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Tim Cook’s Life Hints Apple’s Vision for the Home

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Tim Cook was light on specifics but not short on the big picture as he described Apple’s year to come. Speaking on his company’s financial results call, in the afterglow of a record-breaking quarter which saw iPhone sales beat expectations and Mac turn around its decline, Cook name-checked a number of areas Apple will focus on moving forward.

During Apple’s (AAPL, +6.10%) earnings call on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed his company’s “ecosystem,” a place in which the company’s customers are immersed in its products wherever they go during the day. From the iPhone to the Mac to the Apple Watch to the smart home, Apple wants to be its users’ companions wherever they might be.

Cook then turned his attention to the smart home, a buzzword for Internet-connected technologies that turn traditionally “dumb” devices, like a refrigerator or light bulbs, into “smart” devices that can communicate with each other and dedicated apps. He noted that Apple is expanding its presence in that market with help from HomeKit, a service that lets hardware makers integrate control of their products into iOS 10. Cook suggested that Apple’s expansion of compatibility with smart home products puts the company front and center of the smart home craze.

Despite predictions that the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar wouldn’t meet with favor among the power users so eager for an upgrade, the computers set a revenue record for the company. 5.4 million Macs were sold, in fact, and Apple believes it could’ve sold more had the newest MacBook Pro not been constrained throughout the quarter.

There’s “huge growth potential for wearables going forward,” Cook argued. As we found in our own testing of the AirPods, one of the reasons the wireless ‘buds are so successful is that the W1 chip makes pairing and managing audio so straightforward. That streamlining of connectivity could be just as useful in automotive settings.

The CEO described how he already uses HomeKit, Apple’s unifying smart home system, to interact with his connected devices each day. “When I say good morning to Siri,” he explained, “my house lights come on and my coffee starts brewing. When I go to the living room to relax in the evening, I use Siri to adjust the lighting and turn on the fireplace.”

 

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