Anyone who says Tim Cook’s Apple isn’t expanding just isn’t paying attention


Apple CEO Tim Cook comes in for more than his fair share of criticism. I’m not certain if that’s because he is an openly gay CEO; or because he is committed to equal rights across sex, race or creed; or his commitment to the environment or even his willingness to take on the US government over privacy; or for some other reason resident in some darkly critical minds. Whatever.

The bottom line seems to be that some people slam Apple because they say it is not exploring new ground.

That’s utter B.S.

Just look at this (partial) list of just some of the many new products the company is expected or rumoured to be developing right now:

  • iPhone 7
  • Apple Watch 2
  • iPad Pro 2 series
  • New Macs
  • AIM-based Macs
  • Apple Car
  • Apple health wearable
  • Apple TV shows
  • Apple slim TV channels
  • A10-series processors
  • Apple Bike
  • Apple Truck
  • Glass iPhone
  • AI
  • AR/VR
  • Siri improvements
  • Enterprise products and solutions with IBM/Cisco, others
  • Apple Pencil
  • Digital newspapers
  • Touch screen Macs
  • Camera and display technologies
  • Underwater photography
  • Fintech enhancements within Apple Pay
  • Sporting equipment
  • Headphone technologies
  • Apple Music 2
  • Health sensors and software development and design
  • Apple Maps
  • Apple Maps Streetview equivalents
  • Iris scanner
  • UPDATE TO ADD: Thanks to reader, Richard Johnston who spotted — correctly — at least one big missing name — Swift, to which one could add Metal, and every OS.

There is some overlap between some of these things, and it is interesting that despite the sheer extent of the company’s efforts on each one of these solutions it still remains seen as being involved in a relatively small number of businesses.

All the same, when Craig Federighi tells Fast Company:

“To the extent that anyone anywhere does anything interesting, the question is: Why isn’t Apple doing that; why is Apple behind in that? We aren’t the Everything Company. We take on a very small number of things that we do very well, and we find that pretty rewarding.”

Except that small number masks a huge number of complementary solutions, each one of which has implications across the company’s broader product line. As each of these complementary solutions is improved, Apple unlocks another potential product opportunity. It’s that whole incremental approach to expansion that means I’m certain the Apple you see today will not be the same company you see in three years time.

“Our strategy is to help you in every part of your life that we can, whether you’re sitting in the living room, on your desktop, on your phone, or in your car,” Cook told Fast Company recently.

That’s the point, I guess.

Tim Cook’s Apple is expanding.


Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

11 Responses

  1. ViewRoyal says:

    People who bash Apple because sales of the iPhone have slowed recently, are blind to all of the areas in which the company has been growing very successfully. They have the misguided impression that Apple’s fortunes rely on just a single product, the iPhone.

    Apple hasn’t been a one-product company since the 1970’s. Apple has been evolving for the past 40 years. In the 1970’s Apple was the Apple II. But today, Apple is a much more diversified company than many people realize.

    Apple’s services division has been growing as quickly as the iPhone did in its early years of growth. Apple’s services on its own, has become one of the largest companies in the world by revenues and profits.

    Apple is now entering the business of electrical power generation. After spending billions of dollars on huge solar farms around the world, Apple not only supplies its facilities with electric power, but it is also selling excess power to local utilities.

    Apple is also a financial company. Not only has it quickly become the largest easy pay system for banks around the world, but it also owns “the world’s largest hedge fund” with its Braeburn Capital subsidiary, which manages the company’s hundreds of billions of dollars in cash reserves.

    And as we know, Apple is spending billions of dollars developing an autonomous electric vehicle, which will be marketed in the near future.

    Anyone who just sees the iPhone when they think of Apple, is missing out on a much larger company than they know.

  2. Richard Johnston says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention Swift.

  3. LDC says:

    Home automation – home kit.

  4. C. Howitt Fielz says:

    Compare Apple’s share price or P/E to any other tech company around and all of Wall Street basically agrees that Apple is not growing. Only the number of iPhones sold every quarter is the only thing that matters to big investors and Apple keeps coming up short of expectations as far as Wall Street is concerned. So you can claim anything you want about Apple’s great business expansion but none of it is recognized as part of Apple’s overall value. There has to be some reason why Apple is considered the turd of tech companies. That whole long list amounts to almost nothing except for the first item.

    Almost everyone agrees Tim Cook should be removed as Apple’s CEO. You’ll never hear that sort of talk about Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos. Investors love those CEOs while Tim Cook is hated for sucking all the value out of Apple. Apple continues to be the only major tech company said to be doomed and having target prices constantly reduced. Not so with Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet or Tesla. All those companies are always said to have great futures. Apple shareholders are the only ones who have to keep sweating every quarter that Apple’s share price doesn’t collapse.

  5. Hans Erian says:

    Actually, Elon Musk faces a potential slew of lawsuits over the acquisition/merger with solarcity. The shine has been on-off of Zuckerberg since before the facebook IPO. Jeff Bezos is constantly being hammered over his razor thin margins. The moral of the story is that “Wall Street” is only interested in what you did for them right now.

    With regard to the iPhone sales metric, lets not forget that there was no iPhone to create a sales metric around less than a decade ago. The evolution of the device that is commonly referred to as a “smartphone” (which I view as a pocket computer with a phone app) has been staggering. The evolution of which will continue in, sometimes, unpredictable ways. The many streams of cash that are flowing into the revenue river that is iOS has already been mentioned.

    Rather than PE I prefer free cash flows, sales margins, ebitda and a few other revealing metrics. I agree with professor Sonnenfeld of Yale: “The goals of business are to raise profits, increase employment and add value”
    Perhaps some “activist” investors would be in the “Almost everyone agrees Tim Cook should be removed as Apple’s CEO”camp, few others would. There is no HP-Fiorina moment here.

    Mr. Cook’s work speaks for him better than I can.

    • Jonny Evans says:

      Thank you Hans. I agree with you about the iPhone/pocket computer, but I always now argue that it is also more than that — as it is a connected device it is also access to more powerful computers, cloud et al.. it’s like a key that has unlocked huge digital transformation.

  1. August 19, 2016

    […] It’s signals like these that convince me Tim Cook’s Apple is in the cat bird seat for future growth. […]

  2. October 12, 2016

    […] own the actual materials and processes that make its products. You cannot imitate that. Apple is expanding in every direction it can reach, which, in a connected age, is every […]

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