Look out BlackBerry, Apple intend to cannibalise smartphone rivals. And Nokia, you’re not safe from harm, either. In thinly veiled references to rivals today, Tim Cook, Apple’s new Commander-In-Chief, spoke about his intention to get “aggressive” and “eat into” the phones market (Nokia’s stronghold) and the enterprise arena – BlackBerry’s core arena – and make sure everyone who wants an iPhone can have one, even in the mass market.
And tab rivals aren’t safe either, with Cook taking a swipe at “the other guys'” (i.e. Android) lack of software application artillery, with just “a number in the hundreds” compared to App Store’s 140,000 plus figure for iPad.
And on the content front, iTunes users have purchased 16 billion songs, and the iBook e-reader content library isn’t faring badly – with 180 million downloads.
And Cook was quick and fast with other impressive figures at today’s Apple conference call, announcing its Q4 profits to September 24th, which left some analysts less than impressed, with iPhone sales figures down 3 million on last quarter, although up on last year.
Tim Cook eyes up rivals
However, news of 4 million iPhone 4S sales last weekend alone should quell some analysts’ concern and could see Apple hit a monster smartphone figure next December quarter, something which Cook is “confident” of setting an “all time record” for.
Let’s face it, they have reason to be quietly confident.
Consumer feedback about Siri, the voice activated personal assistant on new iPhone 4S was “extremely enthusiastic” which users were “loving” iMessage and iCloud, unleashed last week as part of iOS 5 update.
But iPhone is also penetrating major Fortune 500 companies who are switching on to Apple, including Loews, L’Oreal, Royal Bank Scotland and Jaguar Land Rover, Cook boasted.
Cupertino sold 17.07m iPhones from July to September 24th – a 21% growth year-on-year – and this figure does not include spellbinding 4 million iPhone 4S sales last weekend.
But Apple, renowned as a premium brand, is also eyeing the low end market a sector which it has has pledged to “eat into” dominated by the likes of Nokia and Samsung, and reduced the price of iPhone 3G and iPhone 4, to gain more global traction in both pre-pay and post pay markets.
“It’s been out thinking for a while to do that,” Apple said.
The tablet market also presented “huge opportunities” and there is “huge enthusiasm for iPad’s” among consumers, and it expect records to be broken next quarter, Apple CEO added.
Apple sold 11.12 million iPads during its fourth quarter, a 166 percent increase compared to a year ago and 40m in total, in the 18 months since the birth of the device.
And the mobile computing category looks set to cannibalise PCs, if Cook’s predictions comes to pass: “I still believe it will be larger than the PC market,” he declared, although admitted iPad was even “cannibalising” the Mac.
And Apple’s tablets are penetrating enterprise sector on this front also.
92% of Fortune 500 are now testing or deploying the tablet including United Airlines, who have installed the device into their cockpits and also helping Siemens workers complete maintenance tasks.
And even more worryingly for Google Android’s carriers including Samsung and HTC, both who have lost preliminary patent legal cases against Cupertino in the last week, 93% of all web use from tablets in the US is from iPad users.
“We have seen several competitors come into the tablet market with different form factors and price points but none have gained any traction,” Cook declared.
And despite the entry of Android Honeycomb rivals from Acer, to Samsung Galaxy and Asus,”our share actually increased,” he added.
Little wonder then, Apple has pursued its global patents legal battle with Samsung with such fervour, succeeding in blocking its rival Galaxy Tab 10.1 from launching Down Under, pending a further hearing.
On the issue, which analysts queried at today’s call, Cook refused to comment but did say, “we don’t like it when some one else takes [our innovations].”
As it announced stellar profits of $6.2bn, Apple are laughing all the way to the bank with cash artillary of over $81bn.