Tim Cook slings lots of mud at Android

Cook calls the experience on Android tablets "crappy" and says Google wasn't committed to Motorola

Technology trends and news by Faith Merino
February 7, 2014
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Apple CEO Tim Cook took Google to task—again—in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, in which he called the experience on Android tablets “crappy” and said that Google sold Motorola because Google simply wasn’t up to the challenge.

In an interview that was alternately reserved and sassy, Cook discussed the future of the iPhone, the PC market, Apple’s slowing growth (as you might expect, Tim Cook does not believe Apple’s growth is slowing), and, of course, Android.

The interview was a separately published piece from the WSJ’s larger story on Apple’s $14 billion share buyback. Hidden under all that financial jargon: some Google sniping.

When asked about whether he cares about the iPhone’s market share, Cook took a passive-aggressive stab at Google for its strategy of licensing its OS to different hardware partners:

“In most geographies, in most major regions of the world, we’re [number] one or two. Would I like to be one in the places where we are two? You better believe it. If there is a way we can do that without changing where our line is on a great product, then we’re going to do it. But what we’re not going to do is we’re not going to make junk. We’re not going to put Apple’s brand on something someone else designed.”


On the subject of whether the smartphone market is going the way of the PC market, Tim Cook somehow made the jump over to tablets—specifically how crappy Android tablets are.

“We have over a million apps on iOS. We have over half-million that have been optimized for iPad. That half-million compares to 1,000 for Android tablets. That’s one of the reasons, although not the only reason, why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy because the app is nothing more than a stretched out smartphone app.”

Not that we needed to hear that line again.

And then things got really sassy. When asked his opinion on Google’s decision to sell Motorola to Lenovo, he had this to say:

“I wasn’t surprised. It seems like a logical transaction. Google gets rid of something that’s losing money, something that they’re not committed to. I think it’s really hard to do hardware, software and services and to link all those things together. That’s what makes Apple so special. It’s really hard, so I’m not surprised that they are not going to do that.”

Buuuuurrrrn. He could’ve left it at “Google gets rid of something that’s losing money,” but he had to take it that little smidge further and say that Google simply wasn’t up to the challenge of doing hardware, software, and services—and linking all those things together, like Apple does. Even though Google kind of DOES do that with the Nexus 7.

Some other highlights from the interview included Tim Cook’s reservations on a larger iPhone screen, even though rumors have been circulating for months that we’ll see just that in the very near future.

Additionally, Tim Cook explained that the company’s decision to buy back $14 billion in shares is proof of its commitment to its long-term future.

"It means that we are betting on Apple. It means that we are really confident on what we are doing and what we plan to do.”

Apple has repurchased $40 billion of its own shares over the last 12 months. BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk is raising Apple’s price target to $552 from $545 and is raising Apple’s fiscal 2014 EPS to $41.56 from $41.

J.P. Morgan’s Mark Moskowitz is more conflicted over the news:

“We think event-driven and capital-focused investors could cheer the news of Apple’s buyback bonanza. However, we do not think this buyback activity overcomes the slowdown in the all-important iPhone business.”


Image source: businessinsider

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