Tim Cook: Customers aren't looking for tablets, they're looking for iPads

Tim Cook: Customers aren't looking for tablets, they're looking for iPads

During the Q&A following Apple's Q3 2012 conference call, CEO Tim Cook was asked about the competition the iPad faced from smaller, lower priced tablets like the new Google Nexus 7. Cook's answer, paraphrased, was that there remains no competition to the iPad.

The iPad 2 was reduced in price to $399. It's done very well. The new iPad is the most popular but the iPad 2 did very well, particularly in K12 (primary education). Apple sold 1 million units in that space. Apple's been very aggressive and they don't see changing that.

And what competition? Apple has seen many tablets. 100s of them over the last year. They've yet to see any of them gain any traction. When it comes to apps and experience, Apple feels most customers aren't looking for a tablet. They're looking for an iPad.

Cook also once again pointed out the phenomenal growth curve the iPhone, which has been faster than both the iPod and the iPhone, and had a blow-out 17 million in unit sales this quarter alone (which didn't even include this week's launch in China).

Neither Cook nor Apple Chief Financial Officer, Peter Oppenheimer would discuss future product plans, and fended off any attempts to probe them about rumored devices like the iPad mini.

However, Oppenheimer did mention that there would be a product transition coming up that was factored into Apple's next-quarter forecasts. iPhone 5 could certainly fit that bill of materials. But so could other devices.

Apple, of course, remains excited about their future product pipeline. If they do, in fact, address even lower price points, we all might be...

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Tim Cook: Customers aren't looking for tablets, they're looking for iPads


Of course he'll say that. lol. I wouldn't expect anything less.

Consider the source. ;)

Edit: corrected my double negative. Thanks dencimm.

Of course Tim Cook is going to say that, and yet other tablets do continue to sell and Apple continues their assault on Samsung to keep them out otlf the market. Obviously all of the Nexus 7 tablet sales are fake.

What or better yet how will he spin the new iPad mini when it launches when Jobs stated 7" tablets were DOA. Clearly they are not or Apple would be doing one.

Typo alert:

"Cook also once again pointed out the phenomenal growth curve the iPhone, which has been faster than both the iPod and the iPhone, "

You probably meant to say iPad there
....feel free to delete this nitpicky comment if/when you change it.

i struggle to see how anyone is surprised that he would say this. This is about as surprising as a NFL team saying they think they will win. What else would they say? Hey Coke said nobody tastes better then them. It's like of course you think that.

The average person is not "looking for an iPad"; the average person assumes every tablet -IS- an iPad. "Tablet" and "iPad" are interchangeable to the general public, so it is no surprise most people would ask the sales clerk for an iPad when at the store.

Rene and every other member of the Mobile Nations crew has, with no surprise, come to the same conclusion as the rest of those that frequent this site; Apple products are not produced for the tech-savvy. Most Apple users buy Apple products due to brand awareness and not because of loyalty or preference. Not all users, of course. Those that visit a site like this are more passionate about their devices than the average person is.

Regardless if the average Joe sees a Samsung tablet, LG tablet, Acer tablet, etc. etc., they generally refer to it as an iPad. And good on Apple for this. That is an amazing accomplishment. I am no Apple fan, but I definitely do not begrudge Apple for their success. They may not produce the products I care for, but some of the ideas they come up with that are integrated into other products that I do like is more than welcomed.

Re: '"Tablet" and "iPad" are interchangeable to the general public...'

But "Apple" and "Samsung" are not. Not even to your "average Joe."

It is pretty amazing how much effort Apple is putting into blocking other tablets when people are wanting only iPad :-\

Where "blocking other tablets" means "preventing rampant, shameless copying." Microsoft did that and got away with it. Never again.

So what are you implying? That Samsung is copying Apple? Gimme an effin break...

Apple is just worried Samsung might affect their sales so that was their best option, blocking the competitors product and affecting its sales. Very dirty Apple, very dirty...

I've been thinking about his statement. They could be getting way too comfortable with success. They are getting cocky, at least Cook is, and it can turn into them getting stagnant and their iterative updates could become less accepted.

I would find Tim's comments less disingenuous if Apple hadn't spent the last two years suing the arse off any competitive tablet maker they can, all over the globe. As a TF300T user I can say - "you are wrong!"

Apple may not have invented the tablet but they dominate the market so much they have become tablets in many people's minds. I own a Galaxy tab. Not a single person has ever noticed the Samsung logo on the back before asking me about my black "iPad". Not one. These aren't stupid people. But outside of tech geeks like us, most people only pay attention to what is out there in front of them. That's the iPad and the Kindle Fire and my Tab is too big to be confused with a Kindle.

That's not the first time that has happened to a product. When was the last time you ate gelatin? You ate Jell-O regardless of whose company's name was on the box. Same for the office. Do you photocopy papers or do you Xerox them? I still hear Xerox 90% of the time and IIRC we have a Canon copier.

This comment was made by some reviewer, journalist about a year ago...
Now Big Brother ( Timmy ) says it... and it's all over the internet... gotta love the iSheep
Timmy be original at least... maybe Samsung can sue you for plagerisim

I've been a long time Android fan and just within the last few months (when I dumped my Xoom and Transformer Prime for the Retina iPad) I have just started back on iOS (I've always used a mac but dumped iOS for the Nexus One and have used Android since). Now I own a Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4s and my Nexus is just a glorified hotspot for my iPad and Nexus 7. Jelly Bean is good and the pure Android experience from Google is great especially on the smaller Nexus 7, but I keep going back to my iPad and even though my 4s has a much smaller display and lack of LTE I just feel it is a much better experience all around. Apple's attention to detail leaves us with an experience you can't find anywhere else. There is a reason that the market has scrambled and the only tablets to get any attention is the sub $200 Kindle Fire and now Nexus 7. I definitely do think their is a market and the 7 inch form factor is great especially for reading, but they (the Nexus 7) still feels like a glorified media consumption device where as the iPad has a whole Eco system including great apps that even Android is way behind, by far the best displays (no OEM has still matched the 4 and 4s display and the iPad takes and even bigger step ahead), the build quality is no where near an Apple product, Apple has basically priced any tablet except a sub $200 tablet right out of existence, and most of all the fluidity of iOS. The last being the major reason I keep going back to iOS no matter what android does. Even Jelly Bean and Project Butter feel years behind iOS. Using the iPad or iPhone I have remind myself I'm using an actual device where as I sit and fight with android phones and tablets and the lack of fluidity really takes away from the experience. I knew apple was ahead, but never thought this far ahead.