Government // Enterprise Architecture
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1/19/2011
12:50 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Global CIO: Apple Hammers Google Over Tablet Flaws

By the time Google's Android tablet OS is available, 20 million iPads will be in full use. And until then, Apple's spreading the fragmentation FUD.

Three months ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs defiantly called out Google as Apple's public enemy #1 in the smartphone and tablet markets, describing the Android platform and Google's stewardship of it as disingenuous, fragmented, and cumbersome for developers and inconvenient for customers.

And this week Apple COO Tim Cook ratcheted up the tension with Google considerably by labeling current Android tablets as nothing more than "a scaled-up smartphone" and referring to next-generation models as pure unadulterated "vapor."

On its own, that's some pretty tough talk. But Cook's comments, along with those late last year from Jobs, are much more than merely public posturing because of the real-world legitimacy Apple has earned with the staggering success of its iPad, which was introduced less than 10 months ago.

Apple reported yesterday that in the quarter ended Dec. 31, it sold 7.3 million iPads, which generated $4.4 billion in revenue. Now available in 46 countries, the iPad's penetration into the Fortune 100 increased during the quarter to more than 80%, up significantly from the 65% it reached at the end of the previous quarter.

At the recent CES show, there was a great deal of talk about "iPad killers" from various companies along with speculation that when Google releases the tablet-specific version of Android, Apple's vise-like lock on the tablet market will be shattered.

For CIOs, this is an incredibly important topic because of the increasing need for large and mid-sized organizations to equip more and more of their workers with lightweight and easy-to-use mobile devices that accelerate decision-making and enhance collaboration.

Should you wait for the tablet-specific Android OS to come out before making a commitment? If so, which hardware partner will you choose? Why? How many apps will that hardware partner have immediately available on its platform? Will you trust that brand-new platform to be stable and secure enough to meet your most rigorous enterprise standards?

While Apple COO Cook certainly is subjective on all those issues, it's worth seeing the perspective of a guy whose company created—in just 9 months—an entirely new tablet market and related ecosystem that spurred the sales of almost 15 million iPads in those 9 months.

Here's Cook on tablet competitors from seekingalpha.com's transcript of Apple's earnings call earlier this week:

"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," Cook said. And then he described that product vision as "bizarre":

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