Apple CEO on Android: "We don't have our heads stuck in the sand"
Tim Cook responds to his company's stock price falling and the tough competition with Samsung
Apple's stock today is worth almost half of what is was just six months ago. The rise of popularity in Android devices, particularly those from Samsung like the Galaxy SIII, has put enormous pressure on the once seemingly flawless technology firm. On a shareholder's meeting today, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the falling share price, noting "I don't like it either. Neither does the board or management - where the stock trades now vs a few months ago - but we're focused on the long term."
Cook chose to focus on the positives calling the last 12 months "an incredible year of innovation" for Apple in which the company "grew by about $48 billion more than Google, Microsoft, Dell, HP, RIM, Nokia combined." Cook stressed that he's certainly not ignoring the competition from Samsung and Android in general. In fact, he said that Apple could easily produce more devices to challenge Android but it's chosen not to.
"We're not constraining our investment in R&D by a desire to grow a cash pile. We stay very focused and work on a few things. ... The real market share numbers are hard to come by. ... It is clear that Android is on a lot of phones ... it is probably true that iOS is on a lot more tablets .... Success is not making the most. ... Where market share is important (is in being big enough to attract an ecosystem) .... We're really aware of the competition as well. We don't have our heads stuck up ... stuck in the sand. .... There's a button or two we could press to make the most .... That would not be good for Apple," Cook said, according to a transcript from CNBC.
One of the other things some have taken issue with at Apple is that the company is cannibalizing its own iPad with the smaller iPad mini. Cook doesn't mind doing that, however. "If we don't cannibalize, someone else will. We take a long view," he said.
Cook's aiming to maintain an innovative edge at Apple. "Obviously we're looking at new categories -- we don't talk about them, but we're looking at them," Cook said, potentially referring to much talked about categories like the iWatch or Apple TV.
Investor reaction to Cook's meeting so far seems to be muted, as the stock is flat to slightly down (65 cents) as of this writing at $448.32.