back to article Tim Cook: Apple's 'closer than it's ever been' to releasing new product range

Tim Cook has claimed that Apple is "closer than it's ever been" to the release of a new product range. Ignoring the fact that the nearest Apple was to releasing some new iStuff was, well, the last time it released some, Cook claimed exciting new things were in the offing. Dodging questions about exactly what sort of products …

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  1. Thomas 4

    Reading into that

    It really seems like he was taking a dig at the Galaxy Gear.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reading into that

      but equally could have been about the Apple TV

      1. Seanie Ryan

        Re: Reading into that

        what a crap article... putting a bad spin on someone saying that only release product when they are happy with what they release. Apple should be applauded for it.

        Look at all the useless stuff released in the last few years... things rushed to market. The iPad was nearly a decade in development. Result : a success.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Reading into that

          Apple usually do it right and usually do it first as well. If they wait it's to make it better - look at tablets pre-iPad = junk and very, very few people used them - now look and iPads are replacing laptops and they are hugely popular.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Reading into that

            > The iPad was nearly a decade in development

            Working on it since before 9/11, have they?

            > Apple usually do it right

            Serial blunders and market failures omitted

            > and usually do it first as well

            Generally they are at best second

            Also, Microsoft invented Internet, Apple invented Ethernet etc..

            1. jcnewman83

              Re: Reading into that

              Microsoft did not invent the internet....... In fact their amazing leader predicted its demise and like with most of their products of the last decade ended up playing catchup with the market because they realised to late that they were wrong.

              1. Oninoshiko

                Re: Reading into that

                Microsoft did not invent the internet....... In fact their amazing leader predicted its demise and like with most of their products of the last decade ended up playing catchup with the market because they realised to late that they were wrong.

                Allow me to introduce you to a concept called "satire."

                sat·ire: n. the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

                It's pretty clear DAM was making fun of the previous post.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing that innovative coming, then

    "He said: 'You want to take the time to get it right. Our objective has never been to be first. It’s to be the best.'"

    In other words, it's going to some "thing" that's already on the market, but sprinkled with some fairy dust to make it better. Whoopy do.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Nothing that innovative coming, then

      Apple has never been first to market with anything; it looks for an establishing market and attempts to launch a sufficiently significant product to capitalise on the initial growth. See: MP3 players, computers, smart phones, tablets.

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: Nothing that innovative coming, then

        @TomH "Apple has never been first to market with anything"

        Apart from that inconsequential development in IT known as the Personal Computer. So, you know, there was that.

        1. RealFred
          FAIL

          Re: Nothing that innovative coming, then

          No, they didn't invent the first PC. They popularised it, which is what they do with everything. They take someones elses idea, make a product out of it and sue the living bejesus out of anyone else who tries to make a similar product, including the person whose idea it was in the first place

          1. FrankAlphaXII

            Re: Nothing that innovative coming, then

            They neither invented nor popularized the first PCs. That would be Olivetti, HP, Xerox PARC, and IBM. Quit drinking Apple's kool-aid. They make good equipment, but they really didn't do much aside from making devices to steal telephone calls until long after there were already what we'd call PCs now that were on the market.

          2. Major Ebaneezer Wanktrollop

            Re: Nothing that innovative coming, then

            May I be so bold as to suggest that it was Alan Sugar (in the UK at least) and his Amstrad PC1512 range that popularised the PC.

            I could and did afford that. At that time there may have been a handful of Apple's in the UK so their contribution to the popularisation of PC's in the UK is negligible if not totally insignificant.

      2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

        Re: Nothing that innovative coming, then

        Come on, give credit where credit is due.

        • Which computer company was successful with a WIMP system before the Macintosh?

        • What product(s) did the Newton copy?

        • Which companies were already very successful with laser printers when they first came out?

        • Which products did the Apple II rip off?

        1. SuccessCase

          Re: Nothing that innovative coming, then

          @deadlockvictim

          Exactly. The commentaries on this thread are so driven by fanboyism they either have no idea of computer history or are simply prepared to lie. It is the achievement Steve Jobs and Steve Wosniac were famous for and that set Steve Jobs on the sometimes rocky road to massive success. They launched the first home computer, plain and simple. Before that it was all electronics kits or machines costing $19,000. No one can present any counter examples or justify their counter claims because there are non and there are no counter claims that stand up to even cursory examination.

          I know, I can still remember the moment the Apple II arrived like it was yesterday, staring longingly at through the window of my local electronics store. There is even a commenter above quoting the PCW 8256, which was launched in 1985 a full 8 years after the Apple II (the Apple I was made of wood to order and was never manufactured in bulk).

