If you think that the Motorola Xoom, BlackBerry PlayBook and the glut of tablets coming out in 2011 has Apple worried, you’d be quite wrong. During its conference call Tuesday, Apple called some of its 7-inch competitors “bizarre” and said its first-mover advantage and ecosystem give it a leg-up against all comers.
“We’re very confident about entering into a fight with anyone,” said Apple COO Tim Cook, during the company’s earnings call.
These words came just moments after we learned that the Apple iPad 7.3 million iPad units for the quarter and just a shade below 15 million for the year (remember, it didn’t launch until Spring). We’re also expecting the Apple iPad to get a refresh in the next few months and we could be in line for an iPad 2 that rocks a dual-core processor, a refined screen, multiple cameras and more.
As for the modern competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Apple continued with its line of attack on the 7-inch form factor. Cook said devices with Android 2.2 aren’t optimized for tablets, are just “scaled-up smartphones” that don’t provide a real tablet experience and makes for a “bizarre product.”
As for next-generation devices like the Motorola Xoom, which was just announced at CES 2011 with the tablet-optimized Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Apple said many of these are still vapor at the moment with no hard release dates or prices. Once these iPad competitors start to ship, Apple will asses them accordingly.
I think Apple’s right about having the first mover advantage but that doesn’t always win in the tech space. If it did, a movie about MySpace would have probably just won a Golden Globe. With its annual refresh of the iPhone, the company has shown that it’s not going to rest on its laurels. Consumers should be the big winners in the end because this competition should lead to better tablets for all.