During the interview, he was asked again about Apple entering new product categories this year.
On Apple’s last earnings call, Cook was asked if Apple was doing new product categories this year, and he said, “Absolutely.”
Wakabayashi tried to get more clarity on what that really means, Cook’s answer ended up clouding the issue further.
At first he said, “There will be new categories. We’re not ready to talk about it, but we’re working on some really great stuff.”
When he was pressed on whether that means new iterations of the iPad, or entirely new stuff that doesn’t exist at all, Cook declined to comment. He just said that any “reasonable” person would consider what Apple is working on to be a new category.
Cook’s various statements about new product categories have gotten people amped up about the possibility of either an iWatch, or a television. If Apple released those, there would be no need for clarification about a “reasonable” person interpreting what they mean for Apple.
By saying a “reasonable” person will see the new products as new product categories, it adds just enough mud to the water to suggest that maybe Apple is only going to release an iPhablet this year, which would be a new category, but not exactly what people are anticipating.
For Apple, managing expectations right now is pretty important. If doesn’t deliver something big in a new category, then the stock is likely to be hammered, and investors will get frustrated with Cook and his leadership.
We’re still expecting something totally different from Apple, but this “reasonable” person comment is just off enough to make us think there’s a chance Apple doesn’t deliver this year.