          There were in fact two others launches in 77 after the Apple II but neither were as good. The other two other launches being the TRS-80 and the Commodore PET. The TRS-80 was the better of the two. The Commodore PET was hampered by an unimpressive text display resolution so low as to seriously compromise what it could be used for. Don't get me wrong, in those days any such machine with a CRT display output and that could be used for programming was legendary. My first computer was the ZX81, followed by the Oric1 and the Commodore 64.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing that innovative coming, then

      Actually, it's going to be a thing that started out on the macrumors web site, then made wrong by Samsung. Yes, I'm thinking of the Galaxy Gear.

    3. Benchops

      > fairy dust to make it better

      It won't just be better, it'll be ... magical

    4. nexsphil

      Re: Nothing that innovative coming, then

      > In other words, it's going to some "thing" that's already on the market, but sprinkled with some fairy dust to make it better. Whoopy do

      Unless it's an ultra-realistic fanny. That might do quite well.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        @nexsphil Re: Nothing that innovative coming, then

        Is that an American 'fanny' or a British fanny that you're thinking about?

        1. NumptyScrub

          Re: @nexsphil Nothing that innovative coming, then

          quote: "Is that an American 'fanny' or a British fanny that you're thinking about?"

          Both, that way they can capitalise on 2 demographics, and also be seen to be anti-discriminatory ;)

          quote: "Apple has never been first to market with anything; it looks for an establishing market and attempts to launch a sufficiently significant product to capitalise on the initial growth."

          Which I usually mention when people bring up the iPod / iPhone / iPad as "firsts", and then they look at me funny. Apple don't do untested markets, they wait for profitability to be established first and then barrel in after someone else has made all the initial mistakes (it gives them time to engineer out those obvious mistakes).

          Brilliant strategy, but then (IMO) they spoil it by writing all the future marketing to imply that they did it first. The products are solid enough on their own merits to not warrant attempting re-writing of history, but Apple apparently try anyway :/

          1. Zacherynuk

            Re: @nexsphil Nothing that innovative coming, then

            "Apple don't do untested markets, they wait for profitability to be established first and then barrel in after someone else has made all the initial mistakes (it gives them time to engineer out those obvious mistakes)."

            Not being snotty, but could you give me some of these engineering mistakes which Apple improved upon ?

            Their design is nice though, and that's point.

            They barrelled in (PAST TENSE) with itunes and their appstore - that's what makes them the money - innovation in making money and marketing - not in innovation in products.

            I got an iBead (Rio SU30 in Japan) in 2003 and I still use it for the Gym / Cycling / Jogging - it is physically and technically perfect, plug it into your computer to charge, drop the music you want to listen to on it if not already there and sorted. No drivers no fuss. Once battery is dead for MP3 playback FM radio lasts another couple of hours. What Apple did here was jump in and say we need to control the physical and software interface to devices and get 30% of all music that can be played on these devices. To help this we will fund investigation into getting trot of napster and equivalents. Oh, while we are doing it, someone draw a picture of something and give it the the lab in China to make, cheers.

            1. jonathanb Silver badge

              Re: @nexsphil Nothing that innovative coming, then

              "Not being snotty, but could you give me some of these engineering mistakes which Apple improved upon ?"

              Find an old Windows Mobile phone of the sort that were being sold before the iPhone came out, such as the XDA/MDA range from HTC. Compare that with say the iPhone 2 or iPhone 3, or some of the Androids such as the original Galaxy S.

              You will see very quickly what the improvements were.

              1. Zacherynuk

                Re: @nexsphil Nothing that innovative coming, then

                Go on then... what were the 'Engineering improvements' Apple made ?

            2. DougS Silver badge

              @Zacherynuk

              Apple makes a single digit fraction of its profit from iTunes/App Store. Those are enablers, hardware is where they make the real money.

              Why do you rag on Apple taking a 30% cut when Google takes exactly the same cut? If what Apple is doing taking 30% is so awful, shouldn't the great Google be showing the world how awful that is by taking less? Or hell, taking nothing, since they make their money by selling you, not by selling you stuff?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Zacherynuk

                """""

                Apple's reclassification of its revenues to isolate iTunes' software, media and services separately from its hardware products has revealed the hidden billions of dollars in revenues the company has been earning on top of its hardware sales of computers and gadgets, revenues that now dwarf the company's iPod sales.

                """"

                http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/01/28/apple-now-collecting-twice-as-much-from-itunes-software-services-as-from-ipod-sales

                http://9to5mac.com/2013/06/21/apple-owns-75-percent-of-the-digital-music-market-but-apps-are-where-the-growth-is/#more-276455

                I for one see few single digits here....

