The Full WSJ Interview with Tim Cook on Apple’s Future


Apple CEO Tim Cook recently sat down for an interview with the Wall Street Journal, speaking about a wide range of topics, including Apple’s future, an iPhone with a larger display, and new product categories.

Many people have said that Apple is no longer be a growth company, here is Cook’s response:

Last year, we grew (revenue) by $14 billion to $15 billion. Yes, those percentages are smaller compared to a year earlier and two years earlier and so forth. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not a growth company. We were in hyper-growth, or whatever is above growth. We went from $65 billion to over $100 billion to $150 billion to $170 billion. These are historic, unprecedented numbers. I don’t know any companies adding growth at that level. So when you say $14 billion to $15 billion compared to those numbers, it’s clearly smaller and a smaller percentage, but, to put it in some context, that’s like adding three Fortune 500 companies in a year. I think that’s hard to say that’s not a growth company.

[The last quarter] was an interesting quarter in a lot of ways. It was our highest revenue ever. It was our best iPhone sales, best iPad sales and one of our best Mac quarters ever and this is in an environment where the PC industry is shrinking. And we grow by 19%, that’s pretty fantastic.

We always look at the underlying health of our businesses. And what I mean by that is we look at sell-through because that’s what’s most important to us. About 70% of our business is indirect, 30% is direct. In that 70%, we look at great detail of what’s selling through. So when you look at the sell through, the iPhone was actually higher than the sell-in so I care more about that.

Cook said that PC and mobile platforms could not be compared, Android is made up of many different components under one banner as opposed to Windows which was one uniform platform.

On mobile platforms, Apple has over one million apps with half of them specifically optimized for the iPad. Cook says on Android there are only 1,000 apps optimized for tablets, which he says is one of the reasons “why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy”.

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.

In the interview Tim Cook also revealed that over the past two weeks the company has repurchased $14 billion in stock. Cook reiterated, Apple is not afraid of making large acquisitions and the company is working on “some really great stuff” in new product categories. Apple is spending an enormous amount of time and money on the future of the Mac.

The full interview can be found on the Wall Street Journal and it is well worth checking out.

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