Cook talked about "new product categories" coming in the fall and throughout 2014, which is sure to whet the appetites of Apple bulls, but a weak June quarter is playing on investors minds right now. JPMorgan analyst Mark Moskowitz believes "the soft Jun-Q outlook could weigh momentarily and our estimate revisions result in our price target declining 25%." Moskowitz rates Apple "overweight," but cut his price target to $545 from $725.
New product categories could be the oft-rumored iWatch, an Apple television and new software and services that Apple unveils as it tries to become more than just a hardware company. In the earnings release, Cook said, "Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline."
By mentioning software and services, he is continuing to alter the perception that Apple is more than just iPhones and iPads. This will take some time, and growing software and services revenue to a larger piece of the pie will help do that.
There was one hint that should give investors hope on that front.
analyst Gene Munster asked about the payments industry, and Cook said the industry is "in its infancy," and "it's just getting started and just out of the starting block."
Right now, Apple has become a mature tech company, growing above the rate of the industry, but not at the lofty levels of 2012. In order to get Apple back to what it was, innovation needs to show itself in the form of new products, new categories and strategic acquisitions that will help differentiate Apple from everyone else.
Otherwise, Apple will never be as good as it once was.
Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York