Tim Cook: Tablets Are the Mother of All Markets

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Mac sales may have fallen 17 percent last quarter, but CEO Tim Cook is not concerned. “If you look at when we came out with the iPad, what did people worry about? They worried, ‘Oh my god, you’re going to kill the Mac.’ The cannibalization question raises its head a lot. The truth is: we don’t really think about it that much. Our basic belief is: if we don’t cannibalize, someone else will.” He calls the post-PC or tablet market “the mother of all markets.”

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As he previously argued last year, Cook added that “the Windows PC market is huge, and there’s a lot more there to cannibalize than there is of Mac or of the iPad.” Indeed, sales of the iPad over the past couple of years actually outperformed PCs.

“If you look at the full year last year, there were more iPads sold than [market leader Hewlett-Packard] sold of their entire lineup,” says Cook. “I think we’re in the early part of this game. The projection is that the [tablet market] will triple in four years.”

That means, even if tablets are cannibalizing PC sales at Apple, Cook really has no reason to care. Revenue is revenue, no matter where it comes from, and the beauty of tablets is that their lower price point means people can upgrade more often than with a PC. It is not uncommon to find someone who has upgraded to each iteration of the iPad as it came out. That’s why tablets, like smartphones, will do sales the PC industry never dreamed of.

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