Apple CEO Tim Cook's end of 2013 memo to employees hints at "big plans" for 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a little bit of a virtual pep talk to company employees today, via an email memo that was sent out this morning. Most of it looked back at Apple's accomplishments for 2013 but there was a tiny hint about the company's 2014 plans as well.

The memo, as posted by 9to5Mac, goes over Apple's new product launches in the past year, such as the iPhone 5 and iOS 7, the release of OS X Mavericks for free, the new iPad Air and iPad mini with its Retina display and the most recent launch of the new Mac Pro that's being made in Austin, Texas.

Cook also writes about how Apple has raised "tens of millions of dollars for important charities" in 2013, including helping to fund Red Cross relief efforts to aid victims of the recent Philippines typhoon disaster. Apple is still the largest supporter of the (PRODUCT) RED effort to fight AIDS in Africa. In addition, Cook says Apple is urging the U.S. Congress to pass laws against work discrimination "based on sexual orientation and gender identity" and will work to increase the company's contribution to a number of environmental improvement efforts.

At the very end of the memo, Cook states:

We have a lot to look forward to in 2014, including some big plans that we think customers are going to love. I am extremely proud to stand alongside you as we put innovation to work serving humankind’s deepest values and highest aspirations.

Many people believe that Apple has been concentrating its efforts in the past few years on releasing improvements to current products rather than launching all new devices. Cook's "big plans" statement could hint that the company is finally ready to introduce some rumored new products in the next year, including a smartwatch and the long awaited Apple television.

Source: 9to5Mac | Image via Apple

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On the contrary, 2013 wasn't a great year for Microsoft. Windows XP still has market share, the Windows 8 debate still continues, and I've only seen about ten people in Australia with a Surface.

Funny how all the "troll" comments are very quickly deleted here when they go against Microsoft. But an Apple-related article with dozens of idiotic troll comments is left untouched...

On a side note, Tim Cook has one of the most forced smiles. It's like someone that has bad teeth that doesn't want to show them, but is trying to smile. His smile doesn't look natural or comfortable.

JayZJay said,
On a side note, Tim Cook has one of the most forced smiles. It's like someone that has bad teeth that doesn't want to show them, but is trying to smile. His smile doesn't look natural or comfortable.
You do realize most people fake smile in photos? My drivers license, fake smile. My military I.D., fake smile. Photos with the in-laws, fake smile.

The paranoid Windows guys in here add laughter to my holiday yet again. The Apple brand is what Microsoft is trying attain. While next years news, we'll see the Surface gain another 0.0000002% of the market share. One thing that frightens me though Mr. Cook is that Microsoft may bring back the start menu. That's when I will purchase a Windows licenses again and will recommend it to anyone that may ask. Looking forward in seeing Apple's 2014!

JHBrown said,
One thing that frightens me though Mr. Cook is that Microsoft may bring back the start menu.

Are you having a conversation with Tim Cook here on Neowin?

What I would like to see:
- Bigger iPhone (5-5.5")
- Thunderbolt 4K display <$1500

If either of these do come out I'm buying them right away

Expect to see lots of stuff coming out of the their iDevices division. Think of stuff that interacts with your iPhone and iPad powered by their A5 or A6 SoCs.

Didn't they claim that 2013 would see a whole host of new products? The only things new was the Mac Pro, everything else was just a minor feature update.

Tim Cook is probably trying to do a few things for 2014

#1 iPhone 6 with a new generation of A8 CPU 128 hit processor, M8 motion coprocessor that can track and alert you when your body is ready to pee, new 14mn architecture and 6 inch ultra retina display at 4K resolution with a new thunderbolt 2 that can power by AMD latest GPU for gaming.

#2 New iConsole that will make the PS4/Xbox one a things of past.

#3 iTV that is as thin as the iMac

#4 Thunderbolt 2 4K display

#5 iOS 8 - new boot camp that can run android 4.4

#6 OS X 10.10 support all windows game without using windows 7/8

#7 Tim Cook plan to retire in 2015

#8 Apple will provide a free Apple Pie for every purchase of iOS device

#9 iPod will be discontinued by 2021

#10 iWatch will price at $99 ,use a 2 inch 720p display, run iOS 8 mini and a new software dubbed "Ray Shield" that will protect you from anyone attempt to kill you.

Edited by Master of Earth, Dec 23 2013, 5:39pm :

Master of Earth said,
Tim Cook is probably trying to do a few things for 2014

#1 iPhone 6 with a new generation of A8 CPU 128 hit processor, M8 motion coprocessor that can track and alert you when your body is ready to pee, new 14mn architecture and 6 inch ultra retina display at 4K resolution with a new thunderbolt 2 that can power by AMD latest GPU for gaming.

#2 New iConsole that will make the PS4/Xbox one a things of past.

