Fresh from yesterday’s release of Apple’s record sales for its fiscal 2012 first quarter, CEO Tim Cook reports that Amazon’s Kindle Fire is not chipping away at the iPad’s profitability. A confident Cook said during a conference call with investors yesterday, “I looked at the data, particularly in the U.S., on a weekly basis after the Kindle Fire launch, and I wouldn’t say that there was an obvious effect on the numbers, plus or minus.”
Cook also reasoned that tablet owners want to do more with a device than what the Kindle Fire can offer stating, “We don’t see these limited-function tablets and e-readers as being in the same category as iPad. They might sell a fair number of units, but we don’t think people who want an iPad will settle for a limited-function device.”
Cook is of the opinion that competitors can’t touch the iPad, quipping, “Last year was supposed to be the year of the tablet, and I think most people would agree it was the year of the iPad for the second year in a row.”
Cook’s remarks are neither surprising, nor that different than what he said before he had the sales numbers in hand. However, with the sales figures comes a certain assurance that the Kindle Fire’s low price point isn’t enough to stop the iPad’s runaway success.
The debate about the relationship between these two popular tablets continues, nearly daily. Wired weighed in with a contrasting opinion that even a less expensive iPad will have little effect on the Kindle Fire’s profits since the devices appeal to divergent consumer groups. For instance, Kindle Fire buyers might be drawn to the convenience of acquiring content from Amazon’s ecosystem.
At this still nascent stage of the tablet computer era nothing is set in stone, regardless of how much the topic is debated. A wide range of diverging opinions can and should flourish until the market settles down and consumers make their true desires known.