                I don't recall Google having an App store when itunes was launched - I could be wrong... also... I don't recall 'ragging on' - I was pointing out that they didn't invent or engineer anything splendid APART from the their Stores, Cables and Interfaces to force people into their ecosystem and their marketing helped a great deal.

          2. plrndl
            Holmes

            Re: @NumptyScrub

            "they spoil it by writing all the future marketing to imply that they did it first."

            It's always been the case that history is written by the victor.

          3. Pookietoo
            Facepalm

            Re: it gives them time to engineer out those obvious mistakes

            Unless you're holding it wrong.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @frank ly Re: @nexsphil Nothing that innovative coming, then

          did you notice that .co.uk in the address bar? that might give you a clue

  3. Psyx

    "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

    Except Paypal, who he clearly hasn't heard of.

    1. Dan Crichton

      Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

      Has Paypal released a physical device that can be used instead of cash/card? They've got apps on phones, but not physical devices.

      After a quick skim of the article, could this be an Apple bracelet/watch/phone that lets you pay for stuff direct from your iTunes account with a wave of your wrist? Yes, other phone manufacturers have NFC for payments, but it's not Apple iTunes in the back end sapping your bank account ...

      Just imagine all those Apple fanbois frantically shaking their wrists to pay for porn by the minute/second/etc ... or maybe not imagine it ... where's the memory wipe button?

      1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

        Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

        "Has Paypal released a physical device that can be used instead of cash/card? They've got apps on phones, but not physical devices."

        You mean like the Samsung S5 which has it's fingerprint scanner connected to your paypal account?

        1. g e

          Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

          Already. Now.

          As in Apple did not invent it.

          Just leaving this here for posterity when someone gets vilified at some point in the future by AC's (Apple Cultists) for claiming that Apple did not actually invent it...

          Maybe for the odd patent trial judge, too.

      2. Psyx

        Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

        "Has Paypal released a physical device"

        No, but this company called Visa have. Also American Express. They have great battery life, don't weigh much and fit nicely into your pockets. Security consists of using either a 4-figure PIN or by making a complex two dimensional gesture using a haptic input device called a 'pen'.

        For those who struggle with the technology involved, there are also a number of devices which can also double as mobile phones, which can be linked to Paypal. Of course, that gives the customer both a choice of hardware and payment company, which can obviously be completely be re-invented by tying both hardware and payment platform to Apple, robbing customers of choice and interoperability. But hey 'It just works', or whatever.

        1. PJI

          Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

          >>which can obviously be completely be re-invented by tying both hardware and payment platform to Apple, robbing customers of choice and interoperability.

          Hmm. "robbing". Your grasp of English is even worse than your grasp of reality: "Robbing" means stealing with the use of force or realistic threat of force. Apple gear is damned clever. But I had not realised it could apply physical force to make you use iTunes.

          Somehow, such linguistic dexterity makes me doubt, even further, the validity of any opinion you may have.

          1. Psyx

            Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

            "Hmm. "robbing". Your grasp of English is even worse than your grasp of reality: "Robbing" means stealing with the use of force or realistic threat of force."

            Wow, are you actually having a go at me for using language loosely and in an evocative rather than strictly factual manner, while obviously making a joke?

            Really?

            "Apple gear is damned clever."

            'Clever' would infer intelligence or original thought. In the literal sense it is not 'clever', because it has neither, being a machine. Because you misused a word I too think that you are mentally ill equipped to participate in debate.

            See: Annoying and enormously, stupidly petty, isn't it?

            And make sure you aren't in a greenhouse prior to throwing stones.

      3. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

        No, but Vodafone's M-Pesa system in Africa is a good example of what is available now.

      4. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

        "Has Paypal released a physical device that can be used instead of cash/card? They've got apps on phones, but not physical devices."

        Yes:

        https://www.paypal.com/uk/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=xpt/Marketing/account/DCIntro-outside

        Whats more it works in all shops that accept cards with no additional hardware needed, doesnt need a battery, its small, light and has curved edges - its practically an apple device already!

        1. Mage Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

          That's sort of bizarre, a Mastercard Debit card fed from Visa Credit card via PayPal.. Maybe useful for discovering in a shop that only takes Debit cards that my Bank Account is empty ... Except most shops that take Debit cards have an arrangement the Bank doesn't mention to you till you discover on the statement you can spend past the overdraft limit without knowing.

          So many creative ways to get further in Debt!

    2. Bullseyed

      Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

      Or Google Wallet.

      The tech is easily figured out. The security is the issue. Apple doesn't have any chops with security.

