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This is Tim: Apple CEO talks at investment conference

Macworld staff | Feb. 15, 2012
On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, where he was interviewed on stage by Bill Shope, Goldman Sachs's IT hardware analyst.

So what happened last year, everybody that was in the PC industry and everybody that was in the phone industry, everybody decided they had to do a tablet. By some estimates, there were a hundred tablets put on the market last year. Everybody was kind of aiming at iPad 1, and we were trying to innovate quickly to get to iPad 2. So, by the time they had something that they thought could compete with iPad 1, we were on iPad 2. We wound up with 170,000 apps, and I'm not sure there's 100 yet on the other platform.

I think people at the end of the day, they want the great product. Amazon is a different kind of competitor. They have different strengths, and so forth. And I think they'll sell a lot of units--I think they have and they will. But the customers that we're designing our products for, are not going to be satisfied with a limited function kind of product. I think the real catalyst to the tablet market will be innovation and pushing the next frontier. Honestly, we'll compete with everybody. I love competition. As long as people invent their own stuff, I love competition. [laughter]

On the cannibalization of Mac sales by the iPad

I think that iPad has cannibalized some Mac sales. And the way that we always view cannibalization is, we prefer we do it than have somebody else do it. And so we never want to hold back one of our teams from building the absolute greatest thing, even if it takes some sales from another product area. Our high-order bid is, we want to please customers, we'd like them buying Apple stuff.

Now, I don't predict the demise of the PC industry; I don't subscribe to that. I do believe, given what we've seen, iPad is cannibalizing some Mac, it's cannibalizing more Windows PCs. There's many more of them to cannibalize than Macs, and that's a plus for us. I think tablets in general will cannibalize PCs.

But I think what it will do largely, as time goes on, is, you know, when you're competing with someone--maybe politicians do this, I don't know anything about politics--but I think it forces you to sharpen your message and tell who you are. And so, I think it'll be good for the PC industry, because they've got this strong competitor; and I think it'll be good for tablets, because they'll innovate like crazy over here; and customers will decide what to buy at the end of the day. And I do think that, out of that, there will still be a strong PC industry. I just think the tablet industry is going to be larger in units than the PC industry.

 

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