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

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

Summary: 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.

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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.

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

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  • Timothy speaks like the paid...

    ...mouthpiece that he is. What else would you expect him to say about their products? I wish I could be a creative tech guru, barking at the engineers to heed my demands.
    Feldwebel Wolfenstool
    • The problem is, he is right. About the only place is with Honeycomb.

      It isn't on the market yet, but, it is not exactly vapor.
      DonnieBoy
    • RE: Apple on tablets, and its secret $3.9 billion component contract

      @Feldwebel Wolfenstool
      I bet you do...
      Tigertank
    • I expect him to say things like this:

      @Feldwebel Wolfenstool

      <i>We believe that we?re on the face of the Earth to make great products, and that?s not changing.

      We?re constantly focusing on innovating.

      We believe in the simple, not the complex.

      We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

      We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us.

      We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot.

      And frankly, we don?t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we?re wrong and the courage to change.

      And I think, regardless of who is in what job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.</i>

      --- Tim Cook, 2009

      Cook has been offered full CEO jobs at a much higher pay rates than what he gets at Apple (800,000). It could be he actually loves his job and like the products he plays a part in creating.
      Bruizer
      • RE: Apple on tablets, and its secret $3.9 billion component contract

        They need to understand that the ipad is just a big ipod touch.
        toberapture
  • Harsh?

    Sounds like about every other person talking about the competitors. They're all dismissive and their products rule.
    sportmac
    • Yeah but the difference is...

      @sportmac The Jobs Distortion Reality Field is in full effect here as he cleaarly is stretching the truth s little thing in some comments.
      slickjim
      • For the love of god, they sold 7.3 million of the things, while MS sold

        about, well, pretty close to ZERO. He is freaking right.
        DonnieBoy
      • MS doesn't sell.

        @Donnie<br><br>OEMs do. So of course MS sold zero.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Ok, make that comparison then..

        @Cylon Centurion 0005
        [i] MS doesn't sell- OEMs do. So of course MS sold zero.[/i]

        Yeah but you know what he meant. Take all of those OEMS, put them together and compare how many tablets they are selling with how many iPads Apple is selling..
        Tigertank
      • What Android Tablet currently competes?

        @Peter Perry

        The Galaxy Tab? Nope. Used it (Used a Droid X for awhile too, poorly thought out UI making it far less useful than iOS), and while it is not bad, it is seriously lacking in customization (read applications targeting it) and does a small fraction of what the iPad can do.

        Honeycomb looked good but it crashed left and right at CES. It did not look like a product 6 weeks from delivery but 6 months. If it [Zoom] does ship, as scheduled, it will do very well especially if the iPad really does stick with its 1024X768 display as seems the case:-( But if it really ships in Q3...
        Bruizer
      • RE: Apple on tablets, and its secret $3.9 billion component contract

        @Bruizer just because you are not as smart as the phone does not mean these operating systems cannot keep up with the iPad! There is absolutely nothing I cannot do on my Incredible that I can do on my iPad...

        Oh and if you would like some help then please tell us what it is you can't do?
        slickjim
      • Right on DonnieBoy! I tell you everywhere

        I look I see TONS of android tablets!!! left right all around just people using Android tablets!!<br><br>the manufactures better be cafeful - putting the apple logo on these android tablets that ive seen will get them sued!!
        Ron Bergundy
      • @Peter Perry

        @Peter Perry

        Edit movies. No good movie editor for Android.

        10's of thousands of other apps also missing for Android for general use. Great tinkering OS or geek OS but not that great for simply using it. Sure, Android has 10's of thousands of wallpaper apps and don't foget all those darn ring tone apps.
        Bruizer
      • @ cyber, er, I mean Ron..

        You spell as stupidly as Will Ferrell acts.

        [i]"the manufactures better be cafeful - "[/i]
        SonofaSailor
  • RE: Apple on tablets, and its secret $3.9 billion component contract

    @MG537 Huh? Are you serious? That isn't realistic at all and clearly you don't know Android... Apple wishes iOS had some of those features and it wishes it had implemented the ones that it does have as well.<br><br>Apple talks about things like Battery Life and robs their customers of features that make their weak battery look good... Meanwhile, Android devices allow you to upgrade their batteries with a device that is 3500 mah and then it lasts for 3 to 4 days with use.<br><br>If you are driving down the Road with an Android device, you can talk all of your text messages in (and this is actually pretty damn good as it misses very few words if ever.) and have them spoken back... With Apple, you might get the playback but thats it.<br><br>Crud, there's Flash Player, Widgets (both things Apple doesn't dare to use due to the fact that their non replaceable battery is lame) and realtime suggestion for words as you type (my iPad suggests word when there is only one letter left to type).<br><br>Multi-tasking? Android really has it and Apple has backgrounding (again, because they have such a weak battery they cannot afford to let you truly do more than one thing at a time) and then of course Jobs and Cook try to tell you that the Android is inferior when in reality they're Marketing their latest polished turd.<br><br>Again, I am writing this from an iPad and my comparison is directly between iOS 4.x and my Incredible running Froyo. Believe me, the things that are coming aren't just copies of the iPad specked to death.
    slickjim
    • I want what this guy is smoking.. Lol..

      @Peter Perry ..there are so many technical errors and falsehoods in there that it's not even worth it to try to parse it..

      and you want to tal about reality distortion field.. got to be that or some strange psychotropic drug your on..
      doctorSpoc
    • The Honeycomb comment was a little off, but, everything else was correct.

      Honeycomb tablets are not on the market yet, but, they are far from vapor. He was correct about first generation Android tablets.

      Honeycomb tablets like the Xoom will be the first real iPad competition.
      DonnieBoy
    • RE: Apple on tablets, and its secret $3.9 billion component contract

      @Doctorspoc put up or shut up! I own both and can prove it but you refuse to even try.
      slickjim
    • That honeycomb comment was dead on or should we say

      that homneycomb powered tablets are DEAD ON ARIVAL!
      Ron Bergundy