Cook: Apple has surprises in the works for fall, all of 2014

Posted:
in AAPL Investors edited January 2014
Apple is gearing up for a year of product "surprises" starting this fall, according to CEO Tim Cook, who appeared to point to late 2013 as a time frame for when fans of the company can expect new devices.

cook


Cook appeared to point to the fall of 2013 as a time when consumers could expect new products from Apple. Continuing in Apple's tradition of near silence on forthcoming products, Cook gave no specifics, but the Apple head specifically mentioned "the fall and all of 2014" as a time to expect new products.

Pressed later in the call on the issue, Cook parried the question, saying that he didn't want to get too specific on Apple's product rollout schedule, but sticking to the fall pronouncement.

Apple, Cook said, has "a lot more surprises in the works."

Cook's comments would appear to throw cold water on the predictions of some outlets that Apple is close to releasing new models of its bestselling iPhone and iPad. Some even purport to have secured components and casings from such devices.

A fall release for a new iPhone, for instance, would be in somewhat in keeping with the company's near-yearly rollout schedule for that device. Still, though, some have assumed that, in order to address competition from other manufacturers, Apple might move to a more aggressive update schedule for not only its iPhone, but also its iPad.

Cook also addressed the reality of Apple's stock performance as of late, apparently taking issue with Wall Street.

"We know [we] didn't meet everyone's expectations," Cook said before the call moved on to discuss Apple's financial particulars. Cook seemed to be referring to Wall Street analysts, who have been down on Apple in light of the appearance of slowing profit growth and increasing competition.

"[It] has been very frustrating to all of us," Cook admitted, referring to the disappointing performance of Apple shares on the market. "But Apple remains very strong, and we will continue to do what we do best. We can't control items such as exchange rates and world economy."

The bruising Apple's stock has taken since peaking above $700 last year hasn't left Cook unscathed. Recent weeks have seen a campaign against Cook spring up seemingly out of nowhere, with some observers having decided the supply chain manager-turned-CEO was the wrong choice to lead one of the world's most valuable companies.

Cook said that, while Apple's share price might not be fully within the company's control, Apple's existing product pipeline, the strength of its ecosystem, and the potential for new product categories meant the company is on a solid path.

"The most important objective for Apple," Cook explained, "is developing innovative products."

The Apple chief then went on to cite encouraging figures in the smartphone market, with IDC estimating 1.4 billion units sold annually in the coming years. The tablet market, which Cook has called "the mother of all markets," is estimated to hit 375 million units by 2016.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 78
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    "Apple, Cook said, has 'a lot more surprises in the works.'"

    But no promise of whether these will be good or bad surprises. :)
  • Reply 2 of 78
    irelandireland Posts: 17,779member
    Apple always says this. I guess we all just need to exercise patience.
  • Reply 3 of 78
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I wanted to hear, "Two part question, Mr. Cook. It's been 8 months since Apple has held an event. What I want to know is: WTF? And: seriously... WTF?"
  • Reply 4 of 78
    I am on Tim Cook's side. He is a stabilizing influence for Apple, reorganizing the management group into an effective, coordinating whole. He and the team continue producing/refining excellent products. Cook and the Management Team should ignore Wall Street. They are myopic, focusing on the short-term, confusing correlation for causal assessment.

    I am an applied econometrician with an understanding of open-economy macroeconomics.

    Sam S., Ph.D.
  • Reply 5 of 78
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    stelligent wrote: »
    "Apple, Cook said, has 'a lot more surprises in the works.'"

    But no promise of whether these will be good or bad surprises. :)

    For those with a negative outlook there will always be negative surprises...
  • Reply 6 of 78
    jollypauljollypaul Posts: 328member


    "the fall and all of 2014"


     


    So, a couple/few of incremental updates to existing products in 2013 and pipeline mania as far as the eye can see.


     


    It is what it is, but like SolipsismX above, I would like to see some kind of events on at least a 6 month interval if only keep people's attention and push existing products/technologies. A little evangelism is in order.

  • Reply 7 of 78
    Do we really need something new every 6 mos or a year? What do you want your computer to do for you - make your breakfast, pick up your clothes from the cleaners? Nobody has to read a map anymore, talk in person to someone, call a friend etc. We are all becoming shells due to technology and we keep asking for more. And no, I'm not a luddite, just someone who can actually do things without my computer, phone, tablet and all the other gadgets.

    And can everyone really afford to keep buying new tech every 6 mos or year? What a waste of money and resources.
  • Reply 8 of 78
    Timmy - please keep it up! You need to be little bit more like Steve. I think Tim is very close to telling Wall Street and its analysts - "Go F yourself - Let us do what we do best not only in technology side but also in how we manage our money"
  • Reply 9 of 78
    scotty321scotty321 Posts: 313member
    I think Apple has forgotten that they actually make software.

    Pages, Numbers, and iPhoto haven't seen any major upgrades in almost 5 years.

    OS X's Mail, Contacts, Calendars haven't had any major new features or bug fixes in about the same amount of time.

    Not to mention that Apple silently discontinued 2 of our all-time favorite apps, iDVD and iWeb.

    Apple is really faltering on the software front!
  • Reply 10 of 78
    chabigchabig Posts: 640member


    I think Apple is working on something that will amaze. Even a company of Apple's size has limitations on its resources. Lack of recent product updates might mean they are all working something else. image

  • Reply 11 of 78
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JollyPaul View Post


    "the fall and all of 2014"


     


    So, a couple/few of incremental updates to existing products in 2013 and pipeline mania as far as the eye can see.


