Feb 1, 2024 - Technology

Tim Cook says Apple will have AI news "later this year"

headshot
Photo illustration of an apple wearing Apple's Vision Pro headset.

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On Apple's earnings call Thursday, CEO Tim Cook said the company continues to work and invest in artificial intelligence and added, "We're excited to share the details of our ongoing work in that space later this year."

Why it matters: While far from an announcement of specific products or strategy, Cook's comment represents Apple's most concrete suggestion to date that it is planning its own response to the tech industry's generative AI frenzy.

Cook's comment came as Apple on Thursday reported quarterly earnings that topped expectations, though largely due to increased profit margins, as revenue came in only slightly higher than forecast.

  • The company, which has been dueling with Microsoft for the title of world's most valuable, is a bellwether for the tech industry and a leading customer for many of the largest component suppliers.
  • Cook also noted that there are currently 2.2 billion Apple devices in active use, a new record.

The big picture: Apple's earnings report comes as the company gears up for Friday's launch of the Vision Pro headset and at a time when most of Apple's Big Tech rivals are investing heavily in generative AI.

  • Pressed by analysts for more information on Apple's AI plans, Cook declined to offer specifics. "We have a lot of work internally as I've alluded to before," Cook said, adding later that he sees a "huge opportunity" for Apple in AI, broadly, and generative AI, specifically.
  • As for the Vision Pro, Cook said that in addition to strong consumer interest in the new headset, he was excited by its business possibilities."I think there will be a great opportunity for us in enterprise," Cook said, noting early work by Walmart and SAP, among others.

Between the lines: Apple had said in November to expect its revenue to be roughly flat from the prior quarter, though analysts projected a slight increase. The company managed to exceed per-share earnings estimates due largely to a rise in profit margins.

  • Revenue rose in all regions of the world, except Greater China.

Of note: There was one fewer week in the just-reported quarter than in the same quarter a year ago.

By the numbers:

  • Revenue: $119.6 billion, up 2%
  • Per-share earnings (diluted): $2.18, up 16%
  • iPhone revenue: $69.7 billion
  • iPad revenue: $7.0 billion
  • Mac revenue: $7.8 billion
  • Services revenue: $23.1 billion
  • Accessories revenue: $11.9 billion
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