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.

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Latest comments (8)

Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd4 years ago
Actions speak louder than words Mr. Cook. The iPad Mini is a reactionary device, and while successful it's also being outsold by 7" Android tablets. You say you intend to keep innovating, but it's been 3 years since the iPad. Get iOS caught up to Android and WP8 in features, get macs and iPhones caught up in power and price, and of course show us something NEW.
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Jason Vandiver Designer III, THQ4 years ago
Do you actually have numbers for Android tablets? Who else, other than Apple, actually releases their numbers? I follow this stuff pretty closely and have never really seen anything more than hyperbolic statements from other manufacturers... A quick Google for "Samsung galaxy tablet sales figures" lead me to this article

Also, if Apple isn't "innovating" who else is? Why aren't you holding the rest of the manufacturers to the same standards?
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Doug Paras4 years ago
@Jason Vandiver You can't get a total number for Android devices cause numerous different companies use it. You would have to total the sales for all the companies using android and from what I've heard Android has a 75% market share in the US for Cell-phones just a few months ago.

The only thing Apple innovates these days is how to make a more expensive device 6 months after releasing almost the identical really expensive device. The are far behind in the OS capabilities these days.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Doug Paras on 28th February 2013 6:20am

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Justin Biddle Software Developer 4 years ago
Apple's issue is they are premium product. To persuade a large enough mass of people for the next premium product you see you have to innovate. Hence Apple's problem at the moment. For many android phones this is far less of an issue as they aren't selling a premium product in the same way that apple is.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee4 years ago
"Also, if Apple isn't "innovating" who else is? Why aren't you holding the rest of the manufacturers to the same standards?"

Well, erm...

I do think Apple have a little more to answer for personally. They are the mega rich 'highest value' tech company and still claim high innovation with each product. Many, including a lot of Apple customers have started to question how much they're actually innovating given the fact that rival OS platforms and devices appear to be more up to date, more flexible and contain more features.

The industry asks why their R&D spend is quite low compared to some of their rivals and where their funds can be used to make the company and their products the 'best' as opposed to just 'premium' so to speak.

That's just my view but I'm finding myself more impressed by other consumer electronics companies in mobile where Apple arguably impressed more in their earlier smart-phone days.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 28th February 2013 4:14pm

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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 4 years ago
Honestly what hurts apple most is that they want to own everything. They want to create there own peripheral ports, power cable ports. They allow the consumer few choices. I find that taking the optical disk drive out of the macbook pro is annoying as I have alot of my stuff on disks and I usually like having hard copies of important files burned on disks. I also hate the lack of USB ports at the moment most of there laptops have just 2 usb ports, and Im forced to buy a powered USB hub with an extra power cable to power all my peripherals.... Printer scanner, harddrives, wacom tablet. Im a graphic designer and DJ, so I usually usually have my laptop connected to lots of stuff, like midi controllers and harddisks. They should offer a premium device for people who work. But I see them just making gadgets for regular people who just wanna watch movies and surf the web.

I also dislike that they allo very few options to customise hardware. You cant replace the battery on your own, you cant upgrade RAM or nothing. Even the internal hard disks have to be purchased from apple. Cause a third party one wont work. Why cant I just plug any micro USB cable to charge the iPHONE just like any other phone. Why do they have to make there own port, charge more money.

Now a laptop is less portable cause now you need to carry an opticle disk drive, hard drive and USB hub seperatly.

Back in the day owning an apple device was cool, awsome... now a days its just a pain. Its such a controlled enviroment that it gets frustrating. I like to have options. I only use apple laptops. I seek other alternatives when it comes to phones tablets and music players.

I dislike Apples current form. They have become arrogant. They dont listen to the consumer. They think they know what they want. They do make the best operating system, but even that is becoming a pain... it quites all my applications if idle for 15 minutes and it quites all my apps when it goes into hybernation, and there is no way of disabling that. I also used to like having a copy of the operating system on disk because it made restoring the system a breeze incase it got fucked up. Now I need an internet connection. It really sucks. The best thing they have added in recent years has been time machine. I had to restore my computer once and it was a breeze. But thats really the most significant improvmen. And I choose Android over OSX simply because I have so many more options when wanting to run android apps on different hardware.

Im just rambling really, this is just me. I havent stopped using apple because of OSX Im a graphic designer and DJ and I like the operating system. I just hate that the hardware is so resticted. Before apple gave more options but lately they havent. So it was just a matter of time before another company caught up with them.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 4 years ago
This is sadly what happened to Apple the first time Jobs left/was ejected. They simply loose their way and start to do the "Me Too" shuffle. The problem is that they were never very good at it and Jobs realised this. Instead he built a company based on ease of use, innovative visual design i.e. not just thinner each year but, shinier, slicker etc. etc. and a perceived coolness factor due to the use of high quality materials. He purposely never released more than one version each year as this would go against the idea that you were buying a premium item.

While I don't expect Apple to go crashing down any time soon, and they still have plenty of time to claw things back, they need to remember who they are and quickly!
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Andreia Quinta Photographer, Studio52 London4 years ago
I can't wrap my mind around why buy anything Apple these days, it's literally limiting ourselves from dynamic interaction and compatibility with other more standardized hardware/software, and you still pay the 'Apple tax' to get those limitations.
These past two or three years have been nothing but new iterations of their own products and 'innovation' or even actual hardware improvement was not among them as we can clearly see.
Android gives a lot of bang for your buck, and I don't see what are people paying the premium for.

Apple needs to get their head out of the (quick)sand before they go under, because the competition is not wasting anytime to catch up and profit from the absence of Mr. Jobs.
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