Tim Cook talks mobile payments and patient product development in WSJ interview

timcook-d11-2Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke briefly with the Wall Street Journal after the company’s earnings conference call yesterday. Apple announced its Q2 2014 earnings on Wednesday and reported better than expected iPhone sales, lagging iPad sales and a 7 for 1 stock split that left shareholders smiling. In his interview, Cook talked to the WSJ about the company’s need to innovate and its prospects for mobile payments.

Cook addressed one of the biggest questions still looming over the company under Tim Cook’s leadership — can it still produce an innovative product like it did with the iPod, iPhone and iPad? In response, Cook confirms that Apple is hard at work, but won’t rush the process, preferring to enter a market a little later with a product that is outstanding.

“You want to take the time to get it right. Our objective has never been to be first. It’s to be the best. To do things really well, it takes time. You can see a lot of products that have been brought to market where the thinking isn’t really deep and, as a consequence, these things don’t do very well. We don’t do very many things so we spend a lot of time on every detail and that part of Apple isn’t changing. It’s the way we’ve operated for years and it’s the way we still operate. I feel great about what we’ve got coming. Really great and it’s closer than it’s ever been.”

Cook also commented on the possibility of mobile payments, calling it an “interesting area,” but stopping short of confirming the company is ready to move forward in this market.

“I think it’s a really interesting area. We have almost 800 million iTunes accounts and the majority of those have credit cards behind them. We already have people using Touch ID to buy things across our store, so it’s an area of interest to us. And it’s an area where nobody has figured it out yet. I realize that there are some companies playing in it, but you still have a wallet in your back pocket and I do too which probably means it hasn’t been figured out just yet.”

Apple is rumored to be working on a mobile payment system that uses the credit card data attached to a user’s iTunes accounts. The company allegedly is interviewing payments industry executives to lead a mobile payments team that is being assembled under the leadership of former online retail executive, Jennifer Bailey.

What do you think of Tim Cook’s statements — do you prefer Apple’s commitment to quality over speed and would be interested in paying for your groceries using your iPhone?

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