Apple COO Tim Cook explained during the company's earnings call why Apple doesn't fear tablet competition from Microsoft Windows and Google Android machines.
Basking in the
glow of a record first quarter, Apple COO Tim Cook labeled Android tablets
"bizarre" and characterized Windows 7-based tablets as "big,
heavy and expensive."
Apple reported earnings
of $6 billion, or $6.43 cents a
share, up 78 percent from a year-ago. Revenue rose 71 percent to $26.7 billion.
The company's record
earnings were buoyed by sales of 16.24 million iPhones, an 86 percent growth
from the year-ago quarter, and 7.33 million iPads, a 75 percent bump over the
sales like that, it's easy to see why Cook, who is taking on day-to-day
operations at Apple while CEO Steve Jobs is on medical leave
, would feel
confident answering questions from financial analysts about the tablet
: "There are two kinds of
groups today [in the market]-the ones using a Windows-based operating system.
They're big, heavy and expensive. They have weak battery life. You need a keyboard
or stylus. From our point of view, customers aren't interested in that.
"Then you have
the Android tablets," he continued. "The variety shipping today, the operating
system wasn't designed for a tablet, but Google said this. So you wind up
having the size of a tablet that's less than reasonable, or one that's not even
a real tablet experience. It's a -scaled-up smartphone.' That's a bizarre
product in our view. That is what is shipping today. If you do a side-by-side
with an iPad, some enormous percentage is going to pick the iPad. We have no
eWEEK happened upon
several of the Windows tablets at
the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, and while we could not ascertain the
battery life, some of the machines were heavy, and some weren't. Cook's claim
is a generalization at best.
closer to the mark with his comments on Android tablets, where he is clearly
referencing the 7-inch-screen Samsung Galaxy Tab and perhaps the range of
tablets from Archos.
These machines are all based on Google's Android 2.2
operating system, which Google did allow was not optimized for tablets. Even so, Samsung managed to sell more than 1.5 million Galaxy Tabs in a few months.
Android fans would point out that the Android 3.0-based tablets, such as the
10.1-inch Motorola Xoom, are coming soon-next month in fact. Cook dismissed
these as "vapor" because they are not shipping yet.
of the media and anyone else who attended
Verizon's keynote address at CES or
toured the Motorola booth know that the Xoom is an impressive combination of
hardware and software that should provide a more viable iPad alternative.
Even so, it's
hard to argue against the iPad's rise. IDC's Jan. 18 numbers, which were unveiled
hours before Apple's earnings call, show
that the iPad accounted for 90 percent of the 17 million media tablet sales in
IDC expects the media tablet market to hit 44.6 million
units in 2011, with the U.S. representing nearly 40 percent of the total.