When Apple executives discuss future products, they typically speak in generalities. You know the routine; "our product pipeline is strong and consumers will be excited by what's coming." Rinse and repeat.
But comments made by Apple executive Eddy Cue during yesterday's Code Conference were a little bit different. Cue didn't divulge specifics, of course, but his remarks affirm that innovation is a top priority at Apple and that 2014 could be a watershed year for the company.
Appearing on stage with Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine, Cue told Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg that Apple's product pipeline in 2014 is the most impressive he's seen.
"Later this year, we've got the best product pipeline that I've seen in my 25 years at Apple," Cue said. Executives typically hype their company's future, but this seems like a supreme display of confidence from Cue.
Earlier this year, Tim Cook told the Wall Street Journal that Apple plans to enter a new product category in 2014.
There will be new categories. We're not ready to talk about it, but we're working on some really great stuff," Mr. Cook said. When asked whether a new product category could mean an improvement on an existing product like an iPad Air, a lighter version of its tablet computer, or new services such as mobile payments, Mr. Cook declined to comment.
He said that anyone "reasonable" would consider what Apple is working on as new categories.
As for what Apple has up its sleeve, that's anybody's guess. Recently, the Financial Times -- the same site that broke the Apple/Beats acquisition a few weeks ago -- reported that Apple will unveil an iOS-connected "smart home" platform that would enable users to control "lights, security systems and other household appliances" directly from their iPhone.
All that being said, it's always important to remember that no Apple product or service, no matter how loud the rumor mill, is ever a done deal until an Apple executive trots out on stage and introduces it.