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Tim Cook calls mobile payments an "interesting area" in new WSJ interview

In the wake of Apple's stellar earnings report, CEO Tim Cook sat down for a brief interview with the Wall Street Journal. Echoing a sentiment he put forth during the company's earnings conference call, Cook explained Apple's underlying goal is to release the best products as opposed to rushing products to market as quickly as possible.

"To do things really well, it takes time," Cook explained. "You can see a lot of products that have been brought to market where the thinking isn't really deep and, as a consequence, these things don't do very well."

While Cook of course didn't spill the beans as to any upcoming products or services, he did reference the fact that Apple has nearly 800 million consumer credit cards on file and that mobile payments is an "interesting area."

I think it's a really interesting area. We have almost 800 million iTunes accounts and the majority of those have credit cards behind them. We already have people using Touch ID to buy things across our store, so it's an area of interest to us. And it's an area where nobody has figured it out yet. I realize that there are some companies playing in it, but you still have a wallet in your back pocket and I do too which probably means it hasn't been figured out just yet.

And lest anyone think that Cook is just casually discussing areas he finds somewhat interesting, note that this isn't the first time Cook has brought up mobile payments. In fact, during Apple's last earnings conference call, Cook flat out said that Apple finds mobile payments "intriguing" and that "it was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID."

While no Apple product or service is ever a sure thing until an Apple executive takes the stage and announces it, it's worth highlighting a recent report from Re/Code which claims that Apple in recent weeks has been interviewing experienced executives from the payments industry.

The company has been meeting with potential applicants for two new positions at Apple focused exclusively on building a business around the hundreds of millions of credit cards it already has on file. Apple is seeking to fill head of product and head of business development positions...

Lastly, Cook had this to say about Apple's upcoming product line: "I feel great about what we've got coming. Really great and it's closer than it's ever been."

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