Amongst all the financial details being discussed during Apple’s first quarter 2009 earnings conference call, acting CEO Tim Cook fielded questions on iPhone pricing, the netbook market and Apple’s ability to sustain its leadership in a crowded mobile phone market. First and foremost, Cook dismissed the idea of a low cost iPhone nano by stating,
“You know us, we’re not going to play in the low-end voice phone business. That’s not who we are. That’s not why we’re here. We’ll let somebody do that, our goal is not to be the unit share leader in the phone industry. It is to build the best phone.”
So it looks like those iPhone nano rumors could be just that, rumors – though some of his comments were certainly open to interpretation. Cook was also questioned about the future possibility of a Mac netbook. When asked about the sub-$500 netbook market, Cook responded,
“We’re watching that space, but right now from our point of view, the products in there are principally based on hardware that’s much less powerful than we think customers want, software technology that is not good, cramped keyboards, small displays. We don’t think people will be pleased with those products. It’s a category we watch, we’ve got some ideas here, but right now we think the products are inferior and will not provide an experience to customers they’re happy with.”
Those are some scathing comments about netbooks so we can apparently assume that a Mac netbook is definitely not in the works. Last but not least, Cook was asked about Apple’s ability to remain the market leader with the iPhone in light of increased competition from Android, Windows Mobile and the Palm Pre. Hit the jump to see what Apple has to say about its competition.
Cook reaffirmed Apple’s leadership in the mobile phone market and confirmed that Apple is “very, very confident with where we are competitively”. When asked directly about the Palm Pre which utilizes a multi-touch interface similar to the iPhone, Cook refused to single out an individual company but staunchly defended Apple’s technology by issuing threatening words to its competitors:
I’m just making a general statement that we think competition is good; it makes it us all better. And we’re ready to suit up and go against anyone. However, we will not stand for having our IP ripped off and we’ll use whatever weapons we have at our disposal. I don’t know that I can be more clear than that.
Those are fighting words from Apple and with the Palm Pre gaining momentum, one can only wonder if Palm may be a future target for Apple’s lawyers. In the end, it was a hell of an earnings call. If you happen to be interested at all in Apple’s Q1 FY09 results, which came in well above speculation, hit the read link.