Apple is "closer than it’s ever been" to entering into a new product category, company CEO Tim Cook tells The Wall Street Journal. Apple has been regularly promising to enter into a new product category for some time now, with Cook perennially reiterating that it would happen this year. Now, in a conversation with the Journal, he continues to lay out familiar reasons for the time-consuming development process — "you want to take the time to get it right" — and says that what's coming is going to be "really great."
"We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products."
"To do things really well, it takes time," Cook tells the Journal. "You can see a lot of products that have been brought to market where the thinking isn’t really deep and, as a consequence, these things don’t do very well." While Cook gives no hints of what that product might be, the latest reports suggest that Apple is preparing to release a health-focused smartwatch, which may be able to perform such functions as measuring a wearers' heart rate and blood pressure.
Of course, Cook's latest comments give no more specific of a timeline than usual. And more than ever, his comments appear as little more than a refrain targeted directly at investors hungry to see new revenue streams. Cook usually finds a way to mention the potential for new products while discussing Apple's quarterly earnings with investors, but recently, he's even been laying out just as much in press releases that accompany the earnings, with quotes like this from yesterday: "We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market."
The Journal also questioned Cook on mobile payments — another area that Apple could potentially be considering as a new product category. In the past, Cook has said that mobile payments intrigued Apple and that there was further potential there for the Touch ID fingerprint scanner that's built into the iPhone 5S. He elaborates on that here, saying that mobile payments are "an area where nobody has figured it out yet. I realize that there are some companies playing in it, but you still have a wallet in your back pocket and I do too which probably means it hasn’t been figured out just yet."
Reports have also said that Apple is at work on an enhanced set-top box, something more capable than its current Apple TV. If the new device were able to integrate with live TV, it's possible that Cook could see this as a new product category for Apple too. However, a set-top box — like any rumored Apple TV set — still appears to be a long way out due to perennially difficult dealings with cable providers. There's no word on at what point this year the new product might turn up, but we do know that Apple will begin showing the future of its desktop and mobile operating systems in June.