     


    It is what it is, but like SolipsismX above, I would like to see some kind of events on at least a 6 month interval if only keep people's attention and push existing products/technologies. A little evangelism is in order.



    I believe he was talking manly about "physical things", hardware.


     


    Maybe the next months will be all about software.

  • Reply 12 of 78
    jdnc123jdnc123 Posts: 233member


    Something for the bears and the bulls.  Stock down slightly as I type....


     


    Positive


    - dividend increase (about 3% at $400)


    - buyback.....reduce share count, improve eps all else being equal, make shareholder turnover less volatile, reduced div payments offset interest expense


    - taking on debt...reduce cost of capital


    - hinting at new product categories, more than just evolutionary products


    - number of first time smartphone buyers over next few years "isn't lost on" apple .....hint for lower cost phone?


    - Cook changed and communicated a little more


     


    Negatives


    - No new hardware until the fall 


    - March qtr gross margin lower than the lowest of nearly 40 estimates on bberg.  


    - Guided June quarter well below street's already low expectations.  Guided to about $7.70/share vs street at $8.87; $4 billion below estimates on sales and a whopping 200 bps below estimates for gross margin.  


    - More problematic, September numbers will have to come down massively, currently at $10.40, but may be lucky to hit the june number without a product launch that impacts at least september.


    - Expect a lot of model/earnings revisions lower tomorrow


    - Fiscal 2013 eps on trajectory for 11-13% year over year decline


    - I thought TC and PO danced a little too much on the China issue and gross margin question, not to mention the growing slower than the market question.  Enough with the longwinded channel inventory stuff, just say you are indeed growing slower than the market and expect to change that.


    - Just amazed that everything appears to be coming out the last 3-4 months of the year again; iOS7 may be behind schedule, pushing everything back?


    - Continue to dismiss large screen phone 'with current trade offs' 

  • Reply 13 of 78
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by jdnc123 View Post

    [post]


     


    I guess asking how you feel now based on what you said earlier is irrelevant, huh.

  • Reply 14 of 78
    jdnc123jdnc123 Posts: 233member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    I guess asking how you feel now based on what you said earlier is irrelevant, huh.



    Not sure what you mean.  I think the fall comments make it clear to any objective observer they likely had an execution hiccup.  I think the slowdown in June qtr based on guidance runs counter to what Cook said previously about supply chain data points.  They did indeed call the slowdown.  I think Cook changed his spin on large screens.  No longer said they have right size, but said they wouldn't make large screen until hardware doesn't make you have trade offs.  


     


    The market isn't going to like the uncertainty of Cook going all in on bunching all products together once a year, but I would rather have them get it right the first time and be able to deliver.  They screw up any product launches now that they are all-in for the holiday season to make next year have any chance of earnings growth and he'll remain under pressure.


     


    The beat an expected EPS number that had been revised lower in recent weeks.  Big revisions to numbers coming.  Fiscal 13 will be a down EPS year, pretty much guaranteed.  Seems like they can grow again in fiscal 14 and the reason I'm not selling.

  • Reply 15 of 78
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    Isn't saying Apple will have new products in the 2nd half of 2013 and in 2014 about the same as saying the sun will rise in the east?
  • Reply 16 of 78
    lmaclmac Posts: 204member
    I think the biggest surprise of all is that we were supposed to get a redesigned MacPro in April or May. Wonder if that's no longer going to happen until Fall?
  • Reply 17 of 78
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by lmac View Post

    I think the biggest surprise of all is that we were supposed to get a redesigned MacPro in April or May.


     


    No, we weren't "supposed" to get that.

  • Reply 18 of 78
    The OP questioned, "Do we really need something new every 6 mos or a year? What do you want your computer to do for you - make your breakfast, pick up your clothes from the cleaners?" For the iWork suite, I guess we can contextualize your question and ask, "Do we really need new software every 3 or 4 years?" Yes, it has been that long. And though Keynote is a robust application (still outclassing PowerPoint in my view), Pages and Numbers lack any real parity with the MS offering. For several features necessary for the enterprise setting, we have not been able to rely on those two.

    Similarly, as technology in photography has advanced, and as Digital SLRs have become ubiquitous, we rely on applications like Aperture for RAW image management. Aperture 3 was released three years ago. There have been updates, but important features such as perspective correction (needed when correcting distortion that typically results from shooting with some very wide angle lenses) have not been added. In the meantime, Adobe is on a roll with Lightroom, meeting and exceeding photographers' requirements.

    Fall may not seem a long time way. But for photographers, by fall, Adobe will release LR5 and the few of us who remain as users of Aperture (with a dwindling support bases), would have probably made the switch.

    The issue is not 6 months or 1 year. In some cases, it's closer to 3 or 4 years.
  • Reply 19 of 78
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    radster360 wrote: »
    Timmy - please keep it up! You need to be little bit more like Steve. I think Tim is very close to telling Wall Street and its analysts - "Go F yourself - Let us do what we do best not only in technology side but also in how we manage our money"

    Seems to me that changing up the schedule in such a radical way and not doing something every quarter to impress the analysts is telling them exactly that.

    Apple is doing things Apple's way, get over it
  • Reply 20 of 78
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    lmac wrote: »
    I think the biggest surprise of all is that we were supposed to get a redesigned MacPro in April or May.

    Apple never said that.
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