of doing things. Of all the things Apple might ask you to do, using your brain sure isn't one of them.

The famous Steve Jobs quote that "people don't know what they want until you tell them", that one? Yeeeah that kind of pretentious condescending bullcrap wouldn't tread much water in any Asian market.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By ven1ger on 5/29/2013 9:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
No, there are Asian fools, but I think the difference between Asian and Western buyers is more that most Asians, have to work a lot harder than the average American. Most Asians have to work long hours for a lot lower pay than the average American makes. Asians like their toys but they are not just going to rush and buy the most expensive product they can find, if they can find it cheaper and can do most things the other can do, they'll go with the cheaper alternative, and be darned if it isn't the coolest gadget that someone else paid a lot more for. It's also part of the culture that Asians will use the device they paid for until it breaks and not upgrading every time a new version comes out, if it works why change it...

RE: Why such a big deal?
By TakinYourPoints on 5/30/2013 2:45:25 AM , Rating: 2
You have obviously never been to Korea, Taiwan, or Japan. If you thought Americans were materialistic or image-conscious then think twice, we have nothing on them.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By testerguy on 5/30/2013 8:17:13 AM , Rating: 2
Well you didn't seriously expect such a backwards texas-style conservative to be cultured, did you?

He'll just armchair-judge the rest of the world, thank you very much.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By BRB29 on 5/30/2013 9:29:26 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and the Phillipines. Seriously, the most materialistic people are still black people in the US. Asians just right behind them.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/30/2013 2:33:34 PM , Rating: 2
Racist! :)

RE: Why such a big deal?
By BRB29 on 5/29/2013 1:46:56 PM , Rating: 2
Apple never had a monopoly. The best they had was a market domination because it was a relatively premature market. Eg. Ipad and Iphone. They had 90+% share because the market was not saturated and they are the first major company to push it.

The closest thing to a monopoly that the have is their Ipod. There's too many substitute goods for that to be a monopoly though.

RE: Why such a big deal?
By TakinYourPoints on 5/30/2013 2:39:38 AM , Rating: 3
They also aren't being dominated in the market they are participating in, high end smartphones. Devices like the GS3 and GS4 sell extremely well, and competitors like HTC are suffering as a result, but they are still selling at a fraction of the numbers that the iPhone sells in. The difference is even more extreme with tablets.

Proof is in much lower online traffic for Android, lower ad revenue for Android (even Google makes several times more from iOS), and less app usage and revenue.

The trend in usage hasn't changed very much despite overall Android sales accelerating, which again points to most of its growth taking place in the low end rather than the high end:

The smartphone market has expanded, and it has been on the back of low end devices that are basically featurephones when compared with the iPhone, the GS4, the HTC One, or the HTC 8X. Apple is selling more than ever, the thing that's different now is that the low end is growing the overall smartphone market at an even faster rate.

He meant to do that!
By drlumen on 5/29/2013 1:42:06 PM , Rating: 2
So sales are no longer really important since they don't have the lions share anymore? They are only focusing on the products? What? Huh?

RE: He meant to do that!
By BRB29 on 5/29/2013 1:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
At this point, having majority market share is more bragging rights. Smartphones used to be a premium product and now it is mainstream. Apple only wants to sell everything at a premium.

If they actually wanted to grab market share then they would make a low, mid and high end product and thus lower their profit margin. Instead, they have been making the same high end only product the entire duration. Look at all the products they sell, everything is only on the high end spectrum. They sell more $1200+ laptops than any other manufacturer combined. Ipods are all priced at a massive premium compared to other media players with same specs and features. Iphones have always been expensive unless you buy one gen behind. Look at all the sales for All-in-one desktops.

I don't like apple products but I have to give it to apple for not straying away from their business strategy.

RE: He meant to do that!
By ven1ger on 5/29/2013 2:13:06 PM , Rating: 3
Apple has changed their business strategy a little from prior. Now, they have incorporated using Patents as a weapon to try to stifle the competition. Bad for business but its a route they decided to choose.

RE: He meant to do that!
By TakinYourPoints on 5/30/2013 3:10:00 AM , Rating: 3
They probably see little reason to chase the low end. At best I think they're going to follow the iPod Nano or iPad Mini strategy with a lower cost iPhone: a product chasing the middle that is still more expensive than the low-end.

Here's a chart showing Apple, Samsung, and everyone else's unit sales compared to revenue and operating profit:

Low end devices are a boat anchor on revenue and profit, just look at those green sales from "all other" low end devices, 70% of units sold for ~5% of the profit. Who honestly wants that market share?

The thing that Apple and Samsung have in common is that they sell lots of high end smartphones. The more high end devices you sell, the more profit you get. The fact that Samsung sells the most popular high-end Android handsets is the only reason why their smartphone revenue and profit are as high as they are, even though they're under a quarter of their total smartphone sales and are a fraction of the iPhone's sales.

Its no wonder why Apple isn't chasing pure quantity with low end devices, and why Samsung spent more money than Apple or Coke marketing the GS3 and GS4 even though they are "smaller" products for them in their total sales. They'd love nothing more than for their expensive high end products to be the dominant ones in their portfolio.

RE: He meant to do that!
By captainBOB on 5/30/2013 12:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
Apple won't go below the high end because they already know the outcome of acing to the bottom.

