Tim Cook on the iPad

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I’m not normally one for listening to talks held with financial analysts, even when Apple are involved – but I was interested to tune in to the stream of Tim Cook’s talk at yesterday’s Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. I’d heard that he had quite a bit to say about the iPad during this talk so I listened to it this morning.

I’m very glad I did – partly because Cook had some very interesting things to say about the iPad, and also because it made me appreciate Cook much more as a speaker. Here are a few things Cook said about the iPad that stood out for me:

On iPad sales reaching 55 million in well under two years on the market:

To put it in context, it took us 22 years to sell 55 million Macs; it took us about five years to sell 22 million iPods, it took us three years to sell that many iPhones. As you said it’s on a trajectory that’s off the charts.

He notes that it’s being used by his mother, who took to it with ease; it’s being used by his trainer at the gym he goes to in the morning, it’s being used heavily in education and in the enterprise.

And so from my point of view it’s the fastest adoption across a wide range that I’ve ever seen.

Talking about when the iPad started being used behind closed doors at Apple (“of course we had our shades pulled so nobody could see us”) before it was released:

What I started noticing about my own personal behavior was, it quickly became 80 to 90% of my consumption and work was done on the iPad.

On the tablet market outpacing the PC market at some point:

Honestly from the first day it shipped we thought, not me, many of us at Apple, thought that the tablet market would become larger than the PC market, and it was just a matter of the time that it took for that to occur. And I feel that stronger today than I did then.

And talking about the incredible rate of innovation for it and the excitement of developers:

If we had a meeting today in this hotel and we invited everybody who’s working on the coolest PC apps to come to the meeting, you might not find anybody in the meeting. (big laughs) But if you did the same thing for iOS, or that other operating system, everybody that’s working on this, you couldn’t get everybody in this hotel.

He did a great job of highlighting the iPad’s amazing, rapid trajectory – and more importantly the reasons he feels are behind that success. A year ago my impression of Tim Cook was that was a highly effective COO at Apple but probably a bit of dry operations guy, miles away from the charismatic Steve Jobs. The more I’ve listened to him speak in recent months, since taking over as Apple CEO, the more I see how wrong that impression was.

Hearing this latest public engagement I think Cook comes across as very likable, funny, and full of passion about Apple’s products. I’m not going to say that I think he’s as charismatic as Jobs – but I think he’s a damn good speaker and can more than hold his own as the voice of Apple.

You can listen in to the stream of Cook’s talk yesterday at the Apple page for it. If you do, let me know what you think of it in the comments.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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