Apple just finished its quarterly earnings call a day after announcing that CEO Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence. Yet not one Wall Street analyst on the call asked a singel question about Jobs well-being or even when investors might expect to learn more about the situation. It is as if the analysts knew that no such questions would be answered so they didn’t even try.
The closest we got was Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster who asked, “How far out do you guys actually plan?” COO Tim Cook wouldn’t even give him a straight answer to that one. Here is his response, from MG’s notes (bolded parts mine for emphasis):
Q: Long-term business planning. How far out do you guys plan? Product roadmap?
TC: That’s a part of the magic of Apple. I don’t want anyone to know our magic, so they don’t copy it. In my view, Apple is doing its best work ever. We’re all very happy with the product pipeline. Steve has driven this. “Excellence has become a habit.” We’ve done outstanding in our Mac business — 19 quarters straight of growing faster than the market. But we still have a low share. There’s still huge opportunity there. We have a low share in the handset market too. Huge opportunity there too. And incredible momentum there. iPad just got started — it’s a new category. Almost 15 million sold so far. I don’t know what to predict. We believe it’s a huge market. We’re in some great markets. We feel very confident.
The closest he comes to answering the question is that “Apple is doing its best work ever” and he feels “very confident” it can continue to penetrate markets where it still has relatively low share, including PCs and mobile handsets.
Any other questions? Just bark into the phone.
Photo credit: Flickr/ Eric K. Veland