Thursday30 March 2023

Tim Cook's Toaster and Refrigerator Comment Seems to Have Missed the Second-Best Selling Tablet on the Market

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despdIn our continuing coverage of life after Steve Jobs at Apple (and our preparation for that new website Sh*t Tim Cook Says) we are bringing in a few new links and other fun items today. It seems that a typical Apple earnings call brings more pleasure to the press than almost anything else. While researching this article we found so many different versions of “Apple is wonderful” articles that we lost count (and almost our lunch). The fawning over Apple was a tad on the overkill side. So let’s sum up the earnings call for you.

Apple is doing very well; their stock is back on the upward slope and opened this morning at $612.51 per share. They have not topped their previous high of $644 for the year though. The increase in share price comes from solid sales of the “New” iPad along with increased sales of the iPad2 after its price reduction. In fact the lower iPad2 prices seemed to be a much larger part of the numbers than the New iPad. iPhone sales we also up as Sprint, AT&T and Verizon all reported a slight increase in purchases and new subscribers.

During the call (and possibly on a wave of euphoria) Tim Cool decided to talk (probably a mistake). He talked up Apple product and their success for the quarter, but then he went and did something a tad foolish. He went after Microsoft, Windows 8 and the new trend for “hybrid” tablets. Cook stated;

“Anything can be forced to converge, but the problem is that the products are about tradeoffs. You begin to make tradeoffs to the point where what you have left at the end of the day doesn't please anyone."

He then went on to say; “you can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but you know, those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user”

This was in response to a question about Apple converging the Macbook Air and iPad lines into a single computing device.

Now our guess is that Tim Cook is aware of the success of the Asus Tansformer Tablet that combines an ARM based tablet running Android with a keyboard/battery dock. This tablet has been very popular and is currently the second-best selling tablet on the market after the iPad (we do not really count the Kindle Fire as a full blown tablet). The demand for this device (with the dock) caused shortages when it went on sale initially (and for each new model after).

So we already have evidence that Tim Cook is not being honest here. He might also want to take a look at sales of keyboard cases for the iPad as those numbers would also belie the comment. This is even more true when you start putting a tablet into the professional market. Both the iPad and the Transformer (and indeed most other tablets) have keyboards that eat up screen real estate (you lose half the screen), but the remaining screen does not always scale well. This has increased the demand for keyboards, touchpads (or mouse options) and other ways to keep the full screen and get some work done. We also noted (during our research) that both the Citrix and VMWare applications for running published Windows desktops had options for mouse control. As these two desktop and application virtualization platforms become more popular you will see that grow even more.

Microsoft is already keenly aware of this for the business user (although they seem to have forgotten a few other items) and have a remote services app right on the desktop. This will allow you to take your Windows 8 based tablet (for ARM or x86/64) and run your desktop with the same level of control (remember most Android Tablets have USB ports on them and support keyboard and mouse inputs).

So we have to say this about Tim Cook’s comment; first you do not have the presence of personality that Steve Jobs did. When he would say something like this he did so with conviction and he expanded enough to make his comments sound more refined and less like someone lashing out. Second, well you might want to look at market numbers of existing products before you make a statement like this.

We said this before and now a few others are seeing it as well. Tim Cook does not have the strength of personality or vision that Steve Jobs did. He is a very shrewd business man, but that is not what made Apple the company that it is today. It will also not help them maintain their status in the future. Once the road map laid out by Jobs is done… where will the company go?


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Last modified on Thursday, 26 April 2012 17:32

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