Tim Cook discusses Google selling Motorola, says iPhone hasn’t hit a ceiling, and more from full WSJ interview

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After posting excerpts last night, in which Tim Cook announced Apple’s share buyback of $14 billion in the last two weeks, The Wall Street Journal has now published the full interview with Apple’s CEO.

The interview repeats many of the comments Cook has made to investors in the past, reaffirming that new product categories under development, but does contain some new, interesting tidbits. For instance, Wakabayashi asked Cook about Google’s disposal of Motorola. Cook says he “wasn’t surprised” that Google sold it off, saying that software and hardware integration is what makes Apple unique as a company.

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From fashion to fitness: the experts behind Apple’s wearable future

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Apple has been developing a sensor-laden, fitness- and medical-focused wearable computer as indicated by several notable recent hires and information we have received from sources.

New Apple hires on both the senior executive and standard engineering levels have expertise in fashion, wearable product industrial design, retail, blood-reading sensors, medical device product management, hardware engineering, software vision, and fitness.

As the rumored launch of the “iWatch” approaches, we have compiled an up-to-date list (into categories of leadership, fashion, fitness, and health) of all known and pertinent recent Apple hires to provide a clearer picture of what Apple’s future wearable technologies could offer to consumers…

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Apple just procured enough Sapphire Crystal furnaces to make 100-200M ~5-inch iPhone displays in Arizona

Last year, Apple and GT Advanced struck a deal to open and operate a manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona related to sapphire crystal components.

Earlier this year, we learned that Apple is “aggressively” pushing to make the facility operational by February 2014 and that the building would produce a “critical” and “new” sub-component for future Apple devices. Due to the vagueness and secrecy surrounding Apple and GT Advanced’s plans, there has been little to no confirmation regarding what exactly the partnership will yield for future Apple products.

But, thanks to new documents and information that we have uncovered with help of analyst Matt Margolis, we have a clearer picture of Apple’s plans…

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Analyst says iPad tops other tablets in Q4, accounting for a third of all tablets sold in 2013

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Strategy Analytics reported its tablet figures for 2013 and unsurprisingly, iPad remains in first place with 33.9% marketshare. Marketshare growth has dipped slightly, however, year-on-year as iPad accounted for 35.7% of tablet sales in Q4 2012.

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In terms of unit growth, Apple rose 14% compared with the year-ago quarter. The second-place position goes to Samsung, with 17.7% marketshare (although this means annual growth was more than 80%). Apple sold just under double Samsung’s shipments for the period, so even though Apple’s growth has slowed, there is still a significant gap between first and second place.

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iWatch + iOS 8: Apple sets out to redefine mobile health, fitness tracking

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Apple has its sights set on another industry ripe for reinvention: the mobile healthcare and fitness world. Apple currently plans to release a new version of the iPhone operating system this year with health and fitness tracking integration as its headline feature, according to sources briefed on the plans. Apple’s work on such an operating system likely indicates that Apple is nearing the introduction of its long-awaited, sensor-laden “iWatch,” which sources say is well into development…

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