#3 iTV that is as thin as the iMac

#4 Thunderbolt 2 4K display

#5 iOS 8 - new boot camp that can run android 4.4

#6 OS X 10.10 support all windows game without using windows 7/8

#7 Tim Cook plan to retire in 2015

#8 Apple will provide a free Apple Pie for every purchase of iOS device

#9 iPod will be discontinued by 2021

#10 iWatch will price at $99 ,use a 2 inch 720p display, run iOS 8 mini and a new software dubbed "Ray Shield" that will protect you from anyone attempt to kill you.

1. iPhone 10 more like
2. Seriously, have you stopped taking your medication?
3. iTV has been a tradmarked TV channel in the UK since the 50's so will never happen
4. Probably
5. Android isn't a boxed product you can buy like windows, so no
6. Words fail me... the windows registry alone stops that and who the hell would add that to a Mac?
7. Maybe
8. That would be a cool promotion
9. I'd say earlier than that
10. I think Apple selling it for $99 is the most far fetched part of that one to be honest...

kravex said,

1. iPhone 10 more like
2. Seriously, have you stopped taking your medication?
3. iTV has been a tradmarked TV channel in the UK since the 50's so will never happen
4. Probably
5. Android isn't a boxed product you can buy like windows, so no
6. Words fail me... the windows registry alone stops that and who the hell would add that to a Mac?
7. Maybe
8. That would be a cool promotion
9. I'd say earlier than that
10. I think Apple selling it for $99 is the most far fetched part of that one to be honest...

A few clone iPhone that run android but it doesn't run iOS. If iOS 8 include boot camp it's going to attract more android user! Believe me! They make money off the hardware. We know that iTV has been trademark but that doesn't mean a negotiation is not possible for Apple.

I thought they had "big things" coming for 2013... nothing really that big happened besides the mac pro redesign, which wasn't really that big

neufuse said,
I thought they had "big things" coming for 2013... nothing really that big happened besides the mac pro redesign, which wasn't really that big

They virtually refreshed their entire line of hardware with new versions, and in some cases not just incremental updates (like the Mac Pro) - I think it was a pretty good year for Apple to be honest.

Chicane-UK said,

They virtually refreshed their entire line of hardware with new versions, and in some cases not just incremental updates (like the Mac Pro) - I think it was a pretty good year for Apple to be honest.

Refreshing your hardware with new versions is a given. That's not "big things"

Chicane-UK said,

They virtually refreshed their entire line of hardware with new versions, and in some cases not just incremental updates (like the Mac Pro) - I think it was a pretty good year for Apple to be honest.

I completely agree with everything you say here; however, I wouldn't call any of this out of the ordinary or 'big things'.

Enron said,

Refreshing your hardware with new versions is a given. That's not "big things"

Fair point. Lets see what 2014 holds. It seems the days of truly exciting new products have long since departed.. everything is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary

Chicane-UK said,

Fair point. Lets see what 2014 holds. It seems the days of truly exciting new products have long since departed.. everything is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary

It's always been that way though. Even the big smartphone boom was just a adding radio features to PDAs. We were all "beaming" our palm pilot apps back and forth long before app stores.

neufuse said,
I thought they had "big things" coming for 2013... nothing really that big happened besides the mac pro redesign, which wasn't really that big
Umm no: the Mac Pro is an all new "super-computer" form factor - in the next year or two, you'll probably see Dell, HP and Lenovo clone it.

I don't think you realize how much power is in such a small area - it's a big achievement and (revolutionary) leap forward in terms of engineering. I would love to have something so powerful, quiet and fast on my desk.

Large ATX cases will soon be a thing of the past.

I know there's rumours of an iPad Pro, but what I think Apple should do is look at the Windows 8 convertible market and design an 11" iPad Pro convertible that when docked is in OS X and when detached is an iPad. Basically it'd replace the 11" Air. It could turn the touchscreen off when docked to save battery life, but considering they've been baking iOS features into OS X there's enough of it that is touch friendly that keeping it on could be handy enough to give people the option.

But I think a two-in-one device like that would be something a lot of people would be interested in. It'd get around the problems Microsoft have had trying to do Metro and the traditional desktop together and making the whole thing jarring. Just keep them separate - but have the SSD in the screen so that files could be shared on cross-over apps. So when you want to work you have OS X, when you want to relax pull it apart and you have your tablet.

That would be a bit more innovative than anything we've seen from Apple in a good while.

^^ THIS

and it's getting old. The only big things they did IMO were the mac and the iPod/iTunes. Everything else is evolutionary at best, including iPhone. Not that they did the evolution thing in a bad way mind you.

Apple under Jobs was very good at being in the right place at the right time with the right product a number of times. Ever since Jobs dies it's been a downhill parade and it is only a matter of time before it becomes their downfall.

paulheu said,
^^ THIS

and it's getting old. The only big things they did IMO were the mac and the iPod/iTunes. Everything else is evolutionary at best, including iPhone. Not that they did the evolution thing in a bad way mind you.

