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This is Tim: Apple CEO on iPhones, China, and the drive to disrupt

Serenity Caldwell | Jan. 28, 2014
As usual, Apple CEO Tim Cook was the focus of attention during the company's quarterly earnings call with analysts on Monday. And, as usual, we've got a collection of some his choicer quotes from the call.

On looking for success with China Mobile
I'm not going to give you a forecast for it. I think if you just back up and look at it from a commonsense point of view, China Mobile has more subscribers than anyone in the world; it has three-quarters of a billion. And so I do see it as a watershed moment for Apple, and have a very very strong belief in the abilities of the two companies to do great things together.

On the stock buyback program
We've been buying back stock. As you know, last year we increased the program overall — our cash return — doubling it to $100 billion, and $60 billion of that is buyback and we've been progressing on that. So we're a big believer in buying back the stock, and that doesn't change today whether the stock goes up or down.

On iPhone: new users versus existing upgraders
We saw a significant new-to-iPhone number, particularly on the 5c, which is what we wanted to see. So it's clearly not just upgraders; as a matter of fact, the upgraders, particularly in North America, would have been less than we'd thought because of the changes in the upgrade policy that I talked about earlier.

On innovation at Apple
It's never been stronger. I'm very confident with the work that's going on and I think our customers are going to love what we're going to do.

On current iPhone pricing
I think last quarter we did a tremendous job, particularly given the mix was something very different than we thought. It was the first time that we'd ever run that particular playbook before, and the demand percentage turned out to be different than we thought. We obviously always look at our results, and [figure out] what to change moving forward. And if we decide it's in our best interest to make a change, then we'll make one. Obviously, I'm not going to predict price changes.

We're willing to make any product that's a great product. Where our line in the sand is making something that's not fantastic.

On why the iPhone 5s is selling better
People are really intrigued with Touch ID. It's a major feature that has excited people, and I think that, associated with the other things that are unique to the 5s, got the 5s a significant amount more attention and a higher mix of sales.

On iOS and enterprise
It's clear that the enterprise area has huge potential and we're doing well from a percentage of companies that are using iPhone and iPad — it's up to unbelievable numbers. The iPhone is used in 97 percent of the Fortune 500 and 91 percent of the Global 500, and iPad is used in 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and 93 percent of the Global 500. And we have a number of accounts that have tens of thousands of iOS devices working.

 

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