Apple CEO Tim Cook has responded to concerns over his company’s future desktop ambitions.
In a post on an Apple employee discussion board, Cook said that the company has “great desktops in our roadmap,” adding that “nobody should worry about that.” The post, which was verified and reported on by TechCrunch, didn’t share additional details on Apple’s Mac plans or when those “great desktops” might be coming to store shelves. However, Cook did reassert his belief that desktops play an important role in Apple’s business.
“The desktop is very strategic for us,” Cook wrote on the message board. “It’s unique compared to the notebook because you can pack a lot more performance in a desktop—the largest screens, the most memory and storage, a greater variety of I/O, and fastest performance. So there are many different reasons why desktops are really important, and in some cases critical, to people.”
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Some analysts and shareholders have grown concerned about Apple’s Mac business. During Apple’s (AAPL) fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 24, the company generated $5.7 billion in revenue, a 17% declined compared to the same period last year. Unit sales were down 14% to 4.9 million. It was a similar story in Apple’s fiscal third quarter, when Mac revenue fell 13% and unit sales dropped by 11% year over year.
Apple held a Mac-focused event in October where some had speculated the company might announce new desktops. Instead, Apple only delivered a new MacBook Pro featuring a Touch Bar above the keyboard. Desktops weren’t even mentioned at the event.
Consumers quickly took to Twitter (TWTR) and online forums to complain of Apple’s decision to ignore desktops. They had hoped Apple would announce a new iMac all-in-one desktop, a high-end Mac Pro, and a new Mac Mini. All three of those Apple desktops have been on store shelves for a long time without an update. Meanwhile, Apple competitors, including Microsoft (MSFT), have delivered new desktops that promise better performance.
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While concerns about Apple’s desktop future were floated online, it appears based on the employee message board post that there’s similar concern inside Apple’s walls. And Cook’s response might be a response not only to the employee’s question but also public doubt about Mac desktops.
But Cook didn’t solely discuss desktops in his post. He also answered a question about “Apple’s biggest differentiator,” explaining it to be the company’s “culture and our people.” But he also hinted there’s more to Apple’s recipe for success.
“From a strategic point of view, we also focus on things where software, hardware and services all come together and bring out the magic that only Apple can,” he wrote. “That’s our secret sauce. It shows up in a lot of different places, and it’s something that we look for in new employees.”
While Apple hasn’t shared plans for 2017, it’s expected to make several major announcements, including a big update to the iPhone. It’s also rumored to be working on new Macs.