Apple CEO Tim Cook on High-End Smartphones, iOS in Cars, More

Apple CEO Tim Cook believes that the high-end smartphone market still has significant room to grow.

“I don’t subscribe to the common view that the higher end, if you will, of the smartphone market is at its peak,” Cook told media and analysts dialed into Apple’s July 24 earnings call, according to a transcript released by Seeking Alpha. “I don’t believe that but we will see and we will report our result as we go along.” The iPhone and iPad own around 60 percent of the business-mobility market, he added, indicating a significant growth opportunity in that segment.

Apple is also experiencing strong iPhone sales in emerging markets such as India, Turkey, and Poland, although last quarter’s China’s results seemed mixed—mainland sales were up, while those in Hong Kong were significantly down. Sales in developed countries such as Japan and the U.K. remain robust.

Strong iPhone sales helped bolster Apple’s bottom line for its fiscal 2013 third quarter—it sold 31.2 million smartphones, a record for the June quarter, compared to 26 million in the same period a year ago. That helped compensate for slight dips in iPad and Mac sales. Overall, Apple earned revenues of $35.3 billion and a net profit of $6.9 billion.

Analysts on the call did their best to get Cook to talk about Apple’s product pipeline, but the Sphinx of Cupertino was predictably silent about what the company might roll out in coming months. He did offer some details about iOS appearing in automobiles sometime in 2014.

“Having something in the automobile is very, very important,” he said about that. “It’s something that people want and I think that Apple can do this in a unique way better than anyone else. So it’s a key focus for us.”

But he was reluctant to discuss “iWatches,” cheap iPhones, Apple TVs, or any other rumored initiative. Wall Street has punished Apple’s stock in recent months, with analysts and investors claiming that the company needs a new market segment if it wants to replicate its blistering growth of past years. Cook has promised new products in the pipeline for later this year and 2014, but until those materialize, it’s likely that Apple will face continued questions about its ability to dominate in a world increasingly crowded with Google Android devices.

 

Image: Apple

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