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Apple and the D11 Conference

timcAt this year’s “All About the D”, Tim Cook took the stage for the second time as the Apple CEO and representative. Interviewers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher were immediate in their quest for answers from Cook due to the drop Apple’s stock has been making in the recent months. This year we’ve seen a great deal of competition from HTC and Samsung with the HTC One and the Galaxy S4.

Cook did not receive much time or kindness when asked how he views the company’s decline. Apple has been the leading example for innovative technology since the iPod, but with the death of former CEO Steve Jobs, some have lost faith in the company’s potential future. This is what Tim Cook had to say about the current drop in stock:

“Apple has always had competition to focus on, but our North Star is always on making the best products. We always come back to that. We want to do the best phone, the best tablet, the best PC. I think we’re doing that.” 

Cook reassures investors and consumers that as long as Apple continues to focus on the product quality being the best and the brightest of the generation, that everything will smooth out in time. He noted that the company sold 85 million iPhones, 42 million iPads, and 13 million Apple TVs in the second half of the last year. But interviewer Kara Swisher was not moved by the numbers.

She pointed out that the sales may be high, but faith is low. Apple has not come out with a new product type since Steve Jobs passed away. New iPhones, iPads, and upgrades to all standing systems have been made, but Apple has not pushed past the competition with the “future technology” that was the staple of the company for so long.

Cook was questioned about many of the moves that the competing companies have been making, including the future of Apple TV (which hasn’t received much focus from the company) and Google Glass. Unfortunately Cook never gave any solid answers to most questions, mostly referring to the future of wearable technology as “interesting” and “ripe for exploration”.

The only real information that Cook would comment on is the new iOS that will be displayed at the WWDC in the middle of June. The iOS and the OSX will debut there, promising a smoother and more futuristic system for Apple consumers to get excited about. But it appears that the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 we’re being promised at the upcoming conference may not provide customers with stunning changes or upgrades. No large details have been revealed, but Cook did speak briefly about the smart phone’s screen size.

“People do look at the size. They also look at things like do the photos show the proper color? The white balance, the reflectivity, battery life. […] At this point we’ve felt the retina display that we are shipping is overwhelmingly the best.” 

After an intense session of questions, it’s come to light that Apple might not be in the lead when it comes to making new and fresh products anymore. Cook has made it clear that their main goal is to make their product clean, smooth, and the best. But will Apple stock remain in it’s slump with this change in company focus? Will consumers stick around if Apple doesn’t remain the flagship company in the world of smart phone technology?

When Tim Cook was asked if he was afraid for the status of the company and the future of their business, he replied with a calm and confident, “absolutely not.”

Hopefully what we see at the WWDC will only add to his statement.

-David Collins

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