Last week, Apple ended its period of record growth with a down quarter, causing an eight-day downslide. For Apple — whose stock last fell for eight days in a row in 1998 — that’s something approaching a crisis, and yesterday CEO Tim Cook went on CNBC to run damage control.
Cook blamed the drop on an abnormally high number of phone upgrades during the year prior, but said that customer loyalty had never been better. Services (like iCloud and music streaming) are now the company’s second-largest source of revenue behind hardware, and they’re growing.
Cook also took issue with the assertion that the Apple Watch was a flop: “In a few years we will look back and people will say ‘How could I ever have thought about not wearing this watch?’, because it will be doing so much for you.” A few years is probably more than some investors are willing to wait.
“We’re still in learning mode,” he admitted. “We’re learning fairly quickly though.”
To be clear, Apple is not doomed — at least, not for a very long time. Wall Street investors might not be able to use Apple to accrue wealth as quickly as they once did (their definition of “doom”), but the company has hundreds of billions of dollars in assets and a pretty decent foothold in the smartphone market. (You may have heard of its “iPhone” product.)
But Cook offered little information about the future other than hyperbolic platitudes. He literally said, “We’re incredibly excited about things we’re working on. I don’t want to be more specific than that.” Wow, Tim, can you please leave us a little bit of mystery?