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Tim Cook not worried about Android's market share, says Apple still makes the best devices

If you’ve ever wanted to hear Apple CEO Tim Cook’s thoughts on Android's ever growing market share, now's your chance. His comments may surprise you.
May 29, 2013
Tim Cook
If you’ve ever wanted to hear Apple CEO Tim Cook’s thoughts on the fact that the combined effort of all the players in the Android market is practically showing the iPhone and iPad out the door, well, now’s your chance. Cook recently sat down with Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal for D11 at All Things D, and it is here that he goes on record to say that Apple does not feel threatened at all by Android’s growing market share.

To be more specific, Cook said that Apple has never viewed winning as “about making the most” of anything — never mind, of course, the fact that Apple celebrates selling millions upon millions of its iPhones and iPads each month. His thoughts are that despite not outselling everyone, they’re still the ones making the best devices out right now, anyway.

When asked what he thought of the fact that Android seems to have fully overtaken Apple in terms of sales, Cook had this to say:

Arguably, we make the best PC; we don’t make the most. We make the best music player; we wound up making the most. We make the best tablet, we make the best phone… we’re not making the most phones. [But] there are several things to assess the health of what you’re doing.”

According to Cook, there are other factors to consider such as usage stats — what customers are doing with their devices — as well as the level of overall customer satisfaction. He then proudly stated that iPhone and iPad users browse more on their devices, plus on the iPad alone, there are “twice as many e-commerce transactions than all Android devices combined.”

Perhaps he’s right, but as Mossberg rightly kept pointing out, there’s no denying that Android is now pretty much everywhere. At least everywhere that iPhone and iPad are, and then some. What does Apple have to say about that?

As Cook sees it, some of these so-called smart devices, which are said to contribute to Android’s ever growing market share, might not even be actual smart devices at all. Some of them might be, according to Cook, “phones that are featurephones, [but] labeled smartphones.” And in a way, he might be right.

But still, there has been a steady stream of all kinds of Android-powered devices, and after a few years, it’s easy to see that Apple can now barely keep up with the competition. Last year, it was revealed that the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs had planned to “go thermonuclear” on Android as a whole, but now it looks like that exact same strategy has been used on Apple instead.

What happened to Think Different?

Android phones
Speaking of strategies, Apple’s famous slogan used to be, “Think Different.” However, if you compare their latest products with the ones that came before them, you’ll struggle to find many differences, if you can even find any at all. Compare that with what’s happening over on Android, and how big name OEMs as well as up-and-comings from some of the lesser known provinces of China are able to come up with their own designs to bring the market a slightly different and yet uniquely-flavored offering.

And it’s not like the Android attack on Apple has been a concerted effort. It kind of just happened, it’s one of the consequences of Android being an open platform. Even inside the walls of any one company, you’ll find dozens of different products, all targeted towards different segments of the market. Just ask Samsung, or Sony, or Huawei, or Acer.

We believe that Apple has started to realize it’s only going to get harder and harder to pinpoint any one company to attack as part of its efforts to combat Android, so now we have comments coming from its CEO such as the ones mentioned above. They can’t blame Google now, and besides, the Internet giant has generally been using a hands-off approach when it comes to growing Android anyway. Plus, Apple is too dependent on Samsung to really cut its ties with the South Korean company.

Is there still hope for Apple?

Apple could still try to redeem itself through sheer effort and by adapting to the rapidly changing market. It used to be that people didn’t know what they want. Then along came the iPhone, and now with all the different kinds of mobile computing devices out there, many people can truly say exactly what they want — for work, for school, for personal use, and so on.

With the release of the iPad mini, Apple has shown that it knows what might be the right direction. Now, all that’s left is for it to go all the way through and give it their full effort.

Do you think the Apple CEO’s comments are true? Is he right in claiming that Apple makes the best devices despite being outsold by other manufacturers? Throw your thoughts on this out in the comments.