Apple under Jobs was very good at being in the right place at the right time with the right product a number of times. Ever since Jobs dies it's been a downhill parade and it is only a matter of time before it becomes their downfall.

I think iPhones and iPads disagree with you. But then again what credibility can a user, that's STILL saying Apple is nearing their downfall, have.

iPhone = iPod which can make calls, iPad = iPod with bigger screen. It's a lot of windows dressing but it's basically the same thing in a different package. I think the goodwill and 'hype' factor Apple has had is wearing very thing right about now and unless they pull a rabbit next year they are moving from standing pretty much still and at best almost catching up to falling further behind.

The number of people I have heard say they are getting bored with iPhone is growing almost by the day and a new coat of Paint is not going to fool many people. product 'sales' are driven by 18 month old products with the new product slowing down in number sold. it's been the trend for well over a year now if you look at the objective numbers and not some Apple hugging Analyst who cooks up some fairytale stories..

paulheu said,
iPhone = iPod which can make calls, iPad = iPod with bigger screen. It's a lot of windows dressing but it's basically the same thing in a different package. I think the goodwill and 'hype' factor Apple has had is wearing very thing right about now and unless they pull a rabbit next year they are moving from standing pretty much still and at best almost catching up to falling further behind.

The number of people I have heard say they are getting bored with iPhone is growing almost by the day and a new coat of Paint is not going to fool many people. product 'sales' are driven by 18 month old products with the new product slowing down in number sold. it's been the trend for well over a year now if you look at the objective numbers and not some Apple hugging Analyst who cooks up some fairytale stories..

Umm, every new iPhone sold more than the previous one, so i don't know where you get your FACTS from. Sure you're not talking to TechieXP. Every year they sold more iPhone and more iPads.

And clearly you have no clue what you're talking about if you can deny that iPad and iPhone have redefined their product lines.

paulheu said,
iPhone = iPod which can make calls, iPad = iPod with bigger screen. It's a lot of windows dressing but it's basically the same thing in a different package. I think the goodwill and 'hype' factor Apple has had is wearing very thing right about now and unless they pull a rabbit next year they are moving from standing pretty much still and at best almost catching up to falling further behind.

The number of people I have heard say they are getting bored with iPhone is growing almost by the day and a new coat of Paint is not going to fool many people. product 'sales' are driven by 18 month old products with the new product slowing down in number sold. it's been the trend for well over a year now if you look at the objective numbers and not some Apple hugging Analyst who cooks up some fairytale stories..

It must be Christmas because I asked Santa for someone to claim Apple was doomed by using logical fallacies, and here it is.


Mike Loney said,
I didn't know stupid lawsuits against competitors served the greater good. More like shareholder's wallets.
Well technically it does serve a greater good in the sense those "stupid lawsuits" are to protect Apple's property that they are legally entitled to. Apple aren't really the issue here, it's the fact the law allows them too! they are merely taking advantage of the rights extended to them by the law.

The fact that you CAN patent round corners and start successfully suing people for using them is more alarming then the fact Apple went out and did it. Another example of this patent stupidity is the fact Apple was awarded the patent to the animated page turn...I mean seriously?! next year Apple probably plans to enforce that patent going after anyone who uses page turning animation. It's not Apple who is holding back innovation, it's the patent system, allowing companies (like Apple) to strangle it for their own purposes. </rant> take with grain of salt.

I am waiting for something "Big"from Apple for years... I have not seen anything yet. And don't give me the "made ... lighter" crap, that is not big, that is improvement

vhaakmat said,
I am waiting for something "Big"from Apple for years... I have not seen anything yet. And don't give me the "made ... lighter" crap, that is not big, that is improvement

You want big? Sure, wait for the MaxiPad, Apple Television and other predictable form factors.

Yawn, row of icons, refresh product line to be more expensive and have something on it updated that doesn't matter but that should have been in the previous product line, rinse and repeat.

spacer said,
"...serving humankind's deepest values and aspirations." Seriously? Humankind?

Maybe he gets confused and sometimes thinks he is Bill Gates out feeding people and curing diseases.

I'd be glad that those 'big plans' include a haswell Mac-Mini with Thunderbolt-2 rather sooner than later, I have a new low-power Plex server to build damnit !

A man who "earns" hundreds of millions a year writes about how Apple has raised "tens of millions of dollars for important charities".

That is what I'm holding out for too, a Haswell based Mac mini. I know most people say just get the Ivy Bridge one and don't wait, but personally I feel Haswell is worth the wait. Plus my '09 Mac mini is still working fine so can wait. If we don't see a Haswell Mac mini in '14 or it turns out to be not much of an upgrade, I'll probably try and grab a decent spec'd Ivy Bridge one second hand.