Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced its fourth quarter earnings on Monday, reporting sales of 33.8 million iPhones and 14.1 million iPads during the period, which helped the company beat Wall Street's expectations, and CEO Tim Cook provided yet another hint at new product categories that investors could expect from the company in 2014.
Over the past few months, Apple was busy refreshing many of its flagship products, including the iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, iOS and the OS X platform, but an all-new product from the Cupertino-based tech giant for the holiday season was conspicuous by its absence this fall. However, Cook suggested during the quarterly earnings call on Monday that Apple has the skills to create “great products” in categories that are yet to be explored by the company.
According to him, the company is likely to unleash new products “in the fall and across 2014.” Here is the full comment from Cook, which he made in response to a question during the Q&A session after the call:
“Q: You talked about new product categories in your introductory remarks. You said this in April as well, saying consumers and investors should expect new products and categories in second half of 2013 and first half of 2014. Should we still have that expectation? New product categories, there have not been any yet? Want to make sure we’re on the same page.
A: Didn’t say you would see them in 2013 and 2014, but you will see exciting new products from us in the fall and across 2014. I stand by that and you’ve seen a lot of things over the last couple of months. In terms of new product categories specifically, if you look at the skills that Apple has from hardware/software and services, and the incredible app ecosystem, this set of things is very unique. No one has a set of skills like this. We obviously believe that we can use our skills at building other great products that are in categories that represent areas that we do not participate today. We’re pretty confident about that.”
Although Cook did not name a product that would fall under the “new product categories,” the tech world is abuzz with rumors that Apple is working on a smart watch, referred to as the “iWatch” and a smart TV, labeled the “iTV.”
Speculations about the iWatch began after the Wall Street Journal reported in February that Apple was “experimenting with designs for a watch-like device that would perform some functions of a smartphone.” The report said that Apple was in talks with Foxconn regarding such a product as it was exploring new product categories beyond the smartphone and tablet.
Bloomberg also supported the rumor reporting that there was a team of about 100 product designers at Apple, working on a wristwatch-like device. The report even stated that the company was hiring more people with expertise in wearable devices.
In addition to the iWatch, an Apple television set, dubbed the “iTV,” has also been part of the rumor mill in recent months. The most recent rumor about the product came last week from Bloomberg, which suggested that Apple would launch ultra-high definition televisions with 65-inch and 55-inch screens during the fourth quarter of 2014.
The report cited Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at Advanced Research, who said that LG Display (NYSE:LPL), Samsung (KRX:005935) and Corning (NYSE:GLW) may be among the suppliers for Apple’s TVs, which may be priced between $1,500 to $2,500.
Here’s the complete summary of Apple’s Q4 earnings: