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This morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a lengthy memo to employees as a reflection of the soon-ending 2013 and the upcoming year of 2014, according to multiple sources. In the letter, Tim Cook discusses people experiencing Apple products this holiday season, the Apple products launched throughout 2013, and corporate initiatives. “This holiday season, tens of millions of people around the world, from all walks of life, are experiencing Apple products for the first time. Those moments of surprise and delight are magical, and they’re all made possible by your hard work,” Cook says in the beginning of the email.

Cook notes Apple’s new manufacturing process for the Assembled in the USA Mac Pro and calls iOS 7 an “extraordinarily ambitious project.” “We extended our lead in the smartphone market with iPhone 5s; launched iOS 7, an extraordinarily ambitious project; released OS X Mavericks for free to our customers; introduced the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display; and this week began shipping the Mac Pro from a manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas,” Cook told employees. Cook also notes his pride over Apple reaching 50 billion App Store app downloads this year. Apple reached this milestone in approximately five years…

Cook also shares some details and reflects on the notable corporate initiatives in 2013. Cook reveals that Apple raised and donated “tens of millions of dollars” for initiatives such as Red Cross assistance for those affected by the typhoon disaster in the Philippines. Cook also notes that Apple is still the largest contributor to the Product(RED) foundation and notes his pride in Apple design chief Jony Ive’s contribution to the Sotheby’s Product(RED) auction earlier this year. Cook also discusses Apple’s contribution and fight for diversity, equality, and against discrimination. Cook previously made this clear to employees in a video message and at an Auburn University event.

Cook ends his email wishing his employees “Happy Holidays” and says “I am extremely proud to stand alongside you as we put innovation to work serving humankind’s deepest values and highest aspirations. I consider myself the luckiest person in the world for the opportunity to work at this amazing company with all of you.”

Perhaps most interestingly for customers excited about Apple’s future, Cook teases some big plans for 2014. “We have a lot to look forward to in 2014, including some big plans that we think customers are going to love,” Cook tells employees. Apple is working on several new products for 2014 and beyond. Sources say that Apple is developing both a fitness, sensor-oriented smart watch and new Apple television products. Future Apple TV products will likely revolve around both voice and motion integration, and sources expect an Apple TV software revamp to launch alongside new hardware sometime next year. Apple is also developing larger iPhones, iPads, and higher-resolution Mac laptops.

The full email from Cook to employees can be read below:

Team,

This holiday season, tens of millions of people around the world, from all walks of life, are experiencing Apple products for the first time. Those moments of surprise and delight are magical, and they’re all made possible by your hard work. As many of us prepare to celebrate the holidays with our loved ones, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve achieved together over the past year.

First and foremost, we introduced industry-leading products in each of our major categories in 2013, showing the breadth and depth of innovation at Apple. We extended our lead in the smartphone market with iPhone 5s; launched iOS 7, an extraordinarily ambitious project; released OS X Mavericks for free to our customers; introduced the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina display; and this week began shipping the Mac Pro from a manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas. We also marked our 50 billionth download on the App Store – a milestone no one could have predicted we would reach so quickly.

Together we’ve shown the world that innovation at Apple goes beyond our products to the way we do business and how we give back to our community. This year, Apple raised and donated tens of millions of dollars for important charities and relief efforts like Red Cross aid to typhoon victims in the Philippines, and we continue to be the largest contributor to (PRODUCT)RED, supporting the Global Fund in its fight against the spread of AIDS in Africa. Just a few weeks ago, Jony Ive led an unprecedented effort that brought money and awareness to eliminating the transmission of AIDS from mother to child.

And finally, Apple is standing up for what we believe is right. We know that equality and diversity make our company and our society stronger, so we’ve urged the U.S. Congress to support workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We are also laser focused on our contribution to several environmental initiatives and we will increase our efforts even more in this area in the future.

We have a lot to look forward to in 2014, including some big plans that we think customers are going to love. I am extremely proud to stand alongside you as we put innovation to work serving humankind’s deepest values and highest aspirations. I consider myself the luckiest person in the world for the opportunity to work at this amazing company with all of you.

Happy Holidays,

Tim

Image via Getty Images

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40 Responses to “Tim Cook tells employees Apple has ‘big plans’ for 2014 that ‘customers are going to love’”

  1. hmurchison says:

    This is said EVERY year. “We have great products in the pipeline”

  2. What about a fix for iOS so Safari doesn’t crash 4-5 each day? no?

    iOS7 on iPad Air is a utter disgrace!

  3. What do you expect him to say, next year we are going to suck.

  4. Carl Peters says:

    It might be a good idea to to fix the 7.0.4 update that leaves customers experiencing no wi-fi on phones-iPads before peddling more of your overpriced junk .

  5. drtyrell969 says:

    Ha…vaperware directly into the employ base. Don’t tell me, “Next year we’re going to play catch up to Android!” Just got my Galaxy Note 3…the iPhone is literally living in the stone ages on every conceivable level.

    • Agreed. I travel to London every few months, and on every prior visit, most people had iPhones. On my trip today, 75% had the Galaxy Note 3, the rest iPhones. Oh, one bloke on the train had a Blackberry 10 device, and a Pebble Smart watch, the latter probably the most innovative product from anyone in the last few years.

      Anyway, the talk / letter by Tim Cook is embarrassing and and sounds desperate, not to mention, overly liberal.

      Typing this on a 1TB MB Pro 15″ Retina. Powerful, and based on some innovative manufacturing technniques, but not forward thinking from a software or ergonomics angle.

      If Apple are going to do something cool in 2014, it needs to be akin to starting afresh with design innovation, from all components of the equation.
      :)

      • Kevin D Dell says:

        Evolution is still relevant. I too have a MBP Retina like yours (I assume 16 GB…). I hope you realize that your SSD speed equals the new Mac Pro (faster than ANY other MBP, including other Retina MBP models). This was unannounced by Apple, but served as a serious testbed among professionals. I happily paid a very large sum for my MBP, as you did for yours, and feel I received good value. (FWIW, I am an academic physician, with a Semi-pro photographer sideline). I use Photoshop, DXO Optics, Aperture, and many other more minor programs on that laptop–I wouldn’t want to use any other.

        Regarding your plane experience, do remember that the recent updates to Apple’s line are indeed RECENT and so some people haven’t had the chance to update to their preferred platform.

        Also remember that anecdote is not the singular form of data! (Datum is, for those who care…). I can say that my sister and both my parents have switched to iPhones this season, something that I thought impossible until now. I think Apple is doing better than you think.

    • They had 64bit CPU’s and mobile OS’s in the stone ages? Who knew?

      Android is most certainly playing catch up in this regard, it’ll take them a LONG time given how fragmented the whole thing is. It’ll need a conceited effort from the entire OEM community and Google to bring something truly competitive in this area.

      64bit is a HUGE step forward, it’s already given many apps a 2 fold increase in performance in a single generation and the gulf between the performance and quality of iOS vs Android apps is going to become ever bigger because of this.

    • Tallest Skil says:

      You have a mental illness.

    • Good one! That’s imitation of a mindless Fandroid was spot-on!

      Of course we all know that the iPhone is so far ahead (over 70 percent of all iPhones capable of using it are on iOS 7 now, compared to how many Androids have the latest OS? Under 20 percent?) that there is no comparison. Just the processor in the iPhone 5s is so far ahead, it has all the other companies nailed with their pants down scrambling to announce 64 bit processors.

      So you really nailed it with the Kool-aid drinking Fandroid brigade. Keep the humor up! We need a good laugh at ourselves once in a while, otherwise Apple fans will start looking like Fandroids in both lack of credibility and desperation to propagandize against the competition.

  6. I hope one of those plans includes improvements in the design of iOS 7 so it’s actually readable on an iPhone screen!

  7. Gregg Mojica says:

    Yeah, Apple says this every year…hoping that 2014 is a year that will stand out, however. I’m personally a huge fan of iOS 7′s design, but it’s very laggy on my iPad 3 and older. I’m waiting for that iWatch (rumors say it’s coming in 2014) and the iTV (but that’s probably not coming until 2015). Anyhow, I’m excited!

    • I can say with almost 100% confidence. We’ll never see an “iTV” (if for no other reason that that name can NEVER POSSIBLY EVER EVER EVER be used for it). The TV market is far too saturated with absolutely nothing to gain for Apple. There’s literally nothing Apple could bring to the TV market that isn’t already achieved with the set top box. The UI is the only thing people seem to fixate on but that will do nothing to fix everything else that’s connected to it. The ONLY time I can see Apple making a physical TV set is during the next paradigm shift in how TV works, possibly when we get to the hologram stage for true 3D, beyond such a massive leap I see absolutely no reason for Apple to get involved in this market any more than their set top box strategy.

      • Gregg Mojica says:

        I’m very confident that Apple will make a TV. The UI will and can be incredible – they just bought PrimeSense. Imagine that with Siri’s voice technology and commands.

        I do agree with you that they won’t call it “iTV” (I used it as it’s the common convention now), but I believe it’s coming soon. Tim Cook has hinted numerous times that a TV is in the works and in Steve Jobs’ official biography, he said that he “finally cracked it.”

