Apple's Tim Cook promises “big plans” in 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook looks on before an Apple store opens to sell the new iPhone on Sept. 20, 2013, in Palo Alto, Calif. Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Apple has "big plans that we think customers are going to love," CEO Tim Cook said in a memo thanking employees for their work in 2013.

Snagging a copy of the memo from "multiple sources," 9to5Mac posted the employee e-mail on Sunday. Cook started by reflecting on the new and improved products unveiled this past year, including the iPhone 5S (the 5C didn't make the cut), iOS 7, the free OS X Mavericks upgrade, the iPad Air, the Retina iPad Mini, and the new Mac Pro now shipping from a factory in Texas.

The CEO then discussed the various charitable causes toward which Apple contributed in 2013. Cook also brought up Apple's fight against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In the the final paragraph, Cook expressed his admiration for his employees and also teased the year ahead.

We have a lot to look forward to in 2014, including some big plans that we think customers are going to love. I am extremely proud to stand alongside you as we put innovation to work serving humankind's deepest values and highest aspirations. I consider myself the luckiest person in the world for the opportunity to work at this amazing company with all of you.

What could those big plans be? Some products are a virtual certainty. Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 6 by next October, a model that could bump the screen size. iOS 8 will pop up with its enhancements. New versions of the iPad and iPad Mini will appear, perhaps even an iPad Pro with a 12-inch screen.

Past rumors have suggested that Apple is working on a smartwatch and a television. Either or both of those may appear next year. But the company also needs to create something different and unexpected to once again excite consumers. Could 2014 be the year when Apple does just that?

This article originally appeared on CNET.

  • Lance Whitney On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

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