Apple CEO says head not‘stuck in the sand’, alludes to new products

February 28, 2013

Apple investors, be patient. That’s the message that came out of the company’s shareholders meeting Wednesday , where Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook acknowledged that he doesn’t like how Apple’s stock has been trading, but said that he’s more focused on the company’s long-term plans, according to a report from CNBC.

The meeting was largely business as usual, but Cook did face some pointed questions from the company’s shareholders about Apple’s $137 billion cash stockpile — particularly whether the company will return more of it to investors. That debate has come to the fore in the wake of a judge’s ruling in a case from Apple investor David Einhorn about the company’s plans for its cash. Einhorn wants the company to issue a class of shares that return higher yields, and a ruling in his favor prevented shareholders from voting Wednesday on board proposal to issue preferred stock .

While there was no vote on the proposal , Cook did say in a question- and-answer session that the company is seriously considering returning more money to investors, but repeated his characterization of Einhorn’s suit as a “silly sideshow.”

Echoing remarks made earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported, Cook said that Apple is in “very, very active discussions” about what to do with its cash.

There also were questions about whether Apple should be spending more on research and development as it fights for market share with Samsung and other smartphone manufacturers who build phones with Google’s Android mobile operating system.

Cook addressed those concerns by saying that the company does not have its head “stuck in the sand” about the growing competition it faces in the smartphone marketplace. While he didn’t disclose any plans about new products, he did say that the company is working on products in “new categories.” Rumors have indicated Apple is working on a television and a smartwatch.

Cook — as one might expect -- didn’t give any further hints about what the company’s areas of interest may be.

“We don’t talk about them, but we’re looking at them,” Cook said, according to the report.

Related stories:

Apple settles suit over kids’ in-app purchases

Apple loss to Einhorn raises pressure to pay investors cash

Samsung launches its own wallet app

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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