Tim Cook teases "exciting new product categories" for this fall and 2014

Tim Cook teases "exciting new product categories" for this fall and 2014

Apple's quarterly conference calls are always full of enlightening snippets of information, and the call following the release of the second quarter of 2013 financial results was no exception. In addition to revealing explosive growth in China, aggressive iPhone 4 pricing in developing markets, and that there are still trade-offs that would exist were Apple to hypothetically make a hypothetical iPhone with a screen of some size hypothetically larger than the 4 inches of the current iPhone 5, Cook hinted that Apple is investing in "the potential of exciting new product categories" and that Apple might be announcing new products in the fall.

Of course, he wasn't nearly so direct, merely indicating that the fall quarter is when things might pick up a bit, saying that "We've got a lot more surprises in the works." In fact, the guidance for the next quarter seems to indicate that Apple's not planning anything major over the next two months. Apple hasn't had a major product launch so far this year - in fact, Cook lamented that perhaps Apple should have held back on the introduction of the new iMacs until the start of 2013 - and at this pace may not until this fall. Cook repeatedly hinted that Apple's engineers and developers are "hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can't wait to introduce in the fall and into 2014." So much for speculation of a summer iPhone launch, eh?

Of course, Cook declined to comment on when exactly that new hardware, software and services will hit the physical and virtual shelves, but it's looking like 2014 will be the year to watch for Apple.

Exactly which "exciting new product categories" Apple is exploring come the fall and 2014 is up in the air. There's the Apple Watch, which Apple is supposedly working hard on. There's the long- and oft-rumored iTV. And there are things that can almost state as fact as coming (though we won't until they're announced), like iOS 7 and a new iPhone without a bigger screen.

It's telling that Cook felt the need to state that these new products might come late this year or even into next year. The move was likely a deliberate effort to set investor expectations - the next quarter will be good, at least as far as Apple quarters are concerned (most companies would consider a quarter like this last one to be an extraordinary cause for celebration) - but not extraordinary like the preceding holiday quarter. And while Cook isn't happy about the decline in Apple's stock price, calling it "very frustrating", he said that "the most important objective at Apple will always be creating the most innovative products." And innovation takes time.

Derek Kessler

Managing Editor of Mobile Nations, Army musician, armchair pundit, and professional ranter.

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Tim Cook teases "exciting new product categories" for this fall and 2014

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Hope they bump up their icloud and other services(imessage) like that since it seems they have an outage every month

The title is pretty misleading. He never stated a time frame for a *potential* new product category. He said they are hard at work on new hardware, software, and services for fall and into 2014...

We all know what is coming, New iPhone, iPad, iPad mini and updates to the new intel chips for the laptops. Not rocket science. The new thing I am looking forward to is iOS7.

Derek, it's lovely reading your articles. So thanks for that. I think that people and investors look at Apple being this great innovator. Some argue that they steal from here and there....but yet so do others. It's called ideas. And some happen to be a brilliant take (or luck) and as always with Apple, a piece of art. That's what their business eyesight is pretty much. With that being said, you can't always expect every year for Apple to release something that's never been done before! I mean that's not reality. Who comes up with something so amazing and great as what Apple did to the mobile industry every product announcement? They were the ones who brought it---so now every time they have a product, or an update to a product it HAS to be different? No way. Improvement does help though, it's not like they are stagnant in that department. I'm sure they know what they are doing. And yes, Derek as you said, innovation does take time! Who would have thought that Apple would go into the Mobile industry? I've never really cared for Apple, until they released this great leader phone. It's always been appealing to me and it sure as heck is to other phone makers. Do I want to see something different? Yes please. Do I want a bigger screen?--well it's been done, I only want them to just make it wider and not longer than it is and I may be sold on it. I loved the classic iPhone models. But we are getting new products, or updated products (except they won't call it that because it just sounds tacky), we just need to be patient. But hopefully they do bring it this year. In the OS department as well. When they don't mention any products coming and just state a certain time frame, it shows me they aren't afraid of what's really going on. They are that strong. They've learned from their mistakes. They are not going to go the BB route as people suggest. I know more people who have gotten iPhones recently than any other. So I too am a bit baffled as to why the stock is tanking, etc. Hopefully they add two speakers on the phone? lol. Still waiting for that. But they know how to surprise and do a comeback. No other company holds down announcements or makes a big deal like Apple.

I agree with what you said. A lot of people think that innovation must be in the form of a radical design. Innovation can also be the way things wether it's software and/or hardware are integrated to work in the form which it's easy for the end user to understand and use everyday. Wether the ideas of those implementations came from within the company or from somewhere else and how those ideas work together to provide a smooth and unique experiences. I myself can't wait to see what Apple has instored for iOS.

"So thanks for that. I think that people and investors look at Apple being this great innovator."

I think investors look at Apple as consistently/predictably profitable. Innovation is not there concern. That is the domain of those worried about samsung v. apple, apple v. microsoft, apple v. android etc.

When the consistency outlook or profitability outlook changes investors adjust. But innovation alone simply an indication of if it will grow profits. And it may or may not be proof profits will grow.

As for the stock going down. In the end it finished up in after hours. Apple often falls after almost all earnings as investors take profits by selling their position. Then later they'll rebuy back at a lower cost and ride it up for a profit. Regardless generally, All stocks fall when forward looking outlooks indicate mediocre growth and that's what you got. I can tell you. Apple stock will meander in this range until there is something to indicate that profits will grow more than they are currently growing now, which is none. Not that there are no profits. It's not growing like it used to and the market is adjusting. It's what the market does.

Investors don't invest on any company based on, "bigger screen" or whatever feature is the new thing. You're right it may "take time" but investors have no reason to "be patient." It's unlikely to tank from here regardless, any investor, that thinks it's gonna stagnate for a year (unlikely) would sell hear and buy back when it's lower for a profit in anticipation of rising profits from new products. That's how its done. It's not at all a surprise it fell from the 700 range when people could easily predict that profits were not going to be massive and investors would sell off.

"the guidance for the next quarter seems to indicate that Apple's not planning anything major over the next two months."

I picked up on that too. Hopefully there's a update of the macbooks coming as i need a new laptop very soon.