One day after taking over day-to-day management duties from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook wasted no time letting iPad competitors know what he thinks of them.
In a conference call this week, Apple reported that it sold about 7.33 million iPads during the December quarter, nearly 1 million more units than Wall Street analysts had predicted, and bringing the total shipped to 14.8 million.
Cook took the opportunity to lay into some of the iPad’s competitors calling Microsoft’s Windows-based systems too “big, heavy” to be of any interest in the consumer space, and referred to tablets running earlier versions of Google’s Android as bizarre devices because that software was originally designed for smartphones.
“So you wind up having a size of a tablet that is less than what we believe is reasonable or even one that would provide what we feel is a real tablet experience,” he said of the Android tablets, according to transcripts released of the call. “And so basically, you wind up with a scaled-up smartphone, which is a bizarre product, in our view.”
Cook also dismissed a third group of competitors that haven’t been released yet. “They lack performance specs. They lack prices. They lack timing. And so today, they're vapor. We'll assess them as they come out,” he said.
Of course, with the nascent tablet computing market is set to explode in 2011, as dozens of new devices introduced to the public, it is in Apple’s interest to defend its iPad supremacy even if it means tearing down the competition.
According to a report from the technology research firm Yankee Group, tablet sales will grow from 21 million in 2010 to 168 million in 2014.
Apple currently claims anywhere from 87 percent to 95 percent of that space depending on who you ask.