Some big news from the big Apple – the company not the city – as Steve Jobs turned up to trot out some interesting nuggets of information at the firm’s earnings call.
Speaking of the financials, Apple outdid estimates, with fourth quarter earnings of $4.3 billion, and over $20 billion in revenue, both records for the company.
Jobs turned up not only because of the glowing figures – which represented a near doubling of iPhone sales year-on-year, with over 14 million units shifted – but also to impart some wisdom on the future of the iPad (which sold 4.2 million units in the quarter) and the tablet world in general.
He referred to the upcoming “avalanche” of tablets, but said there were only a few credible competitors to the iPad. And he then poo-pooed those competitors, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, because they only had a 7 inch display.
He criticised this size because it wasn’t big enough for “great tablet apps”, and indeed called it useless “unless you include sandpaper so users can sand their fingers down to a quarter of their size” (according to a transcript provided by Engadget). That seems a little harsh, but we get the point.
Jobs went on to state that 7 inch tablets fell between stools, and were too big to be a phone, and too small to compete with Apple’s tablet. He concluded: “We’ve done extensive testing and 10 inches is the minimum tablet size.”
It was a barrage and a half, and all those rumours about the iPad 2 arriving early next year with a 7 inch screen would seem to be way off the mark, given this little speech.
Jobs also took time out to have a pop at Google and Android. Where Google has said Android is open and iOS closed, the Apple CEO argued the alternative perspective that Android is fragmented and iOS is integrated, keeping everything simple which is what customers want.