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Cook to WSJ: 'There will be new categories'

Dan Moren | Feb. 10, 2014
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Tim Cook said once again that Apple is working on new product categories.

In terms of new product categories, specifically, if you look at the skills that Apple has from hardware, software, and services, and an incredible app ecosystem, these set of things is very, very unique, I think no one has a set of skills like this, and we obviously believe that we can use our skills in building other great products that are in categories that represent areas where we do not participate today.

To compound the interest—how do you like them financial expressions?—the Journal interview spent some time discussing Apple's acquisition strategy, including the tidbit that Cupertino has snapped up 21 companies in the last 15 months.

Many of these we know, such as the ones focused on maps and transportation and others that deal with 3D sensors, wireless, and data compression. The companies tend to be smaller—Wakabayashi says that none cost more than $1 billion—but Cook said Apple would "have no problem spending 10 figures for the right company, for the right fit that's in the best interest of Apple in the long-term."

Looking at all those companies in the aggregate might provide some insight into where Apple believes those new product categories are. (Wireless, 3D-sensing maps. Clearly.) And while a smartwatch or a television set might seem like logical theories, there's always the possibility that we've simply bought into our own very very loud hype.

Even in the case of those "known" products, it's wise to consider what missing ingredients there might be. There were those who wrote off the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad when each debuted, and each went on to become a runaway success. Which just goes to prove that it's never wise to believe you know exactly what Apple has up its sleeves—even if it looks like a watch.


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