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Network World - Three comments this week by Apple CEO Tim Cook should have led to a reset of popular iOSphere rumors about the upcoming iPhone 6, iPad 5, and iPad mini 2, but probably didn’t.
Cook made the comments during Apple’s Q2 earnings call with Wall Street analysts on Tuesday. He was responding to analysts’ questions, which themselves reflected several persistent strains of Apple rumors.
Quotes are from Macworld’s edited transcript of Cook’s remarks.
1. Rumoristas: Apple will be announcing new iPhones and/or iPads in April, May, June, July, or August.
Cook: “Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014. We continue to be very confident in our future product plans.”
Translation: “We’ll introduce new hardware, software, and services this fall and throughout 2014.”
Comment: This is a pretty definite, and according to Apple watcher John Gruber, pretty unusual, signal of Apple’s announcement schedule. If one believes that the company will announce new iPad and iPhone models in 2013, then it seems that won’t begin to happen until sometime this fall -- about 12 months after the announcement of the current iPhone, iPad, and iPad mini. “Clearly, they’re seeking to adjust expectations regarding WWDC [the just announced Worldwide Developer Conference] in June,” Gruber writes.
That leaves open the question of whether Apple will use WWDC, as it has in recent years, as a showcase for the next version of its mobile firmware, iOS 7. Gruber and others said recently that they’ve been told that iOS 7 is “behind schedule,” and that Apple has reallocated software engineering resources to put it back on schedule. The other uncertainty is how last fall’s management shakeup -- which ousted iOS chief Scott Forstall, and shifted the iOS core to OS X software chief Craig Federighi, and the iOS user interface/user experience design work to Jony Ive – may have affected the schedule.
2. Rumoristas: Apple is flailing and failing in innovation; they’re copying rivals too much or not copying them enough; they’re losing market share; they should have cheaper phones and bigger-screened phones because the competition offer these.
Cook: “We will continue to focus on the long term, and we remain very optimistic about our future. We’re participating in large and growing markets. We see great opportunities in front of us, particularly given the long-term prospects of the smartphone and tablet markets, the strength of our incredible ecosystem which we plan to continue to augment with services, our plans for expanded distribution, and the potential of exciting new product categories.”
Translation: “We’re still the Apple that created the iPhone and the iPad. We have a long-term focus on great opportunities in a big, growing market and we’re creating new classes of products to address them.”
Comment: In all three of its main mobile products, iPhone, iPad and iPad mini, the individual Apple models are by far the biggest selling in their product categories. Apple doesn’t, at present, sell a variety of phones: it sells the iPhone. As successful as has been Samsung’s Galaxy S III smartphone, the iPhone still outsells it.