Apple on tablets, and its secret $3.9 billion component contract

Time to digest some of the information we got from yesterday's Apple earnings conference call, and two things stood out - How Apple views the tablet market, and a secret $3.9 billion long-term component supply contract the company has entered into.

Time to digest some of the information we got from yesterday's Apple earnings conference call, and two things stood out - How Apple views the tablet market, and a secret $3.9 billion long-term component supply contract the company has entered into.

First, tablets. Apple COO Tim Cook didn't think much about the current tablet offering, and didn't seem worried about what was in the pipeline. He described current Windows tablets as "big, heavy and expensive" devices with "weak battery life" and "need a keyboard or stylus." He concluded his coverage of Windows tablets by saying that "customers aren’t interested in that."

Harsh.

On the subject of Android tablets Cook was equally harsh. He described these tablets as "not even a real tablet experience," a "scaled-up smartphone" and a "a bizarre product." When the subject shifted to next-generation Android tablets, such as those demonstrated at CES this year, Cook dismissed them by saying that "today they’re vapor."

Cook concluded by saying that Apple is "very confident entering into a fight with anyone."

Another interesting tidbit revealed was that Apple has entered into a mystery $3.9 billion long-term component supply contract.

Cook wasn't very forthcoming when it came to details, saying that it was "something I don't want our competition knowing," but he did say that it was "similar to flash agreement, focused in an area that we feel is very strategic."

Interesting. What's this related to? High-density panels? Follow-on to the A4 processor? Battery technology? I guess we'll find out over the coming year.

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