Just look at the PC market, several major players are on the ropes, Dell is looking to pull out, HP is in dire straits and is stumbling to find some sense in the changing market. Only Acer, Asus, and Lenovo are doing ok so far, but their small profit margins are getting smaller.

Apple on the other hand is sitting comfortably in the high end PC market, Mac sales are down for sure, but they have a very comfortable profit margin to weather the storm. It's kind of funny, in the end they won in a way, they don't have a Mac on every desk, but they are making a lot more money than any other OEM.

RE: He meant to do that!
By retrospooty on 5/30/2013 12:41:53 PM , Rating: 2
Apple was very nearly extinct in the high end PC market. It got bigger again when the iPod and iPhone got huge. Not that I am saying they should change, they are clearly in good shape... Just pointing out if it were just Macs, Apple would still be a tiny player if still in business at all.

RE: He meant to do that!
By w8gaming on 5/30/2013 10:11:31 PM , Rating: 2
Samsung does have a whole spectrum of smartphone models that cover the low end to the high end. While Apple has no presence at low end at all. The market is transforming and there is download pressure on prices. Apple achieves its high share price, based on the assumption that they can sell the same amount of premium phones at the same high profit margin in the future. And the trend is showing that this is unlikely. Meanwhile, if Apple continue to stay with premium segment only, their market will shrink and they will sell less units. If they launch new models in the low end segment, their profit margin will shrink. There is no easy way out for Apple. Either their sales unit has to suffer or their profit margin has to suffer, hence their current share price cannot be sustained. Investors are demanding dividends as they doubt Apple management has a solution to their dilemma and may end up making a wrong decision and waste their current huge cash pile in bad decisions.

RE: He meant to do that!
By TakinYourPoints on 5/30/2013 11:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
There will certainly be a ceiling for high end phones. That said, high end devices like the iPhone and the GS3/4 sell more with each passing year. That ceiling in the high end hasn't been hit yet.

I don't think Apple has any interest in chasing the zero-profit smartphone market that is the majority of Android sales, just as they didn't chase that market with the iPod or iPad. A mid-range device that is still more expensive and powerful than the giveaway devices is much more likely, Apple really tends to go with that strategy.

A shrinking market share is something they don't seem concerned with as long as they continue to sell more product, and the trend in all high end devices is still up.

Lisa Freaking Jackson
By superflex on 5/29/2013 2:04:40 PM , Rating: 3
will her new email be

RE: Lisa Freaking Jackson
By superflex on 5/29/2013 2:09:07 PM , Rating: 4
1. Apple CEO get browbeaten by congress for not paying enough taxes.
2. Apple CEO hires DC sleazebag for 7-figure job.
The system worked.

RE: Lisa Freaking Jackson
By JasonMick on 5/29/2013 2:20:22 PM , Rating: 4
1. Apple CEO get browbeaten by congress for not paying enough taxes.
2. Apple CEO hires DC sleazebag for 7-figure job.
The system worked.
I'm fond of the term "greasing the flagpole" to describe the federal government and its parasitic relationship with the private sector.

RE: Lisa Freaking Jackson
By Shadowself on 5/29/2013 3:14:02 PM , Rating: 2
1. Apple CEO get browbeaten by congress for not paying enough taxes.
2. Apple CEO hires DC sleazebag for 7-figure job. The system worked.

I'm fond of the term "greasing the flagpole" to describe the federal government and its parasitic relationship with the private sector.

How about,

1. Apple getting beaten up by Greenpeace and other radical environmental orgs.
2. Apple tries to placate orgs in #1 with moves in products and data centers.
3. Repeat #1.
4 Apple hires high profile, good friend of orgs in #1.

It's a political move to get the radical environmentalists off their backs once and for all. However, I doubt it will work. In fact I'd be a bit shocked if it worked.

This hire had very little to do about Apple or Taxes or D.C. politics.

RE: Lisa Freaking Jackson
By amanojaku on 5/29/2013 3:17:25 PM , Rating: 2
I think greasing the flagpole is what the federal government and private sector does before shoving it up our collective @$$holes.

By sprockkets on 5/29/2013 6:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
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."

Bullshit. You are suing Samsung over universal search on the gs4, because they have Google Now. But that same program is right there on your app store for products, yet you have no issues with that.

Your lawsuit is all about stifling competition, nothing more. And now Nokia by MS proxy is doing the same shit against Htc

RE: bs
By testerguy on 5/30/2013 8:23:56 AM , Rating: 2
They're perfectly entitled to be OK with the usage of THEIR PATENT on THEIR DEVICES.

So what exactly is your point? Other than stupid.

RE: bs
By sprockkets on 5/30/2013 10:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
Glad you can't comprehend what Tim cook said about copying our ideas.

RE: bs
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/31/2013 1:36:28 AM , Rating: 2
He doesn't seem to be able to comprehend much outside his little Apple bubble.

RE: bs
By retrospooty on 5/31/2013 2:12:42 PM , Rating: 2
Its easy to use faux outrage about copied tech when you pick a side and ignore when your side copies and only pay attention when they are copied. Its called hippocricy and Apple and their internet army of loser fanboys are famous for it. I like what Larry Page said about apples thermonuclear war... he simply said "how's that working for ya? ". LOL. So far Apple has received zero, and in the end after inevitable appeals and years of legal wrangling it will stay that way.

Neither do I!
By flyingpants1 on 5/29/2013 1:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
Neither do I!

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