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Apple exec Cook talks Mac, iPod, Apple TV

updated 06:05 pm EST, Wed February 27, 2008

Tim Cook interview

Apple COO Timothy Cook delivered a question and answer presentation at the Goldman Sachs Investment Symposium today, discussing company strategy for the Mac, iPhone, iPod and Apple TV. Saying that at the end of the day Apple is "all about people," Cook proclaimed that while innovation may be one of the most difficult models, its the one that gives you a true competitive differentiation. "We run Apple in a fluid manner, where we move people where we need them. This is why you begin to see things on the phone that were developed for the Mac. You see Cover Flow, developed for the phone, in the Mac OS X. There's some much synergy in those area."

Tim Cook was eager to point out that Apple had 24 billion in revenues in fiscal year 2007 from four major product lines. The Goldman Sachs interviewer noted Steve Jobs' has prior statement that Apple has 3 businesses and a hobby, the hobby being the Apple TV. He asked if four major product lines represent the maximum.

Cook replied by saying that the Apple TV is an interesting product. "We launched this as a peripheral to your Mac or PC, but the size of that customer base was a niche. That's why Steve calls it a hobby. The market for it isn't in the realm of the iPod, iPhone or Mac. Will we enter a new category? You can say we entered a new category with the MacBook Air and the iPod Touch. Could we do more? I think Apple can do about anything it puts its mind to. For everything we do, we know me make a choice not to do something else. We may or may not add some over time, we'll see."

Regarding slowing iPod growth: Cook says Apple's focus was the introduction of the iPod Touch -- getting it out into the market. He sees getting the "first mainstream WiFi portable platform" out as a big strategic move.

In terms of market saturation for the iPod: 40% of the iPods sold were sold to people who did not own an iPod. "That doesn't seem like a saturated market to us," said Cook. On why the US number was flat: "part of it might have been the economy."

Will there be some cannibalization from the iPod Touch and iPhone? Tim Cook says maybe. "But I'd rather Apple cannibalize itself than others take our business"

The moderator asked: Why did you cut the iPhone price? Cook said "We saw that we had an incredible product that many people wanted. The barrier to some people buying it was the price. We were about to enter the holiday season. We decided we wanted to go for it. The more people we get under the iPhone tent, the more developers we get interested in developing, the more iPhones we sell."

Regarding the "trade offs" Apple had to make for the MacBook Air, Tim Cook says that other people used really small screens or tiny keyboards to make sub-notebooks work. Apple, Cook says, put "what's important" in the MacBook Air. "Do you really need an Ethernet cable?" he said. "Do you really need the optical drive?" He said that remote disc booting, the ability to rent movies online and the proliferation of wireless have largely addressed the so-called shortcomings of the Air.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Barriers to iPhone...

    ...include the bloody ransom to a service provider & services that many don't need or want - talk about anti-competitive monopolistic practices & restricting market appeal/share...?

  1. MiMiC

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: barriers to iphone..

    I see it more as partnering. Apple needed someone to bring about certain needs such as visual voicemail. And to the carrier that would (and share the fees), Apple would be exclusive to them for a period of time.

    Many, many companies do such things as build temporary alliances to achieve an end.

    So you can't buy an iPhone yet. You're carrier also did not rework their entire network to accept visual voicemail.

    Instead of complaining about Apple, try directing that towards your provider.

  1. Beechlady

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Amen, Mimic!

    There seems to be a plethora of complaining about Apple, without looking at the big picture. *Sometimes* it's warrented, most often not (i.e. partnering with AT&T, iTunes song pricing, DRM, iTunes Movie pricing, NBC programming). I just with people would realize that there's a big picture out there, more likely than not it's not solely one company's fault.....

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    bobolicious...

    I see we have another moron in our midst... how refreshing.

    'barrier', maybe to you - personally, I see the very exclusivity of service providers as the very advantage that made it possible for Apple to provide the iPhone.

    By the way, bobo, you may want to look up the meaning of some of the big words you throw around.

    beechlayd hit the nail on the head, about there being a big picture, which most myopic armchair commentators seem to deliberately ignore.

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Cook comments

    Cook is on target with his comments. The Touch and iPhone are the platforms for the future, and it's better to cannibalize from yourself than give business away to another company.

    Cook is wrong on one point, and that's regarding trade-offs on the Air. Do you really need an ethernet cable? Heck yea! How many companies let you connect your laptop wirelessly to the corporate LAN? My company doesn't. Use the other side of the laptop, and bring back the ethernet and firewire connectors. Use micro connectors and dongles if necessary.

    He's right about the optical drive. If you're going to make something that small, an optical drive is simply physically too big to fit, that's why I appreciate the optional external drive, which is still necessary (sorry, remote disc doesn't cut it).

  1. nhmlco

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    That small...

    @mytdave, you hit it with "if you're going to build something that small", because that then requires you to make decisions on what to eliminate. I have an Air, and have yet to miss the ethernet connector.

    But if I travel offsite, I'll take the kit bag with the USB ethernet dongle (as you suggested).

  1. pioneer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Anyone proof reading this

    Quote

    "There's some much synergy in those area."

    Does Tim Cook not speak English?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: barriers

    I see it more as partnering. Apple needed someone to bring about certain needs such as visual voicemail. And to the carrier that would (and share the fees), Apple would be exclusive to them for a period of time.

    Yes, the ol' "Apple NEEDS to partner to get visual voicemail". The only reason Apple needed a partner was so they can get the cut of the action. That's it. If VV is so great, carriers would have added it without any need for a sole contract from apple, just to get the iPhone business.

    'barrier', maybe to you - personally, I see the very exclusivity of service providers as the very advantage that made it possible for Apple to provide the iPhone.

    I'm sorry, but what? Apple developed the phone long before setting up their exclusivity. Everyone talks about how Apple is changing the music business, movie business, cell phones. But Apple did NOTHING NEW with the iPhone/carrier. They're just like MOTO. Get your cash. That's all they want. Thinking different, Apple could have offered a nice unlocked phone that you could use on a variety of carriers of your choice with what services you want. But, no, they wanted their monthly kickbacks.

    And don't argue that they'd have to charge 'full price' (which no one knows what it would be, since all the unlocked prices are just hiked up values to discourage its purchase and make sure Apple still gets your $$$), a lot of people are spending a lot of money to get unlocked phones. And as you argue with the media companies, if they don't charge an exorbitant price, they'd also sell more as well.

    But feel free to put your lips back on Steve's a** and believe all that he delivers to you.

    BTW, a barrier is something that blocks. I would call a plan that requires you to pay out $60/month for services you don't want or need a barrier. As I would to limit it to a company who may not provide service (or quality service) in your area.

  1. appleuzr

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Wow...

    wow, Testudo oozes with positivity. As can be expected.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    begone foul troll

    get lost.

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