Tim Cook: Everyone Wants An iPhone, And Other Revelations About Apple's Future

On The Road To $700 Billion

Coming off a successful quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook Tuesday addressed a crowd on the company's outlook moving forward at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company came off the record-breaking quarter ended Dec. 27, selling 74.4 million iPhones to power $18 million in profit on a 30 percent sales increase to $74.6 billion.

But going forward, Cook announced more moves for Apple, including a partnership for Apple Pay and a groundbreaking environmental initiative. After Cook's Tuesday speech, Apple again broke records, closing the market up 1.9 percent and becoming the first U.S. company to post a $700 billion market cap.

Following are five new Apple-related developments revealed in Cook's speech.

1. Groundbreaking Environmental Initiative

Cook announced Apple's partnership with First Solar on constructing an $850 million California solar farm, as part of a bigger initiative to further the company's environmental focus.

"Just today, we're announcing our biggest, boldest and most ambitious project ever," said Cook. "We're partnering with First Solar to build a solar farm in Monterey County ... It's 1,300 acres. It's enough power for almost 60,000 California homes.

"We know, in Apple, that climate change is real," he stated. "And our view is that the time for talk has passed, and the time for action is now. And we've shown that with what we've done. And so we're now running all of our data centers, which require lots of energy for those of you that understand data centers, all of them are run off renewable energy."

2. What Makes Apple Watch Different?

Cook talked about the long-anticipated Apple Watch, the company's first smartwatch that will be released in April, saying it would bring "Siri to your wrist." While the smartwatch industry is already rolling, Cook said the Apple Watch would boost the market.

"There are several things that are called 'smartwatches' that are shipping, but I'm not sure you could name any," he said. "Certainly, there's been none that have changed the way people live their lives.

"If you're interested in keeping up with the sports score to the financial markets to whatever it is … the watch knows you're looking at it, and it comes on," he said. "And there's so many things like that, and the third-party apps, [that] I'm superexcited about."

3. Everyone Wants An iPhone

As the global smartphone space grows more competitive, Cook addressed some of the low-cost smartphones that have emerged in the past year, stressing that the iPhone would prevail through its high quality.

"What we won't do is … something that's second-rate, or that's only a good product, not a great product," he said. "Because that's not what Apple stands for, and that's not what we think customers want. People everywhere in this world want a great product," Cook said.

"And that doesn't mean that everyone in the world can afford one yet. But everyone wants one. And so, if we do our jobs right, and keep making great products, I think there's a pretty good business there for us."

4. 'Innovating Like Crazy' In Mac

Cook stressed his satisfaction with the Mac, saying that the MacBook, iMac and Mac Pro have been successful, in part, due to Apple's focus on innovation.

"I think [the Mac] has a bright future," he said. "Despite the industry shrinking, the Mac has gained share for 10 years straight ... and the reason is we're innovating like crazy in it. We came out with the iMac last year with a 5K Retina display, the world's first. Our notebooks have incredible battery life, they're thin and light, they're powerful, the OS is unbelievable, and so we're continuing to invest here and we think we've got a bright future."

5. Apple Pay-Jet Blue Partnership

Cook praised Apple Pay, the company's mobile payment system, saying "it's going faster than I thought it would." By December, he said, two out of three dollars spent with contactless payments were through Apple Pay, and more companies are approaching the system to sign up.

The most recent development, he said, is Apple Pay's recent partnership with Jet Blue.

"Jet Blue just announced this morning that they will accept Apple Pay beginning this month, and they're going to roll it out across all of their flights between now and three months or so from now, and you can buy from your snack to your drinks and all the other things you can do on planes," he said.