Tim Cook has promised that new products are on the way from Apple, and that Apple TV has been making some good money – and Cupertino is set to get serious about it.
These points (and more) emerged at Apple’s annual meeting last Friday, where Cook noted that Apple TV set-top boxes had brought in $1.1 billion (£660 million). He also said that Cupertino was investing heavily in new products, citing the fact that research and development costs went up a third in 2013.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Cook as stating: “We're working on some things that are extensions of things you can see and some that you can't see.”
Of course, he refused to be drawn on exactly what products were under development, noting that he’d rather not give rivals any clues as Apple was constantly being ripped off.
All this boils down to one thing – namely calming the nerves of investors.
Apple’s stock has floundered somewhat since it hit a high of $700 (£420) in September 2012, and it now resides at around the $530 (£320) mark. With Christmas iPhone sales coming in at less than analysts’ expectations, investors want to see something concrete about Apple’s next explosive innovation (or what they hope will be a major innovation).
Hence Cook is obviously keen to make it clear that new gadgets are on the way – most likely an iWatch, although Cook’s stressing of Apple TV’s revenue is interesting. Cook said of the set-top box: “It's a little more difficult to call it a hobby these days.”
Is this a hint that a fully-fledged Apple HDTV is under development? We’re still doubtful on that prospect, as the iWatch would seem to make much more sense as the next step. It would be far easier, cheaper, and less risky for Cupertino to push a smartwatch rather than try to claw its way into the TV market.
At any rate, Tim Cook underlined the fact that Apple investors should be in it for the long haul. That could be another hint, indicating that we might not see a completely new product line this year, and the iWatch (assuming that’s next up) won’t hit until 2015. As we’ve previously discussed, the rumoured 12.9in supersized iPad may not make 2014, either.