There is quite a lot going on at Apple Incorporated. And CEO Tim Cook recently held a meeting where he talked at length (via 9to5Mac) about his company’s plans for the near future while also candidly answering questions put to him, on a wide variety of topics.
The meeting also included the newly appointed Apple COO along with an entourage of high ranking executives. The talk mainly revolved around Apple’s newly announced employee benefits and its various pipeline projects including retail stores in India, Apple Campus 2 etc.
Without further ado, lets first get to issue which entices us Indians ! Yup, Apple stores in India — they are coming. Confirming that his company is in the process of opening up retail stores in India, Cook said that the country featured near the top of the company’s priority list and that Apple was already working to bring retail stores here soon. The company also believes that it will be able to make new inroads into developing countries soon, thanks in part to increasing LTE penetration.
I guess that is more than enough to confirm, that India — where Apple recently crossed the $1 Billion sales mark — is undoubtedly a top market for the coming years.
The townhall address which featured this confirmation, began by Cook putting his company’s strongest foot forward — namely the iPhone — and said that the company sold a staggering 74.8 million iPhones in the holiday quarter. He then drove the point home — I can almost imagine him raising his voice a tad as he says this — by stating that the number was enough to cover the entire populations of New York, London, Beijing, and Shanghai.
He then moved on to the Apple Watch, the company’s first attempt in the domain and said that the watch was doing very well and indeed, had outperformed the original iPhone in its first holiday quarter in 2007. Independent studies have confirmed it as well and as per IDC, the watch acquired the second position globally by sales, in its second quarter after launch.
Tim was also adamant about his belief in the iPads, a belief that has persisted despite a slowdown in revenue growth and sales. Despite being absolutely great — at least in my opinion — the sale of the devices have been on the decline, in sharp contrast to other Apple products. The company shipped a total of 74.2 million iPads in 2013, 63.2 million in 2014 and just 49.4 million Pads in 2015.
However, the Apple CEO is confident that 2016 will be the iPad’s year. The company, in keeping with tradition, will be launching the next iteration of the device, next month.
Apple TV was another topic Cook touched briefly. Referring to the last quarter, which saw Apple do very well indeed in almost every department, he said that the fourth generation TV had sold more set top boxes than ever before. He also reiterated his commitment to porting as the future of technology stating that Apple was already testing the waters with its Apple Music On Android and others.
On the topic of the Cupertino Apple Campus, he said that the campus will become operational from early next year and will go a long way towards making sure that Apple can hold its events on its own premises, instead of having to run to San Jose or San Francisco, every time there is a major event.
The talk next moved on to the topic of retaining working talent across its various branches. Among a string of new measures implemented by the company is the new “4 week paid leave” policy to take care of ill family members. Apple has also increased the parental leave up to “four weeks before your due date and up to twelve to fourteen weeks after your baby is born. While other new parents will receive full pay for up to six weeks.”
Although not mentioned in the talks, the new measures also include a student loan refinancing scheme for employees and aid if an employee wants to join courses related to any job at Apple — including English language courses at any institution, worldwide.
On the recent controversies plaguing the company, new COO said that work was on the field and that all of its smelted metals for products used across 2015 and beyond are either completely conflict-free or coming from smelting partners will soon be accorded the status of conflict-free.
It might be interesting to note that Apple wouldn’t compromise either on price or features in developing markets and instead will hold to its belief that people will pay more for better devices.