Apple’s new product categories

The most compelling part of Apple’s Q2 financial results call was Tim Cook announcing that we can expect the company to explore “new product categories.” First of all, he used the plural “categories,” and noted that one of those projects could debut this year.

Cook said Apple is “…hard at work on amazing new hardware, software and services we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014.” I am so looking forward to what’s coming.

Steve Jobs reportedly worked on upcoming iPhone models (Updated)

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Speaking with San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, Apple’s government liaison Michael Foulkes suggested that Steve Jobs influenced the design of the next two iPhone models, according to The San Francisco Examiner. Specifically, Foulkes said those designs “precede Tim Cook.”

Apple’s design process typically takes several years on major products like the iPhone, and I suppose it could be true that Jobs had influence over the iPhone 5’s successors. However, a lot of subsequent development has happened since Jobs passed, and I can only assume that the final product will differ from the concepts and ideas that Jobs saw. It’s really not fair to call the next iteration of the iPhone a Steve Jobs design, as attractive as that might be.

When the iPhone 5, the current generation iPods and the EarPods were released, I wondered if they were the last products whose design and function Steve had influenced in a significant way. I can’t say for sure, of course, but I still suspect they are.

Update:I could be wrong.

Does Apple have a new logo?

A supremely silly post from Jesus Diaz, speculating on the possibility of a new, colorful Apple logo:

“I love the rainbow.

I LOVE DOUBLE RAINBOWS.

I love unicorns too, their ribeyes and tenderloins specially, rare.

I used to love the old Apple logo and this is like, you know, a modern version.”

I realize you’re trying to be light-hearted and funny, but it didn’t work. Now for my favorite line:

“Tim Cook is gay but gray, he needs all the color he can get.”

Stay classy, Mr. Diaz.

How Jobs got people to pay for content

Here’s a great article from Charles Arthur at Paid Content. He explains how Steve Jobs convinced a flailing music industry that the very people who were downloading music for free from Napster would pay for the same priveldige:

“In 2003 Jobs persuaded the music companies – which wouldn’t license their songs to bigger names like Microsoft – to go with him because, he said, Apple was tiny (which it was, at the time). The risk if people did start sharing songs from the store was minimal…Jobs pried open many content companies’ thinking, because his focus was always on getting something great to the customer with as few obstacles as possible.”

That’s the clincher. I didn’t grab music from Napster for the thrill of getting something for free. I did it because it was so darned easy. When Apple asked me to pay $0.99 for a superior download experience [1. Ever download a file from Napster that wasn’t what you wanted?], I gladly did so. The lesson: I will pay for high-quality, convenient content.

Here’s hoping Cook can work Apple’s magic on the film and TV industry.

“Excellence has become a habit”

Tim Cook, speaking at Apple’s financial conference call earlier today:

“Apple is doing its best work ever. We are all very happy with product pipeline and the team here has an unparalleled breadth and depth that Steve has driven in the company, and excellence has become a habit. We feel very very confident about the future of the company. I would also note that we’ve done outstanding job in our Mac: 19 straight quarters of outgrowing market, but still have a very low share. It would seem like still enormous opportunity there.”

This is Tim’s 3rd go-round at running Apple, and he clearly knows what he’s doing. Meanwhile, the Verizon iPhone is about to sell millions of units.

Am I concerned about Apple’s future? Not at all.

[Via Forkbombr]