Apple Inc. stock has taken a beating in recent months, but Chief Executive Tim Cook defended his company Tuesday, and expressed optimism that trade tensions with China would soon ease.

Apple shares

AAPL, +1.91%

  have fallen by more than one-third since their peak on Oct. 3, and tumbled further last week after the tech giant warned of disappointing iPhone sales in its holiday quarter.

But in an interview Tuesday with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Cook said the company was still going strong, and its naysayers were full of “bologna.”

“The product pipeline has never been better. The ecosystem has never been stronger.”

Tim Cook, Apple CEO

“Here’s the truth, what the facts are,” Cook said about reports of slow iPhone XR sales, according to a CNBC transcript. “Since we began shipping the iPhone XR, it has been the most popular iPhone every day, every single day, from when we started shipping, until now. . . . I mean, do I want to sell more? Of course I do. Of course I’d like to sell more. And we’re working on that.”

Slower sales in China also contributed to Apple’s lowered forecast, and Cook said Tuesday he believes that situation to be “temporary.”

“We believe, based on what we saw and the timing of it, that the tension, the trade-war tension with the U.S. created this more-sharp downturn,” he said.

Cook said he’s “very optimistic” a trade deal between the U.S. and China will be reached.

“I think a deal is very possible. And I’ve heard some very encouraging words,” he said.

When Cramer asked “Even of recent, right?” Cook replied: “Yes, yes, very recently. And I don’t speak for them, obviously. I do talk with them. And I give them my ideas and thoughts,” referring to the Trump administration’s trade team.

On other subjects, Cook touted the success of its wearables and teased an upcoming service, possibly related to health care. “You will see us announce new services this year. There will more things coming,” he said. “On the health care, in particular, and sorta your well-being, this is an area that I believe, if you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, ‘What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind,’ it will be about health.”

He also took a shot at Qualcomm Inc.

QCOM, -0.87%

 , which Apple has been in litigation with over patent rights. “The issue that we have with Qualcomm is that they have a policy of no license, no chips. This is, in our view, illegal,” he said, claiming there have not been any settlement talks — a comment that Qualcomm later called “misleading.”

“I have an issue with some of their other tactics,” Cook added, referring to a New York Times report that the chip maker used an opposition research firm to spread what he called “fake news” about potentially running for president in 2020, apparently to chill his relationship with the Trump administration. “This is stuff that should be beneath companies. This is not how things should operate,” he said.

Get the top tech stories of the day delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Tech Daily newsletter. Sign up here.

Source link