Android Tablets are just "vapor" devices


Super Moderator
Staff member
Nov 26, 2010
Just as the Steve Jobs steps down (for medical leave) Tim Cook fires a shot off the bow of Android. One who analyzes tech companies must think this is a deliberate and precise message directed at Android and potential consumers of Android tablets. Although if you look just a bit further behind the rhetoric, you might find that this is Apple's "knee jerk reaction" to competition. You see over the last few years Apple hasn't had any real big competitor in the tablet market. The company has brought in record breaking profits, and has felt a feeling of complete domination. However... here come the other big guys.

Apple is famous at attacking other competitors. Either you agree or disagree with Steve Jobs' take on Adobe Flash, one can't dismiss the fact that quite a lot of people feel that Mr. Jobs is an attack dog for Apple. He stirs up the pot, gets everyone angry, then sits back and watches what he has done. Apple is an amazing marketing company; simply beautiful... these guys know how to sell products. Just remember that every time Apple starts to attack a competitor, it truly means that Apple feels the pressure.

Tim Cook went on to say that Windows based tablets are "generally fairly big and heavy and expensive. They have a very weak battery life; they require a keyboard or a stylus as an input device. And from our point of view and what we’ve seen, customers, frankly, just are not interested in them." To be honest, I actually believe some of what Mr. Cook has said. Windows hasn't yet realized that they need a pure touch screen tablet, and that people no longer wish to carry around styluses. I do find it funny that Apple is talking about weak battery life of their competitors though... kind of like calling the kettle black.

Now the big news... according to Tim Cook of Apple, Android tablets is just "vapor". Actual quote:

"Then you have the Android tablet, the variety that are out shipping today, the operating system wasn’t really designed for a tablet. And Google has said this, and so this is not just an Apple view by any means. And so you wind up having a size of a tablet that is less than what we believe is reasonable or even one that would provide what we feel is a real tablet experience. And so basically, you wind up with kind of a scaled-up Smartphone, which is a bizarre product in our view."

Additionally, according to Mr. Cook:

"The next-generation Android tablets, which are primarily what you mentioned in terms of the CES, there’s nothing shipping yet, and so I don’t know. Generally, they lack performance specs, they lack prices, and they lack timing. And so today, they’re vapor."


The problem with saying a competing tablet is vapor, is if that vapor comes around and kicks you in the butt. Apple is definitely afraid of the next big thing on the market. Just like all tech companies are. The next big device is only 6 months down the road... and this happens twice a year. There are 4-5 tablets that will be coming out in 2011 that will compete, not directly with the iPad, but with the iPad2. 2011 is the year that Apple has finally awoke and realized... there is more than 1 big kid on the block.
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"over the last few years Apple hasn't had any real big competitor in the tablet market"

The iPad is less than a year old, it's also only the 2nd tablet computer apple has made. The other being the "Newton".

The only thing the iPad has over Android is in its software in the long run because of the dedicated tablet OS, resulting in more advanced apps and better games. But among enthusiasts, Android is clearly more customizable and thereby more fun. Android tablets also manage to be less expensive.

Against the traditional Windows tablet, with the emergence of AMD Fusion, it has no hardware or price advantage. It wins with its interface and ease of use.

Where the iPad can destroy its competition is in its exclusive deals to multimedia access in the form of magazine, newspaper, and video subscriptions. This is a cash cow, and content providers will be happy to hop onboard with the locked down nature of iPad apps. Android is full of users who know better than that. The iPad continues to gather a community of sheep who have money in their pockets.

Android tends to notice people who are more... careful with their money. Because they can think for themselves. I think this is where Android devices can and will succeed - a notch below the netbook market. The battle the iPad is trying to fight with the traditional netbook is a losing one.
I read an article quoting Tim Cook at pcmag. As far as I can tell, everything he says is slightly or even mostly true although it might be different even a few days from now. We are all hoping for the best with Honeycomb and the tablets shown at CES 2010, but...Hopefully they are about to materialize any week now. Meanwhile, Apple has not been sleeping and soon will have the second iPad version. Things will be interesting on the tablet front this year.
The problem with Apple is their closed ecosystem of devices and app stores. Also their limited product lines with only the features Steve Jobs believes you need. Not want, need. Apple sees their products as "luxury" goods - the Mercedes Benz of electronics products - and markets them as such with prices to match. They have "snob appeal" and you don't have to look far on the Internet to find Apple fanboys and fangirls who drank the apple flavor Kool-Aid in their unswerving devotion to the company's products. Yes, that's a whole different level of marketing savvy other companies can only dream of reaching. But it certainly doesn't mean Apple is infallible or that their products are automatically the best - or the ONLY - answer, and certainly not within reach of - or even appealing to - many consumers.

Is the iPhone cool? Yes. And if you wanted a "smart phone" that was easy to use and could do a lot of things it was really the first successful one. But it's no longer unique in the marketplace. The UI is starting to look dated (doesn't affect it's usability certainly, but it's not as "fresh" as it was when it debuted), the hardware isn't really all that special compared to competing high-end devices. And then they tweaked iOS a little for a larger screen and ported it to the iPad, which is why I found Cook's comment about Android tablets just being a large smart phone kind of ironic. My first impression of the iPad was exactly that - it's just a gigantic iPhone. Actually it's not even THAT good, it's just a gigantic iPod Touch. I use the word "gigantic" because the first time I saw an iPad in person I thought it was just too damned big for a tote-able mobile device. In fact, two people I know who bought iPads RETURNED THEM a week later because they were inconveniently "too big." When I showed them my 7" Android tablet they both remarked that it seemed like a "much better size" for a tablet. So forgive me if I think Jobs and Cook are full of sh!t when they disparage the 7" form factor as too small for a decent touch experience (especially while Apple continues to make the iPod Touch which is an even smaller form factor - wha????).

