From the iWatch to an oversize iPhone to CEO Tim Cook’s future with the company -- 2013 has been chock full of Apple rumors. With that in mind, it would almost seem strange not to close out the year with more Apple speculation.
The news media is obliging with a leaked memo from Cook to employees at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters. In the memo, which thanked employees for their hard work in 2013, Cook shares that Apple has “big plans that we think customers are going to love.”
“This holiday season, tens of millions of people around the world, from all walks of life, are experiencing Apple products for the first time,” Cook wrote. “Those moments of surprise and delight are magical, and they’re all made possible by your hard work. As many of us prepare to celebrate the holidays with our loved ones, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve achieved together over the past year.”
A Lot To Look Forward To
Cook pointed to the products Apple released in its major categories and cited the “breadth and depth of innovation at Apple.” He noted that the company extended its lead in the smartphone market with the iPhone 5s; launched iOS 7; released OS X Mavericks for free to customers; introduced the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display; and began shipping the Mac Pro from a manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas. Apple also marked its 50 billionth download on the App Store.
Cook went on to recall how Apple raised and donated tens of millions of dollars for important charities and relief efforts like Red Cross aid to typhoon victims in the Philippines and its contributions to the Product (RED) program, which supports the Global Fund in its fight against the spread of AIDS in Africa. Finally, Cook called out Apple’s work to get Congress to support workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and its focus on environmental initiatives.
“We have a lot to look forward to in 2014, including some big plans that we think customers are going to love,” Cook said. “I am extremely proud to stand alongside you as we put innovation to work serving humankind’s deepest values and highest aspirations. I consider myself the luckiest person in the world for the opportunity to work at this amazing company with all of you.”
High Expectations, Little Detail
That last bit is what set the rumor mills back in motion. We caught up with Jeff Kagan, a telecom industry analyst, to get his thoughts on all things Apple as we prepare to close out 2013. He told us Cook’s memo was typical Apple -- high expectations with very little detail.
“While there is no way to be sure, I have faith that Apple will continue to grow and satisfy their existing customer base. They have been through a very rough year, but they are still showing growth,” he said. “With new technologies and moving into China -- with customers still loving the service -- I see growth for Apple going forward.”
Kagan reminds us that Apple has two different relationships with two different groups, investors and customers. While investors are only worried about making money, he said, customers love the Apple product line and he doesn't see that changing.
“The big competitor is Google Android and Samsung -- and there's a very big difference between Apple technology and Google technology,” he said. “The customers that love Android love Android. And the customers that love Apple love Apple.”
Posted: 2013-12-29 @ 7:31pm PT
Google technology is not different than Apple technology. It is a copy of Apple technology. While I have no love for Apple's business model, credit where credit is due. Apple has been at the forefront of innovation for the past three decades. Apple invented iconic products that were copied by everybody else.
Posted: 2013-12-25 @ 6:13pm PT
Having just read this article, I am confident Apple will continue to set the trends and very high quality products. To summarize it quickly, Apple's advantage is it owns the whole recipe, i.e. OS and Hardware, while the competition only owns the fragmented ingredients.