Steve Jobs is turning over in his grave. Apple CEO Tim Cook might have made his first big mistake as the man in charge when he said: “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those aren’t going to be pleasing to the user.”
This quote was in reference toWindows 8 and its Metro interface being able to work on laptops and tablets. Cook added that Apple has no plans or interest to combine tablet and laptop computing environments. Another quote from Cook has him saying: “We are not going to that party, but others might from a defensive point of view.” Cook said that Microsoft’s approach is a “trade-off” and has the possibility of not pleasing any users.
“You wouldn’t want to put these things together because you end up compromising in both and not pleasing either user. Some people will prefer to own both, and that’s great too. But to make the compromise of convergence, we’re not going to that party,” Cook said during an earnings call with analysts.
If Cook is correct or incorrect it does not matter because the mistake he made was to address a competitor’s new product offering. Apple is the clear-cut leader and does not need to talk about its competition. By doing so it lends credibility to Microsoft’s product. Steve Jobs never did this as CEO. He only talked about his own products.
This is a line that CEOs, who run market leaders, do not cross. And, the reason for that is; there’s no benefit in making those statements. Apple is already on top and the majority of the marketplace wants to buy Apple products so why advertise the other company’s stuff and their new market approach? Customers listen to Cook and he just told them that the Windows 8 will work seamlessly on a laptop and a tablet. People might just be looking for a solution like that.
You also open yourself up to ridicule. Case in point Microsoft’s top communications executive Frank Shaw tweeted: “Must be a typo, It’s not a toaster/fridge. It’s a toaster/oven. Those seem pretty popular. Just saying. #win8” in response to Cook’s Windows 8 comment.
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