Tim Cook Argues That Macs Remain Important

During Apple's Q2 2013 earnings report, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that despite a slight decline in Mac sales by about two percent, the company is still very committed to innovation and investment in the Macintosh.

Shannon Cross of Cross Research asked Mr. Cook about the Mac and the PC market. This was in light of the fact that Macs outperformed the PC market, being down in sales only about two percent compared to a 14 percent decline in the broader PC market last quarter, according to IDC. She asked what Apple is hearing from customers regarding their reluctance to buy a new Mac and then followed up by asking Mr. Cook about his thoughts on cannibalization of the Mac by the iPad. Mr. Cook responded:

Shannon, I think the reason we were down two percent last quarter is that the market for PCs is incredibly weak.... At the same time, we sold almost 20 million iPads. And it's certainly true that some of those iPads cannibalized some Macs. I personally don't think it was a huge number. But I do think it's some, and I think the larger thing, not necessarily on the Mac side but the PC side, is that people are extending their upgrade cycle. That said, I don't think this market is a dead market or a bad market by any means. I think it has a lot of life to it. We're going to continue to innovate in it. We believe that, if anything, the huge growth in tablets may end up benefitting the Mac.... because it pushes people to think about that product they're buying in a different manner. People may be even more willing to buy a Mac -- where today they're buying a PC....

We're going to continue making the best personal computers. Our strategy is not changing, and we feel really good about it. We delivered some incredible innovation last year with the Retina display in the MacBook Pro in an incredible thin and light package. And we've got some more great stuff planned. So this is an area we're going to continue to invest in."

That's a pretty strong endorsement from Apple's CEO. Not only does he believe that the PC market isn't totally dead, but he believes that Macs can continue to steal market share from PCs. Apple will continue to innovate and invest in Mac technologies. There's no change in strategy.

We may be in a Post-PC era, but that doesn't mean that PC and Mac sales come to a grinding halt. It may just mean that there is still significant opportunity for Apple to innovate and develop the excellence of the Mac even as PC sales falter. New products are in the works.

This is important because some observers, readers and customers (and even myself) have expressed concern that declining sales and revenues for the Mac (for the moment anyway) might lead to Apple losing interest in the product. Mr. Cook's analysis of how he views the opportunities for the Mac and his comments last year about how Mac Pro customers will be delighted by a new product later this year provide considerable encouragement to all Apple customers.