When a report hit earlier this month claiming iPad sales stumbled due to the rising popularity of the Kindle Fire, it left us wondering: Does Apple’s beloved tablet finally have legitimate competition? According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, not in the slightest. In fact, Cook effectively dismissed Amazon’s effort into the tablet world altogether, suggesting the Kindle Fire isn’t even on the iPad’s radar.
“I looked at the data, particularly in the U.S., on a weekly basis after the Kindle Fire launch,” Cook said. “I wouldn’t say that there was an obvious effect on the numbers, plus or minus.”
If this was high school, the iPad wouldn’t even acknowledge the Kindle Fire were they to pass in the hall. And the Cupertino-based company has all the reasons in the world to feel good about itself, too. Apple posted some very impressive fiscal year 2012 Q1 figures yesterday, once again making it the most valuable company in the world. The Fire is merely an onlooker, just like the rest of the tablet industry.
“I think people really want to do multiple things with their tablets, so we don’t see these limited-function tablets and e-readers as being in the same category as iPad,” Cook said. “They might sell a fair number of units, but we don’t think people who want an iPad will settle for a limited-function device.”
Apple pushed out more than 15 million iPads during Q1, while the Fire was expected to sell only a third of that during the same period, according to a Morgan Keegan analyst. When you consider the price disparity between the two devices, and how hard the Kindle Fire was pushed, no wonder Apple is feeling confident.
With the iPad 3 rumored to be slated for a March launch, Cook sees 2012 as yet again being the year of the iPad. The rest of the tablet industry will again be playing catch up.
“We’re going to continue to innovate like crazy in this area, and continue to compete with anyone that is currently shipping tablets, or that might enter in the future,” Cook said.
Basically, there is no competition in the tablet market. There’s the iPad, and then there’s everyone else.