      1. plrndl

        Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

        @ Bullseyed

        The technoogy is trivial, security is a moving target, but is do-able. The real barrier to mass adoption is the user interface, and that's Apple's strongest area.

    3. plrndl

      Re: "And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet."

      The point he was making was that he wouldn't need to carry a wallet if the likes of Paypal had got it right.

      If Apple can get micropayments right, they will own the planet.

  4. Sander van der Wal
    Facepalm

    "So what's happened to the "reality distortion field" in these days of Peak Apple? Suddenly reality looks about as boring as we all knew it to be. So, if you don't mind waiting, we're off for a snooze until the fruity firm decide to do something interesting again. "

    El Reg and the other media were the ones obsessing about the "reality distortion field". Good to see you finally caught up.

  5. Hig Hurtenflurst

    Superiority

    '...exactly what sort of products was set to roll out...'

    Ignoring the (presumably) deliberate misinterpretation of the quotation which does imply the release of impending new iGoodies rather than any old ones, the sense of moral^h^h^h^h^h grammatical superiority didn't last long.

    E&OE

  6. cashxx

    The Facts..........

    • iPhone was released 5 years, 7 months, and 19 days after iPod.

    • iPad was released 2 years, 9 months, and 5 days after iPhone.

    • Tim Cook has been Apple CEO for 2 years, 8 months.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: The Facts..........

      The iPod wasn't new or innovative, just better marketed and more expensive. No Apple Tech. Only rip of Dieter Rams Braun styling.

      The iPhone had a more slick GUI (but not actually new HW, nor as fully featured) and was better marketed and succeeded well due to bundled data package, no innovation or Apple HW Technology, SW a repackaged OS X (which wasn't actually Apple innovation). More expensive than competitors.

      The iPad was a larger iPhone. Zero innovaton. More expensive than comparable competition.

      Apple TV isn't a TV. It's a media Streamer which really needs and iPad or iPhone to get best value out of it thus in reality £400 more than a Roku, which doesn't need a tablet or phone for full value. There is zero innovation in an Apple TV.

      Apple based on profits vs sales has about x3 margin, thus are obviously overpriced.

      They are a Product appearance Design & marketing House with a nice "in house" GUI on the iOS and OSX. They are not a Technology company or innovator. They buy in the HW expertise and little SW innovation since they bought in OS X from Steve Job's Next to replace insecure, inflexible creaking OS9. OSX is not very innovative being largely based on BSD.

      Apple do what they do very well. But unlike Samsung have developed very little. The original Mac was a "fixup" of the under spec'd Lisa (which was a cheap clone of the Xerox Star, which I played with). The current Mac is largely an Intel design. The Apple II was "ready to go", only needing a monitor on top but only 40 columns and slow non-standard 100k floppy. I believed the hype and bought one. Terrible waste of money.

      Apple have always relied on customer perception. Not on technological innovation. Maybe the Newton and Pippin were innovative.

      Or the round puck mouse with one button (but stupid).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Facts..........

        To choose but one of the plethora of bullshit comments ... I choose this piece of shite.

        "Apple based on profits vs sales has about x3 margin, thus are obviously overpriced."

        I let it stand alone, in all its idiotic and illogical glory.

        You might as well have written "I hate Apple" and have been done with it.

        1. plrndl

          Re: The Facts..........

          Presumably the downvoters think that Apple gear is overpriced.

          That is nonsense. An item is overpriced when the price stops people from buying it. When people buy in vast quantities, and make the company highly profitable, it is NOT overpriced. It is good business.

          1. John Savard Silver badge

            Re: The Facts..........

            The word overpriced has more than one meaning.

            If a product continues to sell well, and make money for its producers, yes, they haven't set a price that is too high for the purpose of maximizing profit.

            If, however, other companies are making products that serve the same purpose just about as well, or maybe even better, for a vastly lower price, then clearly the product in question has a price too high in relation to the value it provides - at least from the perspective of the people who have chosen the alternatives.

            Now, the question is: are the alternatives really better, or is it just sour grapes from people who would really love to be able to afford Apple? Unfortunately, that's the question that people can argue about forever in an unproductive fashion. I think there's some truth on both sides of it - Apple has provided many products which were superior in quality, but things like the restrictiveness of the App Store, or the smaller Mac software ecosystem really do impair value for many users of products in the respective genre.

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: The Facts..........

              If, however, other companies are making products that serve the same purpose just about as well, or maybe even better, for a vastly lower price, then clearly the product in question has a price too high in relation to the value it provides - at least from the perspective of the people who have chosen the alternatives.

              Wait - are you saying there's a difference between utility and price? I always figured those two terms were precisely synonymous, and economists just used both to confuse other people.

