Microsoft who is struggling to get traction in both the Smartphone and Tablet markets came in for a dose of criticism from acting Apple boss Tim Cook yesterday when he described their tablet and Smartphone offering as “big, heavy” and uninteresting for consumers.In Australia both retailers and carriers have said that there is little interest in Windows based phones with one Telstra executive saying “Microsoft’s incentives and marketing support for their Windows based phones is good”.
During the conference call Tim Cook said that Apple had sold about 7.33 million iPads. Manufacturers have said that they are struggling to keep up supply of both iPads and iPhones with 14.8 million iPads sold in the past nine months.
When asked about Google’s Android OS and the emergence of new tablets running the free Google offering Cook said that tablets running earlier versions of Google’s Android are “bizarre” because they are using software designed for smartphones, not tablets.
As for other aspiring tablet entrants, he said they’re still just “vapor,” given that they have not been tested on the market yet.
He described an Android tablet as an oversized Smartphone.
At the CES Show in Las Vegas I was shown new offerings from both Motorola Mobility and Research in Motion. Both of these tablets are expected to go on sale in Australia around the April/May period. Also launching a new Android Tablet in April in Australia is Toshiba who is expected to introduce a 10 inch Honeycomb Tablet. However there are doubts whether the company will deliver their Windows-based tablet due to problems similar to what Cook has identified “weight” and an “uninteresting” OS.
The Motorola Xoom will be the first to feature Google ‘s new Android Honeycomb operating system for tablets, while the RIM Playbook tablet will pair closely with the company’s large base of BlackBerry smartphones and feature a new OS from its recent acquisition of QNX.
Cook said that Apple had a major advantage due to their iTunes and Apple Apps store.
He added that the company has a “huge first mover advantage” and a vast ecosystem with iTunes and the App Store. “So we’re very, very confident with entering into a fight with anyone.”
Asked about where Apple was going Cook said “It’s all part of the magic of Apple. And I don’t want to let anybody know our magic, because I don’t want anybody copying it. What I would tell you is that in my view, Apple is doing its best work ever. That we are all very happy with product pipeline, and the team here has an unparalleled breadth and depth of talent and a culture of innovation that Steve has driven in the company, and excellence has become a habit. And so we feel very, very confident about the future of the company.
“I would also note, for those people who haven’t thought about it, we’ve done outstandingly in our Mac business. We’ve had 19 quarters straight of growing faster than the market. But we still have a relatively low share of a very large PC market, despite having great momentum there. And so it would seem like there is enormous opportunity still there.
“We have relatively low share in the handset market. The handset market is well over a billion units a year, and the smartphone market is growing faster than a weed. And so there’s enormous opportunity here, and we have incredible momentum in that space.
“iPad just got started, it’s a new category, we sold almost 15 million through the first three quarters, and we believe the market is huge. IDC, I saw this morning, is predicting it to quadruple in two years. I don’t know what to predict in terms of specific numbers. However, we believe it’s a huge market, as we’ve said before. And so we’re in some great markets, some fast-moving markets, we have the best products we’ve ever done, and an incredible product pipeline. We feel very, very confident.”