Tim Cook not worried about the Kindle Fire, says tablet market may eclipse the PC market

Wed, Oct 19, 2011


With competitors still trying every which way to take on the iPad, Apple is just rolling on ahead and racking up sale after sale. Yesterday Apple reported 11.2 million iPad sales in the September quarter, representing an astounding 166% increase from the same quarter last year.

The most recent entrant into the tablet market is Amazon’s Kindle Fire which looks to take on the iPad not on features, but on price.

Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about Amazon’s foray into the tablet market and whether or not demand for the iPad will be affected by lower cost and feature-stunted tablets.

Cook responded,

We’ve seen several competitors come to market to compete with the iPad. Some have different form factors or price points. I think it’s reasonable to say that none of these have gained any traction thus far. As all of those competitors come to market, our share actually went up. In the June quarter IDC said Apple was responsible for 3 out of 4 tables sold. When you assess this thing, iOS 5 and iCloud and the ecosystem with iTunes and the App Store and books and movies and 140,000 native apps for iPad vs a number in the hundreds for the other guys, I feel very confident about our ability to compete and extremely confident in our product pipeline.

In short, Cook isn’t worried at all.

And why should he be. Competitors seem to think they can haphazardly put together a tablet with low battery life, a clunky UI, and no dedicated app market and sell the damn thing by selling it on the cheap. Consequently, the iPad effectively owns the tablet market with 90+% marketshare.

Now that said, Amazon can leverage its content distribution system in ways that other manufacturers cannot, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Kindle Fire takes off, if at all.

On that note, a report yesterday claimed that Apple was working on a 7-inch iPad Mini to stave off any potential threat from Amazon. This rumor, on its face, seems dubious given Steve Jobs’ insistence that 7-inch tablets were no good. But fleshing out the report a bit, one analyst claims that the iPad Mini actually refers to a cheaper iPad which we imagine would come with less storage, say 16GB worth.

Lastly, Cook has no qualms about the potential for the tablet market going forward, nothing that it’s even bigger than Apple ever thought it could be.

“We think it’ll be even bigger than the PC market,” Cook said, “that’s just what I think it can be. It’s a huge opportunity for Apple across time. There will be many more people who can access it, the ease of use is so off the charts that it’s a huge opportunity for Apple across time.”


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