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What is Apple's Tim Cook Hinting at for 2014?

What is Apple's Tim Cook Hinting at for 2014?

After two years on the job as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO, Tim Cook has become a master at ‘dropping hints’ without really saying anything specific. What does it all mean?

According to The Verge, it’s all about growth. Perhaps more accurately, it’s about getting ready for the next “shot in the arm” as soon as growth begins to slow down.

As for Cook, as early as February 2012 he mentioned the possibility of an Apple HDTV, saying the company needed something more main market for an Apple TV to be a serious product category.

Then in May 2012, he said TVs were an area of “intense interest.” This piqued interest, which died when the long-rumored television failed to materialize in September.

Nonetheless, in December 2012 Cook called television an “area of intense interest” for Apple yet again. Despite Cook’s enthusiasm, a television did not happen and the subject all but disappeared from Cook’s lexicon in 2013.

New product categories, however, did not disappear. In Feb. 2013, rumors started to swirl about an Apple smartwatch, aka the iWatch. In March, Bloomberg said a watch would be released by the end of the year, adding that it could be more profitable than an Apple television.

Then in April, Cook brought up the subject, once again, of “exciting new product categories.” Apparently, those categories included a smartwatch since Apple started filing “iWatch” trademarks in July of this year.

In September came the iPhone 5S and 5C, followed by the October reveal of new iPads along with updated MacBooks and Mac Pro. None of these, of course, is a new product category, let alone an “exciting” new product category.

Most recently, in October, Cook mentioned "significant opportunities" in "both current product categories and new ones."

All this leads to the notion of protecting growth. In other words, Apple, The Verge said, is hard at work perfecting the next “exciting new product category” for when it is needed and not a minute sooner.

Perhaps the time has come. The Daily Ticker concluded that Apple would launch at least one new product category in 2014. Will it be a television or a smartwatch? Both? None of the above? Most observers believe it will be either a television or a smartwatch. The smartwatch seems to have a slight edge since it has been a more recent part of Cook’s “new product categories” patter.

As to a possible release date, nothing has been announced. GeekyGadget, said the iWatch would probably not appear until sometime in the second half of next year. Of course, the same report also touted the possibility of a new Apple HDTV. So, there’s that.

As for any possible hints from Cook, both a television and a smartwatch fit the “exciting new product category” mantra.

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.


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