The Cupertino, Calif.-based company made a variety of headlines this week, ranging from CEO Tim Cook keynoting an investment bank conference to the release of a new operating system, and the tech giant passing $500 per share for the first time.
CEO Tim Cook sat down with Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope earlier this week at a technology conference in San Francisco, and discussed a wide array of topics, ranging from supply chain issues to the company's cash hoard. He also seemed to hint at new products.
Cook said Apple is taking very seriously concerns that have been raised about labor practices in its supply chain."The first thing that I want everyone to know - Apple takes working conditions very, very seriously," explained the Apple chief. "We care about every worker." Cook also touched on the company's cash hoard, approaching $100 billion as of the end of the fiscal first quarter. He seemed to hint that something is in the works, saying Apple has "more cash than we need to run the business on a daily basis." The CEO, however, stopped short of announcing a dividend or buyback, asking that shareholders be patient on this issue. Cook also talked about the Apple TV set-top box amidst mounting speculation that the company will announce a television set later this year. "For those of us that use it, we have always thought that there's something there and if we keep following our intuition and pull that string, it could be larger," he said, referring to the existing Apple TV. "We need something that could go more main market."
Apple announced its new operating system, dubbed Mountain Lion, this week. The software will have a variety of new features incorporating parts of the company's mobile operating system, iOS, into the OS for Mac computers. Apple dropped the name Mac from its operating system, potentially paving the way for OS X Mountain Lion and iOS to become one in the same. Mountain Lion will get features such as Message, Contacts, Notes, Game Center, and offer integration with Twitter and Apple's iCloud service. Apple shares crossed a milestone this week, moving past the $500 mark for the first time as investor optimism continues to increase. The iPhone maker was also named the top American brand in a reputation study. Apple shares closed the week up 1.7%, gaining $8.70 to close at $502.12.