Tim Cook on bigger iPhones, ‘crappy’ Android experience, not making junk and more

After the interview of Tim Cook by Daisuke Wakabayashi, The Wall Street Journal has decided to unveil all details on the Digits blog. The full details of the interview gives an in-depth inside on the focus of Apple’s CEO as he discussed more topics, including the Motorola Mobility unit of Lenovo and details regarding the share buyback program of Apple.

He also brushed on the discussion of a larger iPhone, what’s going on with the current Apple items and more. He did nod to iPod not taking off in emerging markets, but gave credit to the iPhone doing well in markets like Russia, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.
The China Mobile roll-out of LTE (fourth-generation wireless) takes place over a year. And even with adding China Mobile, we still only present our products to two-thirds of the subscribers in the world. In fact, this quarter, we’ll sign on 50 new carriers.
The new 50 carriers would give a boost to the sales of the iPhone. North America was no growth and a challenge, but Japan is a key market and accounts for the company’s 90% revenue.
Tim Cook again confirms $AAPL will launch new products in new categories (plural) this year. Wall Street apparently still not listening. — Carl Icahn (@Carl_C_Icahn) February 7, 2014 
On larger iPhones:
What we’ve said is that until the technology is ready, we don’t want to cross that line. That doesn’t say we’ll never do it. We want to give our customers what’s right in all respects – not just the size but in the resolution, in the clarity, in the contrast, in the reliability. There are many different parameters to measure a display and we care about all those, because we know that’s the window to the software. 
And here’s the latest iPhone 6 concept made by the talented Federico Ciccarese to make things more interesting:
And details on a crappy experience provided by android tablets:
We have over a million apps on iOS. We have over half-million that have been optimized for iPad. That half-million compares to 1,000 for Android tablets. That’s one of the reasons,
although not the only reason, why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy because the app is nothing more than a stretched out smartphone app.
He also said Android is like Europe:
The other thing is that Windows pretty much was one thing. Android is like Europe. Europe was a name that somebody came up with for Americans who didn’t understand that Europe was a lot of countries that weren’t like U.S. states.
They were very different. Android is many things. How many people who use a Kindle know that they’re using Android? And you see what Samsung is doing by putting more and more software on top. I think it’s night and day. The compare is so off. 
And on market share
I look at the mobile phone market as having three kinds of phones: feature phones, smartphones that function as or are used as feature phones, and real smartphones. I care about the market share of the last one.
I don’t care how many feature phones are sold.
The more that are sold I look at as good because those are all potential future customers for real smartphones. The same thing goes for the second category. I’d like to convert as many of those as possible to real smartphones. 
And then on producing junk:
Would I like to be one in the places where we are two? You better believe it. If there is a way we can do that without changing where our line is on a great product, then we’re going to do it. But what we’re not going to do is we’re not going to make junk. We’re not going to put Apple’s brand on something someone else designed.
I don’t view that as being satisfied with being small or however you want to define it. It’s not saying that market share is irrelevant or not important. I’ve never said that. I just always tried to say that the macro thing for us is to make a great product and we must do that. 
And on Lenovo’s acquisition of Google’s Motorola Mobility
I wasn’t surprised. It seems like a logical transaction. Google gets rid of something that’s losing money, something that they’re not committed to. I think it’s really hard to do hardware,
software and services and to link all those things together. That’s what makes Apple so special. It’s really hard, so I’m not surprised that they are not going to do that. 
Google will however is going to take 5.94% take worth $750 million once the deal closes, according to the Hong Kong stock exchange disclosure. And the quote regarding new-product categories is here;
It goes to the heart of what is innovation. We’ve had a prolific period of innovation. We’ve had enormous new products over the last several months with the iPad Air, the iPad Mini with Retina display. We’ve had Mavericks (the new Macintosh operating system). We’ve had iOS 7. We’ve had iTunes Radio. Basically we re-did the entire Macintosh line. We came out with two phones at the same time for the first time ever with the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S. And the dream of using your fingerprint for authentication has come true. Innovation at Apple is alive and well. But all of that being said, we can do more.
We don’t believe we can do things at the level of quality and link things as we want to between hardware, software and services so seamlessly if we do a lot of stuff. So we’re going to stick with our knitting with only doing a few things and doing them great. There will be new categories and we’re working on some great stuff. We’re not ready to talk about it. We’re really working on some really great stuff. I think no one reasonable would say they’re not a new category.
I think Apple can grow well with great improvements and new products on its existing category of products. We haven’t exactly hit a ceiling with products like the iPhone. There are still a lot of people buying feature phones. There are a lot of people still buying smartphones that they use like a feature phone but it’s labeled as a smartphone.
We said early on that the tablet business would be bigger than the PC business. If anything, that’s happening sooner than we thought. There’s still a lot of PCs being sold and a lot of those users would have a better experience on an iPad than a PC. We still view that as an opportunity.
And we haven’t given up on the Mac. A lot of people are throwing in the towel right now on the PC. We’re still spending an enormous amount on really great talent and people on the Macs of the future. And we have some really cool things coming out there. Because we believe as people walk away from the PC, it becomes clear that the Mac is what you want if you want a PC.
We don’t think about our size and we don’t manage the company like a big company, but we did sell $171 billion worth of stuff last year.
When it comes to stock, Apple stock is undervalued if you believe Carl Icahn. Cook says the company isn’t buying stock for just buying sake, but the stock is being driven down by investors seeing the short term.

Also, Apple remains number 1 in terms of market cap, followed by Google (who recently took over Exxon Mobile (now third)), and Microsoft.

Here is the entire interview.

What do you think ? 


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