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In his own words: Tim Cook on Apple earnings and more

Macworld Staff | Jan. 25, 2013
What Tim Cook said about Apple, the first quarter of 2013, the iPad, and more in the company's first quarter earnings call.

iPhone outside of the U.S.

Sequentially we increased over 70 percent from the September quarter, which was 3.5 times the market, and so we could not be happier with that. In terms of geographic distribution, we saw our highest growth in China, and it was into the triple digits. And so I would characterize it as we're extremely pleased.

The iPhone's screen size

The iPhone 5 offers a new, 4-inch Retina display, which is the most advanced display in the industry. No one comes close to matching the level of quality as the Retina display. It also provides a larger screen size for iPhone customers without sacrificing the one-handed ease of use that our customers love. We put a lot of thinking into screen size and believe we've picked the right one.

iPhone demand in the quarter

If you look at the iPhone sales across the quarter, we were very constrained for much of the quarter on iPhone 5. As we begin to produce more and ship more, sales went up with the production. iPhone 4 was actually in constraint for the entire quarter, and sales remained strong. And so that's how sales progress across the quarter.

Let me make one additional point on this: I know there's been lots of rumors about order cuts and so forth, and so let me just take a moment to make a comment on these. I don't want to comment on any particular rumor, because I would spend my life doing that, but I would suggest it's good to question the accuracy of any kind of rumor about build plans. And I'd also stress that even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to accurately interpret the data point as to what it meant for our overall business, because the supply chain is very complex, and we obviously have multiple sources for things. Yields might vary, supplier performance can vary, the beginning inventory positions can vary, I mean there's just an inordinately long list of things that would make any single data point not a great proxy for what's going on.

Apple's philosophy versus market share preservation

The most important thing to Apple is to make the best products in the world that enrich customers' lives. That's our high order bit. That means that we aren't interested in revenue for revenue's sake. We can put the Apple brand on a lot of things and sell a lot more stuff, but that's not what we're here for. We want to make only the best products.

And so what does that mean for market share? I think we've had a great track record here on iPod, doing different products at different price points, and getting a reasonable share for doing that. I wouldn't view those things as mutually exclusive as some might. But the high order bit is making a great product that enriches customers' lives and so that's what we're focused on.

 

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