Apple CEO Cook says company's future products will "blow you away"

Apple CEO Cook says company's future products will "blow you away"
Apple held its annual stockholder's meeting today and Bloomberg reports that CEO Tim Cook spoke about what the future holds for the company. With iPhone sales sluggish (revenue from the device dropped 15% year-over-year during the holiday quarter), Apple is concentrating on its second largest business, services. The most profitable segment of Apple's operations, the group includes Apple Pay, the App Store, iTunes, AppleCare, Apple Music and more. Cook says that Apple is on pace to hit its target of $50 billion in services revenue next year from $25 billion in 2016.

This doesn't mean that Apple isn't working hard on new devices to sell. Cook told those at the meeting that Apple is "planting seeds" and is "rolling the dice" on new products for the future that will "blow you away." The company launched the original Apple iPhone in June 2007 and the iPad tablet in April 2010. Since then, it has upgraded its devices and introduced accessories for them such as the wireless AirPods earphones. The company also released its HomePod smart speaker in February 2018, although its expensive price and Siri's limitations have prevented Apple from challenging category leaders Amazon and Google.

With Tim Cook gushing in the past about Augmented Reality, the next big thing out of Apple could be AR glasses. Back in June 2017, Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster said that these so-called Apple Glasses will become bigger than the iPhone. You might want to pay attention to what Munster says since back in the summer of 2017, he forecast the current struggles that the iPhone is experiencing. The analyst says that once Apple Glasses are released, the iPhone will no longer make up the majority of the company's revenue. Last May, Munster revised his original prediction of a 2020 launch of the AR glasses. He now expects them to be released in 2021.

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Cook says that fantastic products are on the way

Cook also told Apple stockholders to expect a "long, great roadmap of fantastic" products including the AirPods sequel and Apple Watch Series 5. Apple added a new ECG feature on the latest Apple Watch to help users check for abnormal heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation (AFib). Cook hinted that more health features will be coming to the timepiece. The company has been looking for a way for wearers to obtain a blood glucose reading. Diabetics normally have to stick themselves with a lancing device several times a day to draw the blood they need to get a reading, which tells diabetics how much insulin they need to take.

Apple's CEO also noted that it acquired 18 companies last year. Usually, Apple buys smaller outfits under the radar. The company's largest acquisition was the $3 billion purchase of Beats Audio in 2014, although there are always rumors of a mega-acquisition involving Disney or Netflix. The executive also criticized companies that collect data from their users like Facebook and Google, and noted that Apple is pushing the U.S. government to create regulations against such practices.

At the meeting, Apple's entire board of directors was re-elected. The board members include Cook, former VP Al Gore and Disney CEO Bob Iger. The company recommended that stockholders vote against a proposal that would reveal the political leanings of board members, and they did. Only 1.7% of the votes received were in favor of the proposal.

The stockholders meeting took place inside the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, located in Cupertino. During the event, Apple's shares closed at $174.97, up 1.05% on the day. Apple is now valued at $825 billion, well short of the more than one trillion dollars that the company was worth over the summer. With a market cap of $863 billion, Microsoft is now the most valuable publicly traded U.S. firm. Despite losing the throne to Microsoft, Tim Cook says that he has "never been more optimistic" about Apple's current business and its future prospects.

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