Apple CEO Tim Cook: It's better to be the best than to be the first

Tim Cook

It'll be ready when it's ready. That's essentially what Apple CEO Tim Cook is saying about Apple's new products. He's been teasing that Apple is exploring new product categories for some time now, though he hasn't given many indications of what those new products might be, or let alone when they might come. For a very long time, since well before Cook took over as CEO, that's been Apple's policy. New products are ready when they're ready. And that's what Cook has reiterated in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

"You want to take the time to get it right. Our objective has never been to be first. It's to be the best. To do things really well, it takes time. You can see a lot of products that have been brought to market where the thinking isn't really deep and, as a consequence, these things don't do very well. We don't do very many things so we spend a lot of time on every detail and that part of Apple isn't changing. It's the way we've operated for years and it's the way we still operate. I feel great about what we've got coming. Really great and it's closer than it's ever been."

Apple's policy has been and continues to be to refine and the release products when they're ready. They didn't jump on the smartphone bandwagon until they could make a smartphone with a full capacitive touch screen. They didn't bother with tablets until they could build a tablet that was reasonably fast, lightweight, and thin, even if Microsoft had been pushing Tablet PCs for years. And Apple won't make an iWatch simply because Samsung, LG, Motorola, and Pebble already do. Nor will they make an Apple TV because certain analysts think they have to.

There's no doubt there are a lot of products in development in Apple's labs at 1 Infinite Loop. Many will never see the light of day. Some may go through years of revisions until Apple deems them ready for release. Others might be announced tomorrow.

When it's ready, Apple will call. And not a day sooner.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Derek Kessler

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

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Reader comments

Apple CEO Tim Cook: It's better to be the best than to be the first

16 Comments

Like Apple Maps?? or Siri??!! Stop joking around Mr. Cook and show me the goods!

PS: saying this as a long time apple user and investor

Oh, of course. Although I did actually have the original Atrix, and I think it was one of the most underrated Android devices. It came out over three years ago, and I think the 5S is the first device to be released with a fingerprint scanner that works better.

Apple's product release philosophy is just cruel to all these five year olds masquerading as tech bloggers. (Make me another balloon doggy. Now! I want it now! I need it now!)

I'm certainly glad Apple didn't have this attitude towards personal computers, otherwise I would have missed about 5 years of bliss with my Apple-II. ;) Seriously. I'm glad Apple has this attitude towards hardware. Someone should have asked Cook, why this attitude is absent towards software.

"They didn't bother with tablets until they could build a tablet that was reasonably fast, lightweight, and thin, even if Microsoft had been pushing Tablet PCs for years."

And they didn't try to jam OS X into a pad-format device.
The way Microsoft tried jamming desktop Windows XP into tablet pee-cees.

But the evolution of the software has been painfully slow. I considered a Lenovo Yoga 2, 11", virtually the same specs as the iPad Air except more ram and storage, and for less $ (but shorter battery life). I decided on the Air, simple bc of the woes I've had with windows on my desktop & laptop. So, I understand that stability (or time to develop) is the price to pay for options and flexibility, but the Air has the potential to be much more than it is. There isn't much more, fundamentally, that the Air can do that iPad gen1 could do. I'll spare you my complete wish list. Tops would be multiple user accounts, split screen multitasking, UNIFIED file handler (no more duplicates from "Open In..." bs). I'm not a software developer, but if the folks at Android and Microsoft can offer these very useful features in their mobile platforms, Apple should be able to handle it. Oh, and a dynamic keyboard that changes from uppercase to lowercase!

If Samsung would follow this philosophy, those fucking crooks wouldn't be getting sued all the the time!!!

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