I'll grant that Apple is a trend setter when it comes to design. I mean look back at the translucent plastic craze brought on by the iMac that was cribbed by everyone, only to be followed by the aluminum and glass look. Same with software - Mac OS goes all glossy so Windows has to do it too. Apple creates the iTunes store, now everyone else wants an online music store too. Apple makes an App Store for it's mobile devices, then everyone else needs one for their too. Apple puts "stacks" in it's dock, Linux has them a week later. Apple makes an iPad and everyone else needs a screen with a silver shell and rounded corners. But once they've set a design trend and it has been copied there's really no gravitas in going with Apple just because they did it first, and it certainly doesn't mean the way they did it is the only way or the best way.

The whole "Android tablets are vapor" argument is just bear baiting. The devices EXIST, they've been seen, photographed and demo-ed. That ain't vapor, and from what I've seen in the Honeycomb demo video it looks a lot more fresh than the iOS UI. Speaking of which, you could more rightly call the iPad 2 or white iPhone 4 "vapor" - anyone seen one? Yeah, that's what I thought.
The greatest thing of all is it forces competitors to... well.. compete more. Which then drives down prices for the consumers, which is always a great thing.
Yeah real competition against Apple is great for everyone. Apple might actually have to do some work, with these nice new tablets coming out.
"over the last few years Apple hasn't had any real big competitor in the tablet market"

The iPad is less than a year old, it's also only the 2nd tablet computer apple has made. The other being the "Newton".


Let's not forget


I still have mine and it still works great. Though it was a TouchPad you can use your finger or the stylus.


Android, Apple and Microsoft are the current tablet players for Microsoft gamble on Windows 7 Embedded for Tablets.
Android tablets are vapor... Yet we have no images of the iPad 2 three months before it comes out? And how did the Galaxy Tab sell 1 million in a few months? Apple is full of marketing, marketing, and more marketing. And yet more marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing and marketing... Ok, that's enough.
Oh yeah, of course the Xoom is vaporware. No way a giant company like Motorola could get their product out in time like the Droids.
7 inch tablets are too small. So Mr. Cook, please explain the "new" iPod Touch. A 2 cm touchscreen is basically useless; it was much easier to use with the trackpad. (I don't even like touch trackpads, the Sansa Fuze has the best rubber trackpad so my fingers never slip.)
There are images of iPad2. But this is Android site. Once Android OS 3.0 tablet comes out then you should see some better tablets. Right now think! A tablet should be as fast as laptop or netbook. Tablet will replace these 2 hardware in the distant future. Tablet needs to be either dual-core, tri-core or quad-core, have more than 1GB of RAM and 64GB or higher NAND. Cost under $500 bucks. Have CTS that you can see at all angles. Be scratch resistant. Long life battery of 10+ hours and have all the connections you need. Front / Rear 14MP 10x Optical Lens Cams. Not this 1.3, 5mp come on already.
I would buy that tablet tipstir. But i reckon that's a few years away. Unless were cool with it weighing 5 pounds.

sent from my orphAndroid.
I'd agree that tablets will replace netbooks and umpc computers - those tiny computers running desktop (or desktop style) operating systems never made much sense. The tasks people use a netbook for are just as easily (if not better) done on a tablet. Even though the story about Acer phasing out netbooks was retracted today it's probably a safe bet the form factor's days are numbered regardless.

However, I don't think tablets are a particular threat to notebook/laptop computers - particularly at the higher-end where they often call them a "desktop replacement" and are treated as a portable office machine. If netbooks didn't completely replace laptops, tablets surely won't either.
The 10" and 11" 'netbooks' form factors are here to stay. Anyone who thinks otherwise is overestimating the tasks possible on tablet devices. Keyboards are a necessity for doing actual work, and there's no getting around that with a touchscreen. This is being blown way out of proportion. The possible tasks one can do on an ordinary PC aren't close to what is possible with Android and with iOS.

Lenovo still has their statement about netbooks dying, but Lenovo has been downright awful at marketing their netbook division, so it isn't surprising to see them trying to bash the netbook market.

Tablets are supposed to be portable. In terms of the tasks that are possible, x86 platforms still win. Microsoft might change the game somewhat. We'll see.
You couldn't pay me to try doing any ACTUAL work on a netbook. Laptop yes, netbook no. The screen and keyboard are just too damned small and the CPUs are underpowered for desktop-class duty and, in my opinion, operating systems too. From what I've seen of how people actually USE their netbooks it's mostly web searching, email, social networking, and maybe lightweight games. Anything that isn't too processer intensive or needing more screen real estate.

The main advantages of a netbook are how small and light they are compared to lugging a full-size laptop and, of course, their low price range has been very attractive in this awful economy. But I believe the 10" and smaller screen devices will all become tablets, convertibles, or tablet+keyboard combos. 12" laptops can easily fill the netbook niche (there really isn't THAT much difference in size or weight from a 10" netbook, but a 12" can have a more comfortable keyboard and the screen doesn't cause as much eye strain), and anything 15" or larger being a traditional laptop. When a tablet with the same size screen can sell for twice the price (even though they really *should* be in the netbook price range), and nobody expects laptops to be sold at netbook prices - that's quite the incentive for manufacturers to drop netbooks from their product lines since tablets and netbooks are arguably targeting the same demographic looking for a small and light weight <=10" device.

It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.