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This is Tim: Cook at the 2013 Goldman Sachs conference

Macworld staff | Feb. 13, 2013
On cash balances

Because we're not a hardware company, there are other things that we're doing, and could do to have revenues and profits flow. We don't look at the sales of a product as our last part of the relationship with the customer; it's the first. Our stores do a fantastic job of helping people along their journey getting the most out of their product. We are very focused on that, and we're focused on that because it's great for the customer. But of course there's also financial benefit in doing so, though our focus is on the customer.

So, being larger than a hardware company affords us the ability to not worry about so much in the very short term. We're managing Apple for the long term. I know people care about quarters, and so forth, and we care, but the decisions we make--the profound decisions we make--are for Apple's long-term health, not for the short-term 90-day clock.

On emerging markets

That's a good question. Last year, we put enormous energy in expanding our ecosystem geographically. If you now look, our App Store is operating in 152 countries; our iTunes Store is operating in over 100 countries; free iBooks are in over 100 countries, paid iBooks are in over 50 countries. If you look at services like iCloud--iCloud operates in virtually every country. Messages operates in every country that we can--there are some government restrictions there. There are government restrictions in some countries around Apple's sale of movies. But there's only really one major country where we're not selling movies.

And so, I really feel like we advanced significantly last year in getting our infrastructure around the world at a different level. We've got further to go in some places, but we really advanced the ball, and our intention is to have a great ecosystem everywhere, and have all our ecosystem everywhere, not just portions of it.

In some cases, we're prevented from doing so, but since we don't believe in limits we keep knocking at the door, and trying to convince people that we conduct ourselves well and I think we'll eventually--maybe we'll eventually get in there. But versus last year this time when we were talking, there's a dramatic difference in our ecosystem in emerging markets than now.

On Apple's retail stores and strategy

There's no better place to discover, explore, and learn about our products than in retail. Our team members there are the most amazing, awesome, incredible people on earth. It's the best retail experience. It's a retail experience where you walk in and you instantly realize the store is not here for the purpose of selling--it's here for the purpose of serving.


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