iTunes boss Cue: Apple has 'best product pipeline in 25 years' - but won't tell what's coming next

iTunes boss Cue: Apple has 'best product pipeline in 25 years' - but won't tell what's coming next

Summary: Apple has some big product promises to live up if iTunes head Eddy Cue is telling the truth.

Image: Apple

The iMac, iPod, iPhone, and MacBook Air were all great products for their time, but they're no match for what Apple's got under wraps this year, according to iTunes boss Eddy Cue.

Apple's $3bn acquisition of Beats might have leaked ahead of yesterday's official announcement of the deal, but advance warning of Apple hardware roadmaps are a little harder to come by, especially from those who can speak about them credibly.

Instead, as Apple chief Tim Cook did earlier this year, Apple's descriptions of upcoming products are boiled down to generic discussions of having "great stuff" in the pipeline.

Cue appears to have taken his lead from Cook, telling Re/Code's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher that Apple had its best line-up in a quarter of a century.

"Later this year, we've got the best product pipeline that I’ve seen at Apple in my 25 years at Apple," Cue said at the publication's Code conference this week.

Of course, that was all he gave away and when reminded by Mossberg that Apple had released the iMac, iPod, iPhone and MacBook Air during the last quarter of a century, the Apple exec insisted the forthcoming nameless products were "great".

With suggestions dogging Apple that the company may have hit a creative wall after recent iterations of the iPhone and iPad failed to wow, Cook earlier this year said Apple would be launching into "new categories".

Such a move would address the problem that most of the growth in the smartphone and tablet categories is expected at the low end where Apple doesn't play.

The company has made some efforts recently to diversify its product portfolio: Apple recently launched CarPlay and is rumoured to be pursuing the home automation market with a new software platform for iOS and a new version of Apple TV. There's also long rumoured iWatch, and a larger iPhone. 

The public may get a chance to judge Cue's claim next Monday at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference 2014, but if it's anything like previous years, it will be short on new devices.

According to CNET, Apple sources say there's no hardware being released at the event, which fits with Apple's practice of using WWDC to unveil new versions of iOS and OS X.

Read more on Apple

Topic: Apple

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Much Ado About Nothing.

    Rumors about rumors now?

    Apple farts and 50,000 bloggers go write some more drivel.

    Is there really, really, so little going on that we have to subjected to Apple's efforts to keep the share price up?
    • i agree

      talk is cheap. The Tim Cook era has yet to produce anything new--the iPad air and mini are both well designed but aren't new product categories- and Apple watchers and investors are waiting to see what comes next.
      • exactly

        Maybe it's true, but they need to show ONE new great product at least. Pipeline aren't worth anything if products stay there, like their smart tv.
  • I'll believe it when I see it

    given that there've been no new product categories since SJ left, this is less than vapourware.
  • Says the Microshaft Fanboi ...

    ...who still pretends in he's in both camps


    (after all this time? Sore ass?)
    • Why'd you bring Microsoft into this?

      This is about Apple, isn't it?

      Anyhow, I came here expecting some sort of teaser, maybe some type of Mac refresh.

      I'm not sure if someone not saying anything constitutes as news-worthy.
  • Only "great"?

    No 'magical' products? Only 'great ones?

    I'm underwhelmed already.
    Lord Minty
  • "...failed to wow..."

    Hmm. Did you look at the 5s sales figures?
  • Yeah suuuure..

    So now they've got something *better* than the revolutionary ipod,. iPhone, iPad etc.. is this a joke? Did Steve Jobs somehow come back from paradise with revolutionary new concepts?
    I think not.
    Nick Ettema
  • Look, this is rediculous.

    Sure, Apple makes good products and comes up with interesting ideas for sure. The ONLY real brilliant idea they had was to put a touch screen on a smartphone. That's it.

    While pretty much everything Apple puts out is well built and works well, and that's great, but its overblown, and its not cheap. Much of why Apple sells so much of what they sell is because they managed to convince the public that because the iPod was a great mp3 player, and the iPhone was the first touch screen phone, that this must mean that Apple is pure genius. They make good stuff. It works great. I used an iPhone for 3 years and still have an iPod. But I don't understand the good quality of those 2 products translating into product inventive genius.

    Marketing genius is a little more close to the facts.

    Lets be real, its been a whole lot of "hype hype hype" since we seen the first idiots waiting in the rain in front of an Apple store for the 2nd version iPhone all night and day.

    And all Apple does is try and build the hype hype hype every time.

    The iPad? Oh please. Go ahead. Love your iPad. I know, its magic. If you really need a $500 device with a mobile operating system on a ten inch screen with no DVD drive and no keyboard. I could see a bit of raving if it had of been OSX, at least the Mac fans would have a genuine point then.

    Whats next? I'll tell you whats next. A lot of hype hype hype then the release of a product we get by WITHOUT just fine today, but it will cost hundreds of dollars give or take and it will be a clever mish mash of others inventions promoted by Apple to be the next big thing.

    But what ever exactly it will be, it will mostly be a downgraded version of something we think might be cool but in actuality will never be quite as cool in reality compared to how cool Apple makes it sound. And if Apples marketing team has done their chores, they will certainly sell millions.
    • Come on

      I think we all know they've done a bit more than that. You say you have an iPod? Well the whole idea of doing music by micro-payments (rather than stealing it off Napster) was another Apple idea.

      I think we're all well aware that Apple has disrupted a few times, and I suspect even you know that. The problem here is not that they NEVER have, just that they aren't doing it right now.