Apple CEO Tim Cook Hypes The Fall, Downplays The Summer On New Hardware

Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn’t generally talk too specifically about upcoming product plans, but he went out of his way to put an unusually fine point on when to expect new products than he usually does. Cook kicked off today’s Apple earnings call talking about how Apple is looking forward to exciting product news in the fall, and throughout 2014, and then reiterated the exact same thing during the Q&A period.

“I don’t want to be more specific, but we’ve got some really great stuff coming in the fall and across all of 2014,” Cook said later when asked if he could expand upon his earlier statements. Clearly, he didn’t expand, but he firmly reiterated what he’d said earlier. It seemed pretty apparent that Cook intended to manage expectations relative to Apple’s product release cycle in a much more direct way than Apple has in the past.

The statement on the surface seems designed to cool rumors and speculation that we’ll see a new iPhone (or perhaps multiple new models) at or around Apple’s upcoming WWDC 2013 event. Reports sourced from Apple’s supply and manufacturing partners have suggested a ramp-up in preparation for a June-ish consumer release, although just this past week some analyst chatter began to suggest that the iPhone 5S specifically might get pushed back to a (*gasp*) fall release.

Cook also wouldn’t go so far as to eliminate entirely the possibility that we’ll see new products before the fall, but he clearly wanted to put the spotlight on later this year and the entirety of next year in terms of product innovation. Whether that means we’ll only see modest changes before September, with big bombshells like the rumored iWatch sometime later, or whether we won’t see anything before autumn, remains to be seen.

Apple almost never spills any beans about what its product plans are, so it’s worth getting excited about fall based on Tim’s willingness to talk about that specific period, as well as his mention of “new product categories.” Still, unless he’s purposefully trying to throw us off the scent, people eager for new Apple products might also want to sleep through the summer.