Apple's product pipeline is "into the 2020s" according to Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook striking a visionary pose for Fast Company. (Source: Ioulex)
Apple CEO Tim Cook striking a visionary pose for Fast Company. (Source: Ioulex)
Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed that it is working on products now that won't ship until well into the 2020s. Although it is obvious Apple works on products in advance of their launch, the company has never been quite this specific about its product planning.

If you’ve ever wondered how far down the pipeline Apple plans and designs its products, Apple CEO Tim Cook has just spilled the beans. Speaking with Fast Company, Cook revealed that Apple’s custom silicon designs demand a three to four year lead time, meaning that the company is working on things now “that are way out into the 2020s.”

In addition to his comments about Apple’s product pipeline, Cook also addressed the criticism that Apple isn’t always the first to market, but disagreed with the notion that it is in some way following the competition:

I wouldn’t say “follow.” I wouldn’t use that word because that implies we waited for somebody to see what they were doing. That’s actually not what’s happening. What’s happening if you look under the sheets, which we probably don’t let people do, is that we start projects years before they come out. You could take every one of our products–iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch–they weren’t the first, but they were the first modern one, right?

Cook also covered a range of other topics, including what drives the company to make the types of products it does (“It’s always products and people”), as well as whether the stock market influences its decisions (“Stock price is a result, not an achievement by itself”). He also claimed that Apple (unlike some other unnamed companies), doesn’t “believe in using our customers as a laboratory.” Unfortunately, Cook didn’t shed any light on what we might expect from Apple in 2018, but did reveal that he thinks AR will have a profound impact on society.

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2018-02-22 (Update: 2018-02-22)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.