Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not letting its foot off the gas during this pandemic. That's what CEO Tim Cook told employees in a virtual meeting on Thursday, Bloomberg reports. Cook told Apple workers that it will keep making investments in a "really significant way" in new products and will emerge from this crisis in a strong position, according to the report.
The iPhone maker can certainly afford it, with $114 billion in net cash and investments sitting in the bank. Even with stores closed, Apple has been continuing to pay its retail employees.
Focused on the long term
Apple's sales and earnings will be hurt in the short term, especially with the recent spike in unemployment claims. The last thing millions of consumers are probably thinking about right now is buying a pricey gadget. But that hasn't stopped Apple from introducing new products, such as the iPhone SE and new versions of the iPad Pro and MacBook Air.
Apple is making investments for when demand comes back. In addition to continued development of existing products, Apple has long been rumored to be working on self-driving car technology and augmented reality. Apple has also been making small acquisitions in virtual reality.
Later this year, Apple is expected to launch a new iPhone lineup that offers 5G wireless networking. The iPhone 12 also is expected to include 3D cameras. Apple bulls expect these new features to drive a significant upgrade cycle.
Of course, the novel coronavirus could delay that upgrade cycle or cause it to be weaker than expected. While Apple is preparing to reopen stores in May, what's clear is that Cook is focused on the long term. Apple has a mountain of cash to support its employees and remain committed to product research.