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Apple: 'New product categories' likely 'this fall and throughout 2014'

Tim Cook
Cook at an Apple event in 2012.Reuters / Robert Galbraith

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a call with investors today that we can expect Apple to explore "new product categories." But when pressed for a launch timeframe, Cook would only say his team was "hard at work on amazing new hardware, software and services we can't wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014."

The Q2 financial results call — which was live tweeted by CNBC — had Cook talking about future products in an optimistic but vague manner, despite some pointed questioning by investors and reporters. While stressing the significance of the fall, and even 2014, for new products, he did not rule out the possibility of smaller announcements and upgrades before the fall.

The "new categories" may include items that have been the subject of the Apple rumor mill of late, including the "iTV" and a smart watch. Cook's remarks suggest the arrival of one or both of these would not be until late 2013, or possibly next year. Meanwhile, perhaps it's not as unlikely that we'll see an iPad Mini with an improved "Retina" display sooner, but Cook's words didn't provide any hints.

Cook also commented on the iPhone's competition — phones like the Galaxy S 4 and HTC One, which feature large screens and other advanced features. Cook described them as "obviously tough competitors," but also said that "we feel we have the best product by far." Other manufacturers, he said, compromise on things like portability, power consumption, display quality and so on in order to ship a larger screen.

Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is