According to a story about Tim Cook that was published in Sunday's New York Times, the CEO has watched over the development of the Apple iWatch, but has delegated the tasks of product engineering to others he trusts, such as design wiz Jony Ive. In discussing Cook's involvement with Apple's first wearable device, anonymous sources say that the iWatch will be released in the fourth quarter of this year. That dovetails will reports that the timepiece will see the light of day at the same time that the Apple iPhone 6 does.
The article goes on to mention some of the investment community's worries about Apple slow down in growth. From 2004 through 2013, the company averaged close to a 40% increase in revenue annually. In 2013, that figure dropped sharply to 9%. Android phones have the largest global market share, the Apple iPad has seen its domination in the tablet market disappear and there has been nothing innovative from Cupertino since the iPad was launched in 2010. But that could end this year if the iWatch offers features and capabilities not seen on the smartwatches already released by Samsung, Pebble and others.
Still, Apple has become so big that according to Toni Sacconaghi, who covers Apple for Bernstein Research, even if the company sells 10 million units of the iWatch this year, it would add only another 50 cents a share in earnings. Sacconaghi adds, "Most people would say, if you sell 10 million units of something that would be incredible, but not so with Apple. There are very few things that could move the needle."
Laurence I. Balter, chief market strategist at Oracle Investment Research, praises Cook's ability to develop and manage the supply chain needed for Apple to have the inventory of components on hand to build its products. But what the Apple CEO is lacking, according to Balter, is the ability to design these products. "All we hear from Cook, is there are some great products coming down the pike," says the analyst.
Still, one fabled name inside the Palace says that Cook has not forgotten abut innovation. "Honestly, I don’t think anything’s changed," says Jony Ive. "People felt exactly the same way when we were working on the iPhone." And the executive has proven that he could be his own man. With the release of the 7.9 inch Apple iPad mini, insiders say that Cook felt strongly that consumers would be drawn to a smaller, less expensive version of Apple's slate. Steve Jobs had been against a smaller version of Apple's tablet, although there were signs that he had done a 180 degree change prior to his passing.
While the New York Times story is an interesting read on the person leading what is quite possibly the most famous company in the world, we come away with perhaps the most legitimate confirmation yet that the Apple iWatch does exist, and will be out before the end of the year.
source: NYTimes via Gizmodo