updated 04:23 pm EST, Sun December 22, 2013
Cook promises a lot to look forward to for 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees of the iPhone maker that the company has big things on queue for 2014, fueling speculation that the next year could see multiple new Apple product families introduced. In an email obtained by 9to5Mac, Cook wished Apple employees a happy holiday season and thanked them for their contributions to the company's ongoing successes. The Apple chief also devoted space to discussing Apple's recent efforts toward encouraging diversity. One sentence, though, is likely of the most interest for Apple fans and investors: the one dealing with what Apple has planned for the near future.
"We have a lot to look forward to in 2014," Cook wrote, "including some big plans that we think customers are going to love."
Cook typically remains silent regarding Apple's plans for forthcoming products, carrying on in the tradition of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Asked by analysts during a quarterly conference call what investors and consumers could expect from the Cupertino tech giant, Cook has only said that observers could expect "surprises," beginning with this year's launch of the new iPhone 5s and iPad Air and carrying on "throughout 2014."
Current speculation regarding Apple's plans centers on two rumored devices: a wearable "iWatch" device and the ever-rumored dedicated Apple television. Multiple patent applications and company acquisitions seem to indicate that the company is working on one or both products, but Apple has not revealed anything on either rumored device.
Also possibly in the offing is a refreshed MacBook that could replace the 11-inch MacBook Air. Connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple will roll out an ultra-slim, clamshell form factor device that may pack a Retina display. That device is also said to be slated for release some time in the next year.
Cook devoted more words to detailing Apple's efforts toward increasing diversity. Apple as a company, Cook said, is standing for what it believes is right.
"We know that equality and diversity make our company and our society stronger," Cook wrote, "so we've urged the U.S. Congress to support workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We are also laser focused on our contribution to several environmental initiatives and we will increase our efforts even more in this area in the future."
Apple has continually backed efforts aimed at decreasing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender. The company has also pushed for reforms on immigration, reforms that Cook says will not only have a positive economic impact on the United States, but are also "the right thing to do."