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Tim Cook: No iPad ‘Pro’ Model; Windows 8′s Idea of Convergence is Flawed

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Responding to questions about why Apple has not released a more advanced version of the iPad slate running the company’s desktop-class OS X platform rather than the mobile-centric iOS platform, Apple CEO responded that such an idea of convergence leads to too many compromises. Compared to Apple rival Microsoft, which is standardizing its Windows 8 OS experience from notebooks to tablets to desktops, Apple’s strategy is more segregated and Tim Cook says that the company has no plans at this time to offer a tablet product with a full-scale Mac OS X operating system on-board.

According to AppleInsider, when Richard Gardner of Citigroup had inquired with Cook on “why you don’t believe the PC and the Ultrabook and tablet markets will converge,” the Apple CEO quickly responded with an analogy.

“You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but you know, those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user,” Cook says.

Before the iPad had launched, many had believed that Apple would adopt Microsoft’s Tablet PC concept by bringing the desktop OS to the tablet, but that proved to be quite the opposite of what Apple had done. By utilizing a mobile architecture, Apple was able to deliver a low-cost experience to end-users and provide an unparalleled app store. More recently, it is Apple’s desktop OS that has borrowed ideas from its mobile iOS counterparts, with notifications, messages, launch pad, and more.

Cook noted that the ecosystem is getting bigger and better, and that the iPad is now not just a consumer tablet, but one that’s being used in the education and enterprise markets. The company noted that Apple sells twice as many iPad tablets to K-12 schools in the education market than it does computers, though MacBook sales continue to climb.

With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to take on the iPad, but with a different strategy. Rather than asking consumers who want both a notebook/desktop and a tablet, Microsoft is saying you can have one device that does it all without compromise. The convergence model of Windows 8 will allow users to interact with the OS through traditional mouse and keyboard inputs as well as touch. Additionally, Apple is relying more on its iCloud cloud storage and synchronization system to position its iPad and iPhone products as being a tether-free experience where users do not need to have an additional PC as everything from activations to transferring photos can be done through the cloud.

However, Cook disagrees with that strategy and positioning that its rival is taking, noting, “You wouldn’t want to put these things together because you end up compromising in both and not pleasing either user. Some people will prefer to own both, and that’s great too. But to make the compromise of convergence, we’re not going to that party. Others might, from a defensive point of view particularly”

In addition to high-end Intel-powered Windows slates, Android tablets are also on the climb, but have so far not kept pace with Apple It wasn’t until the introduction of the low-cost $200 Kindle Fire tablet that Android was able to make any meaningful dent into Apple’s market-leading iPad’s market share.

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

12 Comments

  1. Dale Strauss

    04/25/2012 at 8:37 am

    Gee, Tim is as good at hyperbole as his late boss (remember no 7″ iPad beacuse you’d have to file your fingers down to fit). Despite protests to the contrary, Apple is good at copying/stealing ideas (just ask Xerox), so this time next year, when hybrid Win 8 tablets are really taking wing, we’ll hear rumors of a “soon to be announced” 11.9″ AirBender (I’m watching you Apple, don’t steal the name) with a blended iOS/OS X operating system that of course – “GETS THE HYBRID RIGHT” because of their unique patented design (read – Apple logo that is on it).

    By the looks of the Intel prototype (as brief as that look was), a .5-.6″ thick tablet that slides open to reveal a REAL keyboard would be a blessing. Metro for tablet use; Win 8 desktop for real work/productivity/play (here’s to hoping they entice at least N-Trig, preferrably Wacom, to add digital pen goodness in the same form factor).

    • Bryan Lee

      04/25/2012 at 11:01 am

      Wait, is he calling the iPad a toaster?  Does this have something to do with those overheating complaints?

      I for one would love to use a refrigetoaster (or AirBender – awesome name there).  If the interest in devices such as the Asus Transformer series are indication, so I too foresee a big market for laptop/tablet hybrids.

    • boone51

      04/25/2012 at 1:02 pm

       Kermit? Is that you? We all know it ain’t easy being green. You don’t have to keep singing that same tired song.

  2. LaurenGeorge

    04/25/2012 at 9:16 am

    I played for a bit with the Win8 consumer preview and I am of the opinion that with better UI integration, both stylistically and functionally, Microsoft will have a great no-compromise solution on their hands that will move the consumer market in further into the TabletPC space that they tried to create over a decade ago. 
    That being said, as long as Apple remains the apple of the consumer’s eye (sorry, couldn’t help myself), I am under no illusions that what will really popularize the convergence model is what Dale points out in his comment: a blended iOS/OS X system on some convertible or two-piece BT solution.And while Apple is ostensibly the tech taste-maker, I think it disingenous of Cook to suggest that there won’t be a significant number of users that will enjoy Intel’s sliding convertible form factor and appreciate the additional functionality of the digitizer pen, especially now that it had been rendered completely optional to the optimal touch experience (go check out Microsoft’s guidelines for OEM’s to use to get the ultimate touch/desktop blended experience). 
    Tl;dr: Tim toaster/refrigerator =/= laptop/desktop/tablet, more like toaster/oven and we all love those.

  3. Guest

    04/25/2012 at 9:35 am

    I think the hybrid Apple tablet will look like the Lenovo hybrid tablet that was the darling of CES for 2 consecutive years.  The iPad will be the screen and a Mac will be the base.  The key will be that both parts will have an “iCloud cache” in the form of SSDs embedded in each device that will synchronize with each other, so that.  Or a shared drive can simply be partitioned on each device, and all items in the shared drives can be synched.  The shared drive could also include the user’s context at the time of hibernation.

    The problem Lenovo had was that Android and Windows are 2 OSs from different companies, so getting them to work together is very difficult.  Since Apple controls both iOS and OSX, the OS teamas can work very closely together to achieve as seamless a handoff as possible.

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