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Apple’s Tim Cook slams Android, Windows tablets


If a combative, yet dismissive, attitude is part of the test, Tim Cook may be ready to take over Apple after all. During one of his first days as active caretaker of Apple during Steve Jobs’s medical absence, Cook lobbed some heavy shots at all of the tablets announced at CES 2011. Below are some of his more fiery comments from Apple’s record $6 billion profit earnings conference call. His words are almost as targeted and mean as a typical Jobs verbal attack.

For a full rundown of all the new tablets at CES, check out our CES 2011 Tablet Roundup.

On Windows 7 tablets

When asked about tablets, Cook began his attack on Windows 7 tablet PCs, which he views as relics of the past, already rejected by the market.

Cook: “If you look at what’s shipping today, there’s not much out there as you know. Generally speaking, there’s two kinds of groups today at best on the market today. Ones using a Windows tablet PC, are fairly big and heavy and expensive. They have weak battery life, they require a stylus, and from our point of view and what’s we’ve seen customers are just not interested in them.”

On current Android tablets

After hitting Windows, Cook moved onto Android, but concentrated on current Android 2.2 tablets like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.

Cook: “Then you have the Android tablet, and the variety are out shipping today, the operating system really wasn’t designed for a tablet. Google has said this, so this is not just an Apple view by any means. And so you wind up having a size of a tablet that is less than what we believe is reasonable, or one that we provide what we feel is the real tablet experience. So basically, you end up with a sort of scaled-up smartphone, which is a bizarre product, in our view. Then you’ve got a third group–those are the two that are shipping today–and frankly speaking it’s hard for me to understand if somebody does a side-by-side with an iPad, and some enormous percentage of people are going to select an iPad there–those are not [products] that we have any concern on.”

On future Android tablets

Finally, he moved on to future Android tablets like the Motorola Xoom, calling them vaporware.

Cook: “The next generation of Android tablets, which is what you discussed primarily at CES – there’s nothing shipping yet, and so I don’t know. Generally they lack performance specs; they lack prices; they lack timing; and so today they are vapor. We’ll assess them as they come out, wherever, but 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 hugee ecosystem. So we’re very very confident.”

$3.9 billion supply contract

As an aside, Cook was asked about a $3.9 billion supply component contract Apple recently signed. He refused to give any detail about it, saying that it’s “something I don’t want our competition knowing,” but said that it was a strategic buy, similar to something like flash memory, reports ZDNet. What could it be?

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