The dust from Steve Jobs’s sudden announcement of indefinite medical leave hasn’t even settled, but stand-in chief operating officer Tim Cook has wasted no time in hitting out at rivals during a sales call.
Answering journos’ questions regarding the iPad, Cook commented at length on Apple's competition in the tablet sector and how its rivals can be split into two groupings.
He said: “There’s not much out there as you know. There are two kinds of groups today (in the market) — the ones using a Windows-based operating system.
“They’re big, heavy and expensive. Weak battery life. Need keyboard or stylus. From our point of view, customers aren’t interested in that.
He continued: “Then you have the Android tablets. The variety shipping today, the OS 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.”
I don’t think Tim Cook got the memo that Google has been working for some time on a tablet-optimised version of Android called Honeycomb and that tablets running it have been already announced.
It also wasn’t very long ago that the iPhone dominated the market and in no time Android has already surpassed it on the smartphone front. What’s stopping it from doing the same to the iPad?
One can't help feeling that his remarks might have something to do with flexing one’s corporate muscles - doubtless an important tactic for any COO trying to instil confidence in his employees and shareholders, especially when trying to fill the sizable shoes of Steve Jobs himself. But Cook will need to be careful when goading a competitor like Google.
Analysts have only recently forecast that Android is expected to overtake Apple in the tablet market by 2015, which is not a far-fetched prediction considering its phenomenal growth in smartphones.
Apple will also have its work cut out to stave off a new wave of competition from BlackBerry, which is launching its PlayBook tablet this year and HP, which is set to imminently announce its first webOS powered tablets.