Apple has come under a lot of criticism from investors for not releasing a cheaper iPhone , essentially ceding huge chunks of the phone market to Android, which has more than 80% market share of new smartphone sales. The common line of criticism is that Apple is repeating the mistakes it made in the 1980s and 1990s, when it kept Mac prices too high and subsequently let low-cost Windows PCs take over the personal computing market.
This is a bad comparison, and Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a very good explanation why this afternoon in an interview with the Wall Street Journal . Here are a couple of huge differences he pointed out between then and now:
Cook concluded by saying that he lived through the PC wars, unlike some of his critics. "If you really talk to the people who went through it and understood it at a deep level, I don’t think any of them would tell you it’s the same."
He also insisted that Apple was working on new product categories (yes, plural) for 2014, setting off a firestorm of speculation about televisions, health-metering smart watches , and smart payment systems -- Jonny Evans did a good roundup  of the possibilities for Computerworld. He also tanatlizingly held out the possibility of Apple doing multibillion-dollar acquisitions, but only if the company was the right fit. "But we’re not going to go out and buy something for the purposes of just being big. Something that makes more fantastic products, something that’s very strategic -- all these things are of interest and we’re always looking regardless of size."
Read the whole interview over at the Wall Street Journal.