              (And you didn't even mention use value or exchange value. I won't either.)

              The term "overpriced" is nearly always "from the perspective" of someone - it's a subjective evaluation. In theory there's an ideal price that maximizes net profit for product X in market Y, which would make any price over that ideal objectively "overpriced". But as behavioral economists keep demonstrating, markets aren't stable, actors aren't rational, and price itself is an intangible that affects demand, so that ideal price is generally impossible to determine and keeps changing.

              This is particularly the case for products which have complex affordances ("do a lot of things"), are luxury items, and have other strong intangible price factors such as brand association; such products are not commodities (that is, most buyers do not regard similar products from other suppliers as interchangeable). And all of those apply to Apple products.

              So Apple products are, and are not, overpriced. It's a function of who the potential buyer is.

      2. Anthony Hulse

        Re: The Facts..........

        One thing about the iPod was very new. You put a CD into iTunes, it ripped into your library, and the moment your iPod was plugged in the music transferred to it. Compared to the abysmal way the Creative players et al handled getting music onto their devices at the time and that alone was worth paying the extra for.

        As for the iPhone, you can't seriously argue that it wasn't a game changer. Google certainly thought so. They threw out their Blackberry-like Android phone GUI and completely reworked it after the iPhone was demoed. Android wouldn't be a patch on what it is now had the iPhone not been invented.

        Apple aren't the only player in town by a long way, but credit where credit's due. They've moved the field forward where others simply haven't had the bottle.

        1. thesykes

          Re: The Facts..........

          "Compared to the abysmal way the Creative players et al handled getting music onto their devices at the time"

          I have, sitting in the cupboard behind me, an old Creative mp3 player. Still works, if I could be bothered to charge it up. Now, to get the mp3 files on it was incredibly tricky.

          What I had to do was connect it to the PC, using some obscure thing known as a USB cable. I believe they are really expensive and difficult to obtain. Then, I had insert the CD into this thing called a CD Drive. Don't think they ever caught on. The really difficult bit was then clicking on one button in the Creative suite that ripped the CD to mp3 and instantly transferred them to the mp3 player.

          Yep, bloody hard work it was.

          Of course, I could also rip CDs using any number of applications, and simply drag n drop them onto the player. That concept is obviously far too complicated for a simple minded Apple owner to comprehend.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: The Facts..........

            >The iPod wasn't new or innovative, just better marketed and more expensive. No Apple Tech. Only rip of Dieter Rams Braun styling.

            Few PCs had USB 2.0 at the time of the iPod's release... the first model iPod was FireWire and Mac only. I was studying Product Design at the time, and the iPod was the first mp3 player that appeared to offer a marked improvement over our MD players, mainly due to its sheer capacity. That same capacity necessitated a different UI to those used in MD players... indeed the Sharp MD722 boasted a scroll wheel a couple of years before the iPod, but it was only used for text entry and cueing within a track - not track selection itself.

            Solid state memory was so expensive that the first MP3 players started at 32 MB.

            > Only rip of Dieter Rams Braun styling.

            Dieter Braun was not a stylist, or even an Industrial Designer. He was a Product Designer or, as he prefers due to the common misconception that 'design' only covers appearance, 'Form Engineer'. His Principles of Design were there for all to read, but to actually implement them requires time and skill.

          2. Anthony Hulse

            Re: The Facts..........

            Yeah, I'm sure that's exactly how it worked.....after the release of the iPod. I remember it being a little more complicated prior to that though.

            You see, "simple minded Apple owners" often had Creative MP3 players back in the day. Some "simple minded Apple owners" also used to use Windows, or even still do.

            I know, amazing concept eh?

            1. thesykes

              Re: The Facts..........

              I'd say having to throw away your PC and buy a Mac, just to use an iPod was way more inconvenient to anybody than anything Creative designed.

              Hmm.. Apple made a massive design mistake and quickly back-tracked to allow Windows users to use an iPod?

              Apple got it wrong.

              I know, amazing concept eh?

              1. Mage Silver badge

                Re: The Facts..........

                I remember the horrors of installing the required SW to work iPods on Windows 98. With only 19kbps available on rubbish dialup to download the applications.

                People bought them at Christmas due to hype and had no way to load music on them! Most people even if they had a PC didn't have internet.

              2. snafu

                Re: The Facts..........

                Um, possibly they wanted to prop their iMac ecosystem first, fast?

            2. Law

              Re: The Facts..........

              I had an mp3 player that did one click rip and copy - it was definitely before the iPod, wasn't a creative device, and was one of the easiest things ever to use. It was also card based so you didn't even need a USB cable and install drivers... Just plug it into a reader.

