In an interview with Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Bernstein Research, where he was joined by Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and VP of Internet Services Eddy Cue, Cook said Apple doesn't want its products to be “just for the rich,” and is “not ceding any market.”

Sacconaghi says Cook “appeared to reaffirm the notion that Apple is likely to develop lower priced offerings” to expand the market for the iPhone. Cook also pointed out that Apple was spending “huge energy” in China, which was he said, “a classic prepaid market”

Sacconaghi’s report was publicised on the Forbes web site by Eric Savitz. Other key points from the report include Cook referring to the iPhone as “the mother of all halos,” noting that the iPhone has expanded Apple’s sales of other products, particularly in emerging markets.

Cook also indicated that the tablet market would be much bigger than the PC market. Sacconaghi concludes in the report that if so, it could eventually be a $60 billion to $100 billion business for Apple alone. The COO also said he expected intense competition in tablets, more so than in smartphones, with all PC and smartphone vendors likely to participate, but he added that Apple has a strong head start, and that it has interesting new things in the pipeline. 

In Sacconaghi’s interview Oppenheimer noted that Apple has only 175 mobile carriers today, versus 550 for Research In Motion. making carrier expansion a priority for Apple. Oppenheimer conceded that Apple’s capital structure was not efficient and also indicated that Apple would likely continue to use its balance sheet to do partnerships to secure supplies of key components.

A final point from Cook reveals Apple’s dedication to its money-spinning smartphone, if such a revelation was needed. The COO told Sacconaghi that he felt that iPhone was just below food and water on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and that ultimately all phones would be smartphones.