Apple chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, fielded the usual future product questions when he spoke at Citigroup’s 15th Annual Global Technology Conference yesterday. His media trainers should be proud – he successfully managed to keep analysts interested while saying as little as possible. Here’s some highlights from the chat.

CFO Oppenheimer confirmed Apple wants to introduce the iPhone into China, but offered no time scale, ad he reiterated company management’s regret Apple didn’t delay the launch of MobileMe.

"I don’t have any announcements today regarding China," Oppenheimer said, "but for those who haven’t seen it, we’ve had three in Russia in the last 24 hours. Couldn’t be happier with where we are with iPhone distribution.

Oppenheimer’s most critical statements – particularly as economists continue to warn of recession – stress the company’s move to lower product prices…"We plan to keep offering products at a reasonable margin, but not so high to benefit our competitors," he said, advising that Apple has outgrown maret averages for the last 14-15 quarters, and confirming Apple’s 80% market share of consumer notebooks priced above $1,000.

Oppenheimer refused to be drawn on any new product launches, beyond saying Apple has 4,000 talented engineers who continue to develop new things, and promising "we’re going to rock" at next week’s Apple event.

Asked about Apple’s interest in netbooks, he once again refused to be drawn, saying, "but now, we have lots of great notebooks".

He also pointed out that a low dollar exchange rate is advantageous to Apple..

The CFO also noted the continued price fluctuation on SSD, saying "We’ll see how competition between solid state and hard drives work out; think it’ll be good for us and our customers in the end."

iPhone sales are pleasing: "We expect to sell more iPhones in the September quarter than in any prior quarter, " he said. "We’re very focused on coming out with state of the art products for customers," he added.

Oh – and a message from Apple management to iPhone users…on the device’s lack of voice dialling, he remarked: "That’s the beauty of our software model. We have a team of people who are working on new innovations; can make them come out for current and new customers. Wouldn’t rule anything out…."

 

 

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