              I then got a a creative nomad Zen (awesome little device)... First time I enjoyed carrying all my music around with me.

              My only bad experience with ripping and copying was with a net minidisk player by Sony... It was horrific software that was loaded with DRM and prevented you from listening to tracks you "checked into" a minidisk. Artificially limiting mp3s to mimic physical medium, to "protect" themselves from piracy. Even then though Sony released and then tried to ban a standalone application that ripped and copied whole CD directly to the netmd, including tags, side stepping the concept of a library on the PC.

              1. ThomH Silver badge

                Re: The Facts..........

                I think that's probably the key: _some_ of the other MP3 makers supplied terrible devices and none of them gained critical mass. Apple supplied a simple device and had enough baseline recognition that the perception stuck. So when presented with a choice the logic went: the Apple is definitely simple, the others are probably simple but maybe I'm thinking of something else and anyway who wants to take the risk? I'll just pay the extra £15 and skip the hassle.

                If you were a Mac user then that's doubly so because iTunes was essentially built in. If you were a Windows user you'd probably have to be reasonably literate to understand that buying into iTunes could be not described as reducing hassle without quite a stretch of the imagination.

                1. Mage Silver badge

                  Re: The Facts... Mac User?

                  Maybe < 5% of purchasers were Mac users then and iTunes was pretty useless without Internet. Even today Broadband isn't universal and some Western countries a 1/3rd have never used Internet. I have broadband. But almost all my music and video is dowloaded on plastic disc via a physical trip to shop or postal delivery. Then I "rip" the CD and put it in a safe place.

          3. Justin Clements

            Re: The Facts..........

            >>What I had to do was connect it to the PC, using some obscure thing known as a USB cable. I believe they are really expensive and difficult to obtain. Then, I had insert the CD into this thing called a CD Drive. Don't think they ever caught on. The really difficult bit was then clicking on one button in the Creative suite that ripped the CD to mp3 and instantly transferred them to the mp3 player.

            >>Yep, bloody hard work it was.

            >>Of course, I could also rip CDs using any number of applications, and simply drag n drop them onto the player. That concept is obviously far too complicated for a simple minded Apple owner to comprehend.

            Trouble is that you never really understood the power of iTunes and the iPod then.

            I could just as easily rip a cd in iTunes, plug in my iPod, and that's more or less it.

            The power of iTunes was to use smart playlists. You didn't need to copy anything; it did it all for you, if you had spent a little bit of time creating playlists.

      3. John Savard Silver badge

        Re: The Facts..........

        Were there mp3 players before the iPod? I know the Sony Walkman existed before the iPod, but that doesn't make it not innovative.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: The Facts..........

          At least 3 main companies, Creative being well known. Many smaller companies.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Facts..........

        "Apple have always relied on customer perception. Not on technological innovation"

        Quite correct.

        The one thing that Apple have long understood, and used to their great advantage, is that unlike El Reg readers the average consumer doesn't understand or even care what happens inside a device. They largely only care that -

        1. The device is a pleasing looking object to own

        2. The device is simple to operate and it does what they want it to do

        Microsoft (another non-innovating company, who buy in whatever they need) got a hell of a lot of mileage out of their focus on low price, but have always stumbled on either or both of the above.

    2. Bullseyed

      Re: The Facts..........

      You must be an Apple fan as you deliberately disjointed the last two lines of your post to make Apple look better.

      Do you think when Cook became CEO that they threw out their entire R&D department and started over?

      It has been 4 years and 22 days since the iPad was available for purchase.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: The Facts..........

      And the iPad is in technology terms essentially an iPod touch with a bigger screen. Yes, the bigger screen means it opens up a whole new market, but most of the development work had already been done for the iPhone.

  7. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    1 - flumox the opposition?

    2 - planned stepwise incremental from new 'public' beta (was it iOS or OS?)

    3 - encourage folks to set aside hard earned dosh, save up or delay purchases while this new iThingy is preparing to be brought to market?

    4 - buy time as it is going to take longer than the present marketing timeline permits?

    5 - prepare for the next stage in the marketing operation?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      6 - wait until they themselves are ready to release a new product. This would be the most likely explanation, given their past behaviour.

  8. Trollslayer Silver badge

    Gathering dust

    That's the image I have Apple now.

  9. ItsNotMe
    WTF?

    "We don’t do very many things so we spend a lot of time on every detail..."

    With the possible exception of their Operating Systems...which are continually released in seemingly Beta form, so the public ends up being the Guinea Pigs.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: "We don’t do very many things so we spend a lot of time on every detail..."

