Apple CEO: Hybrid Tablets Doomed - InformationWeek

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Software // Operating Systems

Apple CEO: Hybrid Tablets Doomed

Without naming rival Windows 8 tablets specifically, Tim Cook says convertible laptop-tablet systems are kludgy compromises that will please no one. Microsoft and its tablet partners disagree.

8 Tablets That Will Run Windows 8 Now
8 Tablets That Will Run Windows 8 Now
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Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company plans to continue to produce separate lines of notebooks and tablets for the foreseeable future because hybrid systems that attempt to combine the power of the former and the portability of the latter end up pleasing no one.

"You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but you know those things are not going to be probably pleasing to the user," said Cook, during a conference call with analysts Tuesday, during which he announced that iPad sales were up a whopping 151%, year-over-year, in the second quarter.

Cook didn't mention Apple's chief rival by name, but there's little doubt his comments were aimed at Microsoft and its hardware partners, which later this year plan to introduce Windows 8 systems with convertible form factors that allow them to transform from laptops to tablets.

"Anything can be forced to converge," said Cook. "But the problem is that the products are about tradeoffs. You begin to make tradeoffs to the point that what you have left at the end of the day doesn't please anyone."

Cook said that, despite the booming popularity of the iPad, "I also believe there is a very good market for the MacBook Air."

[ Get expert guidance on Microsoft Windows 8. InformationWeek's Windows 8 Super Guide rounds up the key news, analysis, and reviews that you need. ]

"I do think it appeals to someone who has a little bit different requirements. And you wouldn't want to put these things together because you wind up compromising both and not pleasing the user. Some people will own both, and that's great there. But I think to make the compromises of convergence, we're not going to that party. Others might," said Cook.

The "others" are Microsoft and its OEM partners. A number of them already offer laptop-tablet convertibles that can run the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Available models include the HP EliteBook, Dell Inspiron Duo, and the Fujitsu Lifebook. Those vendors and others are expected to ship new, Windows 8 convertible devices when the OS is released for shipping, most likely this fall.

Other Microsoft partners, including Asus and Lenovo, are expected to eventually ship tablet-only Windows 8 devices that run on ARM-based chips manufactured by Qualcomm, Nvidia, or Lenovo. There are signs, however, that Windows on ARM (or Windows RT) tablets will not ship until after Intel-based Windows 8 systems hit the market.

Microsoft has said that all Windows on ARM tablets will ship with a touch-optimized version of Office 15 pre-installed. Earlier this month, documents leaked to the Internet showed that Office 15 may not be ready until early next year, implying that Windows on ARM tablets won't be available until 2013. Microsoft has not commented.

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User Rank: Apprentice
5/18/2013 | 12:24:59 PM
re: Apple CEO: Hybrid Tablets Doomed
interactive storybooks for hybrid tablets, MacOSX and Microsoft Surface Pro, visit
User Rank: Apprentice
4/28/2012 | 10:44:19 AM
re: Apple CEO: Hybrid Tablets Doomed
The biggest drawback of tablets is the lack of a real keyboard. Laptops, notebooks, and especially hybrid tablets fix that. But I guess Cook uses the iPad only to play Angry Birds.
User Rank: Apprentice
4/25/2012 | 9:35:02 PM
re: Apple CEO: Hybrid Tablets Doomed
"Apple lacks innovation, clear and simple." LOL...this is hilarious
User Rank: Apprentice
4/25/2012 | 8:14:47 PM
re: Apple CEO: Hybrid Tablets Doomed
"At least Microsoft is willing to try something new"???

I see. Microsoft plans to release MORE hybrid devices, which were released time and time again for years and never found a market. But, THIS TIME, it will all be different, because we have a NEW version of Windows for it!! This makes them 'innovative'.

Meanwhile, "Apple lacks innovation, clear and simple."! This about the company that released the first practical GUI computer operating system, that released the first 'successful' MP3 player, that invented the online music industry, that re-invented the cell phone, and which invented and is selling the ONLY successful tablet computer!

Damn, I wish that I lacked innovation like that!
User Rank: Apprentice
4/25/2012 | 7:03:13 PM
re: Apple CEO: Hybrid Tablets Doomed
Of course he is going to bash Microsoft. He works for Apple! They have to keep their devices separate because they would hurt each other's market. The only reason they have the ipad because the iphone screen is too small. The ipad is a large iphone! If they made the iphone bigger then there would be no need for the ipad. After getting my Windows Phone Titan with a 4.7" screen, my tablet just grows dust.

I think he is wrong on the items to converge. It should be a toaster and and oven, which comes together as a toaster/oven!

It will be awesome on how they merge the technology with the windows phone as well.

Apple lacks innovation, clear and simple. The iphone and the ipad is the same old looking operating system when it came out. The only things they do is change the hardware specs a little and integrate in a worthless speech app and sell it. At least Microsoft is willing to try something new.
User Rank: Guru
4/25/2012 | 6:20:10 PM
re: Apple CEO: Hybrid Tablets Doomed
You're looking at a person who has owned three hyprid devices over the years. I love them! But, since purchasing my iPad, I don't use any other device, including those hyprids. Perhaps Apple has a good valid point. I find the iPad much more pleasing overall.
User Rank: Ninja
4/25/2012 | 5:21:39 PM
re: Apple CEO: Hybrid Tablets Doomed
You begin to make tradeoffs . . .

Well DUH!!! Anytime you create any piece of technology you have to make tradeoffs. Why doesn't the iPad have a larger screen so you can put more stuff on it? Because they traded some view ability for increased portability. Why doesn't the iPad have more memory so you can run more stuff? Because they traded the ability to run more stuff for decreased cost. etc. etc. etc.

The key it to figure out what people do want and will pay for and then make the tradeoffs and build it.
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