Translating the Apple Q4 2013 earnings call into normal human language
Apple earnings calls always create a bit of a three-ring circus on the web. Everyone tries to read into every last boast and stutter out of the mouths of Apple management and predict the future.
We do plenty of that here at TUAW as well -- you can check out all the hard numbers from the call on our wrap-up post -- but while the rest of the staff puts on their thinking caps to dissect the transcript, I figured it would be easier to just run a bunch of the most notable quotes from the call through my handy dandy AppleSpeak Translator 4000. Let's check the results!
Tim Cook: "We're pleased to report a strong finish to an amazing year with record fourth-quarter revenue, including sales of almost 34 million iPhones."
Translation: "Ok, listen, we sold a lot of stuff and made a whole bunch of money, but that doesn't really matter to any of you, right? No matter what I say, you're going to scribble your little notes down and the stock is going to dip as soon as I hang up, just like it always does."
Tim Cook: "We're proud to be a force of good in the world, beyond our products."
Translation: "We make desirable green gadgets, and we're nice people. You can't possible hate us, it's against the rules."
Tim Cook: The iPad Air is "the most incredible product we've ever done."
Translation: "We made it thinner and lighter and smaller... and more powerful. I already know you want one, I mean just look at the thing."
Tim Cook: "We obviously believe that we can use our skills in building other great products that are in categories that represent where we do not participate today. We are pretty confident about that."
Translation: "Yeah, we could probably launch the iWatch before this winter's snow melts if we really really wanted to, but did you see how badly Samsung is taking it on the chin with that Galaxy Gear monstrosity? We'll keep the iWatch in our back pocket for now, thank you very much."
Tim Cook: "We're selling the iPhone 5c as a mid-tier offering."
Translation: "There's no such thing as a bargain iPhone. Apple doesn't make bargain products."
Tim Cook: "We had a pretty good quarter in China."
Translation: "We launched an iPhone day-one in China for the first time ever, and that should tell you exactly how we feel about expanding our reach in the region."
Tim Cook: "We continue to view the tablet market as 'huge.' We see it as a large opportunity for us. We are not solely focused on unit share, as we've said many times, but on usage and customer [satisfaction] and other things that are very important to us."
Translation: "We realize Android and Kindle are now forces to be reckoned with in the tablet market, but we're not going to sacrifice the iPad experience just to push a $200 tablet out the door. We'll sell iPads to people who want iPads, and there are plenty of those around."
Tim Cook: "It's going to be an iPad Christmas."
Translation: "If you're not already making plans to get one, don't cry in the middle of December when you have to drop $1,500 for a new Retina iPad mini on eBay just to keep from ruining your family's holiday."
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