      How many years ago did they switch from an Apple OS (the last was 9) to simply bolting stuff on and polishing GUI of OS X?

      Though Actually perhaps MS should have been doing that since NT 3.5 instead of the evil of Win95, Win98 (bug fix), Win ME (joke OS) and degradation of NT via NT4.0 (Drivers into Kernel), W2K (inconsistent GUI and USB of unreleased SP7 of NT4.0), XP (finished version W2K). Vista (joke based on NT instead of Win95), Win 7 (bug fix / finished Vista), Win 8 (What do you get if you cross a Zune with an NT Desktop OS? ).*

      Been nice if MS had released Courier, married Zune and Win Phone CE and just been polishing XP :-) with spinning off Media Center as a FINISHED product based on NT embedded and a new GUI unrelated to Zune / Metro/Explorer etc.

      And if some consumer electronics company rather than Oracle had bought Sun (all SW then OS but financially supported, no Davik and Android or C# as Java and JVM would have been totally free).

      (* Yes, I also had Explorer Preview Shell on NT3.51 (no BSOD) and a USB stack on NT4.0 which worked with later released Win2K Scanner & printer Drivers)

      So yes, Apple do actually do their stuff well, but it's not innovation nor much R&D, (maybe r&D).

      1. ItsNotMe
        Happy

        @Mage...

        You forgot that most wonderful of all Microsoft OS...MS Bob!

        1. TheOtherHobbes

          Re: @Mage...

          Or Windows 8 Alpha, as it's sometimes known.

        2. Mage Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: @Mage...

          My eyes ....

          Till now I lived in blissful ignorance of MS Bob!

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Bob

          Arrrrggggh!

  10. RainForestGuppy

    "Our objective has never been to be first. It’s to be the best."

    It's a watch then, yyyyaaaaawwwwwwnnnnnnn!!

  11. Chris G Silver badge

    A boxed set

    Including; iRing, iGlass, iGlove and iGear so that you can purchase anything by pointing, looking or fondling the object of your desire, hell it may even have a nose plug so that you can sniff it too.

    just needs to bring together gesture control, ISCAN, NFC and rounded corners.

  12. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Coat

    I suppose...

    ... speculating about an iResurrection would be a tad tasteless.

    Thought so (see icon)..

  13. Anthony Hulse

    Technically correct

    Every day is technically "closer than ever" to a product release than the day before.

    Unless of course this time they're releasing iTime iTravel. That's just a little bit unlikely though.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Technically correct

      Are you suggesting that they have invented time machine?

      /grabs coat

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Technically correct

        "Are you suggesting that they have invented time machine?"

        Unlikely, but they may have a patent on it regardless.

        1. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: Technically correct

          The time machine, of course, is something they really could invent first, even if it's really invented by someone else.

    2. John Savard Silver badge

      Re: Technically correct

      But he said closer than ever to the release of "a new range of products", not closer than ever to the release of "this particular new range of products". So times when Apple was close to the release of previous new ranges of products have to be included in the comparison too, which is why he was technically wrong, wrong, wrong.

  14. Alan Denman

    re - Closer

    Heck Tim, I just woke up this morning and you are closer than you have ever been yet again!

    And tomorrow is even closer.

    I guess he is saying 'Please please wait until September otherwise we will never get you will be lost forever in the Android gobbling machine.'

    That is exactly how all those 'imminent iThingy' rumours work every easter.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm thinking the next big thing will be medical - an iWatch which can detect when you're having a heart attack or something and then inject you with some magic potion and call the emergency services for you.

    It's the next Killer App - hence why it needs to be perfect! :P

  16. John Savard Silver badge

    Obviously

    Obviously, he misspoke, since as the Reg pointed out, there was a past time one nanosecond before the last time Apple released a new product range.

    But what did he mean to say, and could it have been true? Well, it could certainly be true that Apple never dropped tantalizing hints about the future release of a new product line, without identifying anything about the nature of the products involved, closer to its actual release than he just did this time. I can believe that easily.

  17. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Coat

    You want to take the time to get it right

    I wish they did that with OS9

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You want to take the time to get it right

      I remember OS 9. It made me realise why BlackBerry went straight from OS 7 to OS 10, in case any of their customers had long memories, and were superstitious.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Our objective has never been to be first."

    "We can't think of anything for ourselves and copy everything we make"

    FTFY.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is the jPod ready soon?

    obviously next

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Codec Support

    Perhaps they have invented a new amazing software algorithm that lets their devices play the almost impossible to render... almost magical... FLAC format!

    Yay!

  21. mIRCat
    Big Brother

    Working in retail...

    "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.”

