Apple Inc's new Swift language a "huge leap forward for iOS ecosystem," offers "enormous opportunity" with IBM in enterpriseSpeaking to analysts, Apple's chief executive Tim Cook called the company's new Swift programming language "a huge leap forward for the iOS ecosystem" and an important contributing factor to the company's new partnership with IBM targeting enterprise app development.
Cook opened his prepared remarks by noting Apple's "best ever" Worldwide Developer Conference had attracted a new record audience of "20 million people from around the world watching our keynote," where the company introduced Swift alongside iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.
Referring to Swift as "an innovative new programming language for iOS and OS X," Cook noted that "Swift is the result of the latest research on programming languages, combined with decades of experience building Apple platforms. It makes writing code code interactive and fun, eliminates entire classes of unsafe code, and generates apps that run lightning fast," Cook stated.
"It's easy to learn, allowing even more people to dream big and create whole new categories of apps. We believe our new OS releases combined with Swift will result in a huge leap forward for the Apple ecosystem, and we can't wait to see what developers will create with Yosemite, iOS 8 and Swift."
iOS Everywhere, Swiftly
Cook then described Apple as "extending iOS in even more directions," outlining the company's plans for CarPlay as "a safe and intuitive user interface while driving," HealthKit integration with medical providers and fitness sensor makers, and HomeKit, which Cook described as a way to "control lights, doors, thermostats and other connected devices around the house using Siri."
In the enterprise market, Cook said, "we've forged a relationship with IBM to deliver a new class of mobile business solutions to enterprise customers around the world. We're working together to provide companies access to the power of big data analytics right on every employee's iPhone or iPad.
"Using Swift, we will collaborate to bring over 100 MobileFirst apps to enterprise clients, each addressing a specific industry need or opportunity.
"This is a radical step for enterprise. It opens a large market opportunity for Apple," Cook emphasized. "But more importantly, it's great for productivity and creativity of our enterprise customers."
Cook concluded, "from the pocket, to the car, to the workplace, home and gym, we have a very large vision of what iOS can be and we are incredibly excited about our plans."
App Store growth off the charts
In the question and answer portion of the conference call, Apple's chief financial officer Luca Maestri outlined that Apple's iTunes billings grew 25 percent year over year to reach an all-time high.
Apple has now paid its App Store developers more than $20 billion, the company noted, nearly half of which was paid out over the last 12 months. Cook added that in China, Apple's iTunes software & services, including the App Store is "almost doubling" year over year.
"Mobile in enterprise is an enormous opportunity" - Tim Cook
Specific to enterprise apps, Cook also reiterated that Apple and IBM both see "mobile in enterprise is an enormous opportunity." He later responded to a question about whether Apple would continue to take a cut of enterprise apps sold through iTunes by stating there were "no plans to change the rules with enterprise."
Cook added that "some enterprises write proprietary apps they do not want to offer to others, and so we obviously have a way for them to distribute those into their enterprise on just the employees they want to. I'm not worried about changing that. We're all for taking friction out of the system, and not adding it.
"Again, the big thing for us is getting the penetration number up," Cook said. "Getting our products, iPhones and iPad and Macs, in more people's hands. And we think there's a big opportunity in enterprise to do that."