Apple CEO, Tim Cook, spoke at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco this morning. While there were no earth shattering announcements, he did discuss sales, economics, and marketing. Below is a summary of some of the main points. You can find the full audio here.
Cook refuted the complaints that Apple has had over their “Depress-era mentality” by discussing the increased investments in retail stores and distribution globally, product innovation, and acquisitions to help with the development of new and innovation of products. He also reminded the panel of the announcement last year to return $45 billion to shareholders through dividends and stock buybacks.
The tablet market is huge, 120 million tablets were sold last year with this number expected to triple in the next four years. With the way the numbers are now, tablets will outnumber PC’s being sold with Apple as a forerunner in the tablet market. Apple has great sales momentum right now especially with iPad sales. Cook feels that it’s the complete package integration of software, hardware, and services create a great iPad experience one that cannot be replicated by other companies. The emphasis on the customer experience, according to Cook, is what is pushing the tablet market.
This customer centric belief is never more evident than at the retail stores. Cook believes that much of the iPads success can be attributed to the retail stores and people ability to explore Apple products. Because of this retail stores had 370 million visitors last year. Cook announced that because of this huge increase they are expanding their retail stores. 20 stores will be expanded and 30 more will be added outside the US.
Overall, Cook is very proud of his first year as CEO,” I’m incredibly proud of the products that we have. We have the best smartphone on the market; we have the best tablet on the market; we have the best PC on the market; we have the best digital music player on the market.”