    Doing support for retail stores when they call to report that a customer can't use their Credit/ Debit/ EBT card, or God forbid, during a major outage can you guess what I tell them? Cash still works.

    So I'll keep my wallet on me for a while longer, seeing as what's in it is universally accepted, Mr Cook.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cook is a fucking moron

    "Our objective has never been to be first. It’s to be the best"

    Oh really?

    iPod (1st generation) released 2001. First to market, wasn't very good.

    iPhone (1st generation) released 2007. First to market, wasn't very good.

    iPad (1st generation) released 2010. First to market, wasn't very good.

    Apple was doing quite well before Cook took over.

    The he fucked it all up by sacking Forstall, and others. And promoted the ridiculous Federighi to prominence.

    1. NumptyScrub

      Re: Cook is a fucking moron

      iPod, neither the first mp3 player, nor the first hard disk mp3 player

      iPhone, neither the first smartphone, nor the first smartphone with almost all screen and minimal buttons

      iPad, not the first tablet PC, Android devices were available from 2009 onwards (I own an Archos 5 myself, released the year prior to the iPad), even if you choose to ignore all the various Windows tablet PC efforts that MS have been churning out since 2000.

      All 3 are definitely awesome commercial successes for Apple, however none of the 3 are firsts. I would argue that the former is in fact closely tied to the latter; Apple let others make all the mistakes first, so they can tweak their product to avoid most of the 1st-gen pitfalls that plague the first to market models.

      If you don't mind my asking, could you confirm why it was you thought any of those 3 Apple products were first to market? I see it repeated time and again, and my personal opinion is that Apple deliberately write their marketing material to infer their products were first, when they demonstrably were not. Public perception is hard to shake, even if it is demonstrably an untruth ^^;

  23. John 104

    What a perfect end to the work week - Arguing about Apple! (one of my fav pastimes)

    @Bullseyed

    It has been 4 years and 22 days since the iPad was available for purchase

    Whatever the interval is.... The point is that since the iPad, there has been zero new product release from Apple. No, wait, I take that back, the mini pad. But then, that was just a panicked interation to compete with the Kindle Fire and Nexus tablets. And iterations don't count.

    One thing no one has mentioned here is the stock split. A 7 way split to drum up some interest from lower dollar investors should certainly be a warning sign that this company is in trouble. Couple that with no real new product release in years and you surely have some very nervous people in Cupertino. Yes, they are sitting on mountains of cash, but one has to wonder what the bleed rate is these days.

    Apple capitolized on two existing markets in their recent past: Cell Phone, and portable music. Both of these industries were already well established markets that have seen fantastic growth over the last 10 years due to miniaturization. The PC industry has taken a hit from this, and I wager that Apple is in no way insulated from the decline.

    That pretty much sums up all 3 of their market profiles. Watches? Digital wallet? Spouting nonsense about the newest product being "just around the corner" while Japan, Korea, and China are wiping the floor with Apple? None of these things are going to make the company beeelions of dollars in the coming years. They will decline into also ran territory in the next 10 years. Unfortunately for them, there won't be a Steve Jobs to come back to the company and rescue them as he did the last time they almost went bankrupt. When that day comes, we will all suffer agony at the hands of Apple fanbois who remember how it used to be...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    The naked king

    People now compares Apple products (and pseudo announcements) with the current offers from Japan, China and South Korea not the way around...well informed people are a bitch thing no?

    1. John Savard Silver badge

      Re: The naked king

      Are you by any chance referring to The Emperor's New Clothes?

  25. aliquis

    I don't have a wallet and haven't had one for many years.

    I do have a Visa card though and it work just fine thank you.

    (Guess old farts say the same about cash though... But any system need to be standardized and Apple isn't the right company to make one as such. It will like be iCrap-payments for people with iOwned and as such they aren't the ones to solve it either. If they don't go that way then sure but we could have systems which cost close to nothing to use.)

  26. bex

    It's a watch

    The thing vry few people wear any more, the isheep will lap it up

  27. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Here we would be going again

    If Apple really were about to release something, wouldn't we be getting the usual "Apple engineer accidentally leaves prototype in bar, prototype mysteriously finds its way to Apple-friendly blogger/magazine, Apple claims to sue Apple-friendly blogger/magazine and retrieves prototype after just long enough for plenty of details to be leaked" routine?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "closer than it's ever been"

    he says, and the world takes notice. Media exposure goes up....Apples shares go up... Apple sales go up... There's nothing like free advertising. But hey, they've worked hard to gain it (never mind how ridiculous they are).

  29. PeterM42
    Devil

    YE-AWN!

    It'll be expensive, whatever it is and, yes, we probably can live without it.

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