Tim Cook: high-end smartphone market hasn't peaked

Following up on Apple’s quarterly reports from earlier on today, its CEO, Tim Cook made some comments about the direction in which his company is heading and the way Apple views the smartphone market.

Apple has been highly criticized by investors for its apparent lack of penetration in lower-end markets due to the high price of the iPhone. Amid concerns of high-end markets being saturated with premium devices, many folks are wondering if Apple is looking to launch a cheaper alternative to its best-selling device.

However, Tim Cook explained that he does not agree with this view “that the higher end, if you will, of the smartphone market is at its peak. I don’t believe that but we will see and we will report our result as we go along."

He also mentioned that the iPhone 4 with its discounted price is attracting an impressive number of first-time smartphone buyers, but he refused to give any exact numbers.

Many people believe Apple is looking to launch a cheaper version of the iPhone aimed at developing markets. We’ve even seen some images of a possible prototype device. And Cook seemed to hint towards such an approach by saying: “There are always more weapons, and we have more than one tool in the toolbox.”

We’ll have to wait and see if Apple will actually launch such a device and if this will bring them success when it comes to low-end markets or if the company will stick to its premium model.

Source: PCPro Image via AllThingsD

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34 Comments

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They are still relevant? Last time I checked they aren't the only "high end" smartphone maker in town and losing badly to rival Samsung.

the cost of smartphone are $600 plus, that amount is equivalent to paying for tablet PC or (3) android tablet. Just because smartphone capability are conversing with the phone, I wouldn't call that high end.

Increasingly high-end smartphones are going to take away a big part of the smaller-sized tablet market. (Full-size laptops with usable keyboards will take away the larger-sized tablet market.) So... while there will always be a place for tablets, it certainly won't be as widespread as Microsoft would like to have you believe. Pity they spend so much of their energy with Windows-8 focusing on just that one form factor, to the almost total exclusion of the others.

Very likely, as smartphone screens get larger and tablet screens get smaller. The gap between a smartphone and a laptop gets smaller and smaller

Maybe Apple can consider giving people expandable storage. They are stuck in the dark ages so they reap huge profit margins off higher capacity devices. People today have huge storage needs.

UXGaurav said,
Maybe Apple can consider giving people expandable storage. They are stuck in the dark ages so they reap huge profit margins off higher capacity devices. People today have huge storage needs.

no, the SD card is dead, Steve Jobs prophesized it before this death!

neufuse said,
no, the SD card is dead, Steve Jobs prophesized it before this death!

Really, then tell me why other manufacturers are still adding support for them then?

He may be right but Apple has no technologically relevant phone right now and won't until next year.

They have the cult and the ecosystem but Nokia and Samsung have the better technology.

Northgrove said,
The ecosystem is often more important than the ultimate feature set.
An appstore filled with fart apps does not an ecosystem make..

When he talks about high end is he referring to hardware or materials. The Galaxy s4 is considered a high end because of its hardware but materials wise, its not.

Because the current iPhone is a "high end phone" and as the article states they want to try their stake in the low end market.

At least that's what he hopes but all that means is the crash is pushed a little farther down the road when it does peak. What's his plan for diversifying the company to deal with that? It's basically a one product company at this point.

Like what? We can almost always tell what their next product will be based on their acquisitions and there doesn't appear any related to a new product. It's just all stuff to add to the iphone.

Star-Pirate said,
It also might be because no one has any money anymore to buy high end smart phones...

The problem is the price of going high end keeps going up whilst most people, because of the generally poor state of the global economy, aren't getting salary increases commensurate with that price inflation. Which makes them seem to get more and more expensive.

There was a time when I had the most current phones - but as they've gone up in price, I've lost interest purely because I can't justify spending that kind of money on something which basically does the same thing as the previous generation phone... only slightly faster. What's the point?

Chicane-UK said,

The problem is the price of going high end keeps going up whilst most people, because of the generally poor state of the global economy, aren't getting salary increases commensurate with that price inflation. Which makes them seem to get more and more expensive.

There was a time when I had the most current phones - but as they've gone up in price, I've lost interest purely because I can't justify spending that kind of money on something which basically does the same thing as the previous generation phone... only slightly faster. What's the point?


True... I still have a Nokia 5230... works perfectly fine, battery life excellent, cost £50.

Star-Pirate said,
It also might be because no one has any money anymore to buy high end smart phones...

Not for people with a plan. In fact, in several plan, the iphone is for "free".

Brony said,

Not for people with a plan. In fact, in several plan, the iphone is for "free".


Yeah! but it will cost you a lot per month... and they have you locked into a contact for a minimum of 15 months depending on if your willing to pay through the nose for a 12 month one...

Yeah if I was going high-end i'd get a Lumia 1020. May not be highest ever screen or processor but that camera is going to take a long time to be surpassed.

Star-Pirate said,
It also might be because no one has any money anymore to buy high end smart phones...

What? I have no particular, recent economical problems.

The market may be cooling off, but these "no one" polarizations need to stop now.

DaveBG said,
High end ? The iPhone? This device is far from "High End"... It is slow and outdated like hell.

Why do people post things like this? Regardless of your personal bias towards mobile devices or particular companies, the iPhone 5 is still very much a current generation, high end mobile device. To argue otherwise is nothing but fanboyism.

Chicane-UK said,

Why do people post things like this?
Because it is the truth. iPhone is hardly high end specs wise and the software is now 5 years old and basically the same as back then. Slapping a new skin on it is not going to make it better (or worse)..

iOS is still the glorified app launcher it was when it first arrived.

paulheu said,
Because it is the truth.

No, it's an opinion. Sorry. I mean, if I said, "Windows Phone has been the same for three years now, and giving someone the ability to change the size and color of a tile is not going to make it any better. Windows Phone is still the same glorified app launcher it was three years ago, but there aren't that many apps to launch. No official Facebook lulz. That's a fact," would you agree?

I take it you haven't used iOS pretty much exclusively since it has launch to see that it's not the same OS it was six years ago. But whatever, let's knock it because the phone doesn't have an octo-core chip when it doesn't need one, or other bloat that makes it, "high end."

omgben said,

No, it's an opinion. Sorry. I mean, if I said, "Windows Phone has been the same for three years now, and giving someone the ability to change the size and color of a tile is not going to make it any better. Windows Phone is still the same glorified app launcher it was three years ago, but there aren't that many apps to launch. No official Facebook lulz. That's a fact," would you agree?

I take it you haven't used iOS pretty much exclusively since it has launch to see that it's not the same OS it was six years ago. But whatever, let's knock it because the phone doesn't have an octo-core chip when it doesn't need one, or other bloat that makes it, "high end."

Precisely! And I find it laughably hypocritical how Windows Phone enthusiasts use the lower performance, lower core count CPU's as the demonstration as to how lithe and streamline it is yet use the low specs in iPhone to demonstrate its unworthyness. Arrrggghhh... Sometimes I just want to poke out my own eyes in frustration about how blinkered, irrational, and just oblivious some attitudes are how here sometimes.

But you're right. Its all just opinions and none of this really matters :-)