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This is Tim: Apple CEO talks at investment conference

Macworld staff | Feb. 15, 2012
On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, where he was interviewed on stage by Bill Shope, Goldman Sachs's IT hardware analyst.

Everyone in every country wants the best product, as it turns out. They're not looking for a cheap version of the best product, they're looking for the best product. And so that's the common thread that runs through.

Now, in the emerging markets, there are very big differences in the go-to market. For example, in most of the developed markets, the carrier owns most of the distribution themselves, but in the emerging markets, the retailer has a significant portion of the distribution. And so, the whole go-to market has to be changed significantly as you go in there.

Last year, as you know, we covered price points in the subsidized markets from zero on up. And of course, that doesn't translate to 0 to prepaid markets. But it does translate to lower in the prepaid market, and so we're covering more price points there.

But I would come back to the paramount thing is the product. It is the focus. And of course, distribution, we've recognized the differences there. We've recognized the difference in purchasing power. And, by the way, unlike probably many people, I don't subscribe to the premise that a prepaid market is a prepaid market is a prepaid market.

Because in China, one of the things we did was we convinced China Unicom to try the postpaid business as well, and it really hadn't been tried very much in China before, but it was amazing what kind of conversion that they go to the postpaid business with iPhone. And this is great for the customer, because they get the phone at a lower price; it's great for the carrier, because they lock in a customer for a longer period of time, and so everyone wins from this. I'm not saying that will work in every market; it won't. But it's a different way of looking at the issue, and it's certainly been successful in China.

On the iPad and the Mac in emerging markets

As it turns out, when Apple introduced the iPod in 2001, and then, after porting it to Windows and getting the iTunes Music Store up and porting the iTunes Music Store to Windows, the iPod created a halo for the Mac. And that kicked off a resurgence in the Mac that has now--for 23 straight quarters we've outgrown the market on the Mac; that's six years.

However, the halo that was created by iPod for the Mac, was created in developed markets. It was created in the United States, it was created in Western Europe, it was created in Japan, it was created in Australia and Canada. It didn't work nearly to the same level in Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, China, other parts of Asia, Latin America. Because people were already getting music from their phones.


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