        Just wait! :)

      • borntofeel says:

        “The TV market is far too saturated with absolutely nothing to gain for Apple. ”

        Because the smartphone market wasn’t?

        “There’s literally nothing Apple could bring to the TV market that isn’t already achieved with the set top box. ”

        And that’s the whole point. Put the setup box in the TV and it’s already better than having a separate box.

        “The UI is the only thing people seem to fixate on but that will do nothing to fix everything else that’s connected to it.”
        The UI will be one of the main factors in its success or failure. It doesn’t need to be connected if all services are included inside. Also, new protocols can be developed.

      • Tallest Skil says:

        >that name can NEVER be used for it

        Well, that’s just stupid. Of course it could.

        >The TV market is far too saturated with absolutely nothing to gain for Apple. There’s literally nothing Apple could bring to the TV market that isn’t already achieved with the set top box.

        This, though? Couldn’t be more correct. 100%.

      • Tallest Skil says:

        @borntofeel

        This quote system is PSYCHOTIC.

        >Because the smartphone market wasn’t?

        No, the smartphone market didn’t EXIST before Apple created it.

        >Put the setup box in the TV and it’s already better than having a separate box.

        In no way, and under no circumstances, is that the case.

      • Set top boxes are the worst. I have tried several of those things. None of them have a decent user interface. Some of them (and I’m looking at you samsung / UPC) are utterly rubbish: laggy and cumbersome interface, lots of frame-dropouts and really bad scaling 720p>1080p.
        At least this is how it is like in Switzerland / Europe.

  8. livelystate says:

    standard procedure. Apple are always very confident in their products. I do like that I got a free Mavericks update on my Macbook Air.

  9. rogifan says:

    I see the trolls are out in full force today. What’s Cook supposed to say anyways? Tell his employees that they suck and the competition is better? Geez people, get real. Plus Cook never said Apple would release new product categories in 2013. Reading between the lines it was always obvious 2014 would be the year of brand new stuff.

  10. all i want is an iPhone with a bigger screen and the ability to switch between screens on my iPad using keyboard shortcuts so if i can’t look at two apps at the same time, i can at least switch between them without swiping.

  11. Anyone who’s ever taken a management course understands exactly why he said what he did. Was he really going to come out and say “yeah, this was a transitional year for us, next year will be better”. The CEO always has to sing the praise of the company. Besides, in borrowing from Intel’s lingo, this was the “tock” year for Apple; we’ll see some bigger changes in 2014.

    I too was disappointed by iOS7, so much so that I picked up a Nexus 5. But now having switched to Android cold turkey, I can’t say that I’ve been won over. If anything, I can now see that I really haven’t been missing anything by spending the past three years on iOS.

  12. Laughing_Boy48 says:

    I just wish Cook would do something about Apple’s crappy share price. Promises aren’t worth a damn thing. If he can’t convince big investors Apple has a future, then he might as well say nothing and just get something done to convince them.

    • rogifan says:

      Yeah because Steve Jobs gave a damn about Wall Street when he was CEO. TIM Cook needs to be focused on making sure Apple releases great products, not wooing big investors.

  13. Stan Gordon says:

    I could care less if Apple very makes a TV!

  14. Everything was going fine until the sentence that started with “Sources say that…” and it turned to pure speculation. That was a real turnoff. That part didn’t belong here. You guys just can’t help yourselves. Willful duplicity is out of control.

  15. I think we are not looking at this TV thing through the lense that steve jobs imagined or how apple has done other products..What revolutionized the ipod was the entire eco system around it..sure the device was great, but what apple did was challenge the entire way music was sold..and used…I think the real area that needs exploration is the way tv is distributed, and content provided to the consumer..This is an area where itunes and the broadcasting industry can collaborate..So if apple does do the tv (in 14, 15 or later) they are probably going to look to change the entire tv expereince from the way content is devleoped and importantly delivered to the way it is presented (UI)..

  16. Mike Conder says:

    In case you haven’t realized this yet Timmy, Apple is not a philanthropic organization. I’m tired of this corporate, NSA suck up destroying the legacy of Steve Jobs. I don’t want a corporate lapdog in charge at Apple anymore. I want a CEO visionary, dictator in chief like Steve to risk his very existence on future tech that hasn’t even been thought up yet. Instead we get this corporate P.O.S. just riding on the shirt tails of a great man. Google and Samsung are consistently chipping away at Apple. If Tim is not fired soon, it is over. We will be left with soulless, evil, NSA loving Google for all our tech. Thank you Tim Cook. What about Jony Ive? Anyone would be better. I would be better.