IPad Rivals? There Are No iPad Rivals.

Published on January 19, 2011
by John Paczkowski

If one were to portion out the tablet market as it exists today, one might allot a segment to Apple, another to Google, one to Microsoft and, soon, another to Hewlett-Packard’s Palm.

If Apple COO Tim Cook were to portion it out, he’d divide it in two–iPad and Not-iPad– and it wouldn’t be an equitable division. Asked during Tuesday’s Apple earnings call for his thoughts on the horde of tablets unveiled at CES and now hurtling their way to market, Cook summarily dismissed them all.

“If you look at what’s shipping today, there’s really not much out there,” he said. “Generally speaking, there’s two kind of groups that are on the market today. The ones that are using Windows-based operating system, are generally fairly big and heavy and expensive, have very weak battery life, and require a keyboard or a stylus as an input device. And from our point of view and what we’ve seen, consumers aren’t really interested in them.

Then you have the Android tablets which are running an operating system that wasn’t really designed for a tablet. Google has said this, and so this is not just an Apple view by any means. And so basically, you wind up with a sort of a scaled-up smartphone, which is a bizarre product in our view. So frankly speaking, if a customer does a side-by-side comparison of one of these with an iPad it’s hard for me to understand why they wouldn’t select the iPad.…There are no rival tablets in the market right now that we’re concerned about. The next-generation Android tablets aren’t shipping yet, and so today, they’re vapor. We’ll assess them as they come out.”

And continue to innovate in the market.

Said Cook, “We’re not sitting still. And we have a huge first-mover advantage. And we have an incredible user experience from iTunes to the App Store, and an enormous number of apps and a huge ecosystem. We’re very, very confident with entering into a fight with anyone.”

And with an 87.4 percent share of the worldwide “media” tablet market, according to IDC, who wouldn’t be?

[Image credit: Gizmodo commenter Ahubbuch]

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