Every Messiah needs a decent follow up act to make sure that their legacy continues. Jesus had Paul of Tarsus who re-invented his teachings and created Christianity, and now it seems that Steve of Cupertino has Tim Cook.
Yesterday Cook stepped into the hot seat after Job’s announced he was sick and taking a couple of years off to present good news to share holders.
Jobs has been sick for a while and only coming into the office a couple of times a week, but it was not announced until Cook could arrive with a bit of a fanfare.
This fanfare was about Apple’s latest stonkingly good figures and was designed to counter any share slump that Apple might have suffered in the wake of Steve’s announcement.
It was still a tough crowd for Cook. It is a bit of a bummer if, after doing so well when Jobs was sick last time, industry observers didn’t do nearly enough to praise his efforts. No matter how hard Cook tries, the great unwashed will always say “he is no Steve Jobs“.
Yet yesterdays earnings call showed how much Cook was like Jobs. First out of the gate he started by slamming the latest range of iPad competitors
Cook said the platform wasn’t designed for tablets and didn’t offer a real tablet experience. While that is true, the iPhone Operating System was not designed for tablets either that did not stop Apple shoving it on one.
He claimed that Android tablets were just “a scaled-up smartphone, which is a bizarre product in our view”. On that we are in complete agreement, he forgot to add keyboardless netbook, to the rap sheet and “fad”. However what he is saying about Android equally applies to the iPad.
It seems that Cook is channelling Steve Jobs and his famous reality distortion field where what Apple says must be true, becomes so because it is stated.
He also rounded on the fragmentation of Android, which is a fair point, and one which does need to be looked at by manufacturers quickly.
“People are going to pull their hair out,” he said, assuming they have hair.
He said that customers are frankly just not interested in them,. All this is news to us, Microsoft has not got its tablet out yet. However if Cook says it, like Steve before him, it must be true.
Like many things in the reality distortion field Cook’s comments on Android ignore what is actually happening in the Android market.
Motorola’s Xoom, uses the latest Honeycomb version of Android that has been designed from the ground up with tablets in mind. But hell that does not matter when you are channelling Steve Jobs.
Apple still owns the tablet sector, but clearly that is going to slip next year. Jobs himself made the mistake of dismissing the rivals claiming that 7-inch screen tablets would never fly, however they did.
Still, it was a good first day for Cook as he tried on Jobs’ mantle again. It is fairly clear that he will keep Apple flowing in the way Steve would have wanted it. But here there is a problem.
Apple has thrived by repacking toys so they appear at the cutting edge of technology and are in a useful format which can be marketed. Following Jobs means coming up with new ideas, and many are less sure that Cook can. Christianity succeeded because Paul of Taurus adapted the Jewish message of Christ for the Greeks. As a result he had a greater impact that Simon Peter who kept the Jewish line. At the moment Cook is a Peter, not a Paul [when will there be a Mary? I liked Puff the Magic Dragon. Ed]