One of the most common cries of the Apple commentary game is that ‘Apple would never’ do ‘x’. Whether that’s a larger iPhone or a smaller iPad or a cannibalization of their own market with a similar product, the common refrain is that Apple as a company would shy away from a particular course of action.
Today, at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference, CEO Tim Cook directly addressed those folks, saying that anything is on the table, as long as it’s not crap.
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“The only thing we’ll never do is make a crappy product,” said Cook. “That’s the only religion we have, [is that] we must to do something great, something bold, something ambitious. Something great for customers. And we sweat all of the details.”
“We want people to love our products,” Cook followed up, “not just use them.”
These comments are interesting taken in the context of recent rumors about the expansion of the iPhone line to include a larger screen and perhaps a more affordable model. Every time the expansion of an Apple line as focused as the iPhone or iPad comes up, there is a segment of people who naysay it because they’re convinced that Apple is still operating under the ‘minimum lines’ concepts that it was when Steve Jobs returned to the company and narrowed its product focus.
Cook also made some interesting comments about the iPhone’s screen size. ”
Continuing to address the expansion of the company’s existing lines, Cook noted the iPad mini. “It seems perfectly reasonable to me to have both iPad and iPad mini,” Cook said about bringing a lower margin item into the line. “I think this is going to be the mother of all markets. And customers are voting and they’re buying.”
The average company is reluctant to introduce products that may dig into the dominance that it has in another area. This is a weakness that leads many to drive a popular product line into the ground (see Walkman) while ignoring the possibilities of the future (iPod). Cook has repeatedly stated that Apple ‘isn’t afraid to cannibalize’ its own products because someone will and it might as well be the one to do it.
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