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Apple: Cook dismisses Android 3.0 tablets as 'vapour'

Steve Jobs's stand-in Tim Cook has played down rival products, including Android Honeycomb tablets, during an investor earnings call

The next generation of Android powered devices — which will run on Android 3.0, code-named Honeycomb — are currently "vapour", according to Apple's chief operating officer Tim Cook.

Apple Android Honeycomb

Apple's Tim Cook called next-gen Android tablets 'vapour'. Photo credit: Photo credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET News

The comments came during the company's fiscal first quarter investor earnings call during which the company reported a $6bn (£3.75bn) profit, equating to earnings-per-share of $6.43. Cook — who is running the company while Steve Jobs is on medical leave — said that current Android tablets posed no threat to the company's successful iPad line-up.

"The operating system wasn't really designed for a tablet... And so basically, you wind up with kind of a scaled-up smartphone, which is a bizarre product in our view," Cook said.

He also dismissed speculation and rumour about future Android devices. "The next-generation Android tablets, [...] there's nothing shipping yet... Generally, they lack performance specs, they lack prices, they lack timing. And so today, they're vapour."

'Fragmented approach'

Cook fielded many questions about the competing Android platform during the call, including what disadvantages or feedback it was getting from companies and developers using the platforms. In response, he was quick to point out that Apple is gaining in the enterprise arena.

"The enterprise traction is gaining. We have the highest customer [satisfaction] ratings in the industry versus Android, RIM [Research In Motion] or any [other rival]," Cook said. "We fundamentally believe that our integrated approach delivers a far superior customer experience than the fragmented approach."

Cook was also questioned over whether he thought that the iPad —  which sold 7.3m units within the quarter — was contributing to the relatively low Mac sales, reported at 4.1m units, which represents a 23 percent year-on-year increase.

"We did significantly better than the market in every major region, and we're very proud of that. Now was there any cannibalisation by iPad? Honestly, I don't know for sure. But yes, I think there is some cannibalisation," Cook said.

However, he also added that he expects there to be a "halo effect from Apple product to Apple product" meaning that some of the users that are introduced to the company through its iPhone or iPad products will then go on to purchase a Mac.

"Cannibalisation is not something that we are spending one minute on here. The iPad teams are building the best iPad for the future, and the Mac teams are building the best Mac."


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