Apple's Tim Cook uses WWDC stage to lob grenades at Android, sets up China showdown with Google

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook poured lighter fluid on the already-heated rivalry between Apple and Google during his keynote presentation at this week's Worldwide Developers Conference, calling out a recent mass defection of Chinese Android users to iOS and signaling the start of a new Asian offensive.

Apple Store in Beijing's Sanlitun neighborhood
Apple Store in Beijing's Sanlitun neighborhood


Though Cook didn't reveal exact figures, he did say that nearly half of the customers in China to whom Apple sold iPhones in the past six months had switched from an Android device.

"They had bought an Android phone -- by mistake -- and then had sought a better experience. And a better life," Cook added with a wry smile.

Chinese smartphone buyers have long eschewed the kind of brand loyalty displayed by consumers in more mature markets. Their fickleness isn't limited to Android devices, though: just 41 percent of iPhone owners in China plan to stick with Apple when they buy their next handset, according to a recent report from market research firm Kantar.
Chinese consumers are predicted to spend more than $87 billion on mobile phones in 2014, besting the US market by $27 billion
One reason for the frequent changes could be Chinese consumers' propensity to trade up, often starting out with a low-cost Android smartphone and exchanging them for newer, more high-end models as their purchasing power increases.

A college graduate in Shanghai might start out with a salary of less than $800 per month, for example, necessitating a budget-focused purchase thanks in part to the lack of western-style handset subsidies. They could then upgrade in a few months' time after squirreling away additional funds.

Cook also poked fun at Android's version fragmentation, exacerbated by manufacturers who load up the operating system with customizations and have little incentive to work to offer newer releases to existing customers. While 89 percent of Apple's installed base is on the most recent version of iOS, just 9 percent of Android users are in the same position.

This leads to a number of issues, Cook noted, including the proliferation of malware among Android devices that can't be updated to patch newly-discovered vulnerabilities. Security vendor Symantec said as much earlier this year in a report that found mobile malware authors to focus "almost exclusively" on Android.




"One-third of customers are running a version of Android from 4 years ago," Cook said. "That's like ancient history! It's no wonder Android dominates the mobile malware market."

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple is in the early stages of a major new initiative in China, which Cook has long called one of the company's most important markets. Apple has committed to a massive retail expansion under new retail chief Angela Ahrendts, with Cook saying that the iPhone's 40,000 points of sale in the Asian nation is "a low number considering the broad landmass and the number of folks in China."

Apple is also considering China in its software plans, with a number of China-focused enhancements on the way in iOS 8. Software head Craig Federighi said that would include "greatly improved maps" for the country as well as more accurate local weather data, support for the lunar calendar, and enhanced Mandarin Chinese input.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 104
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,816member
    Mr Cook giving attention to competitors at his own developer's conference?? Why would Android enter into it at all? Seems un-Tim-like and unprofessional to me. I'd expect that type of message might come from an underling like Schiller (or someone like Ballmer) who's lobbed a few at competitors in the past, but surprising to see Cook feel Android needed to be addressed when introducing new Apple software.
  • Reply 2 of 104
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,103member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    Mr Cook giving attention to competitors at his own developer's conference?? Why would Android enter into it at all? Seems un-Tim-like and unprofessional to me. I'd expect that type of message to come from an underling like Schiller (or someone like Ballmer) who's lobbed a few at competitors in the past.

    I am so very glad you did not write something along the line, "This is not something Steve Jobs would have done."

  • Reply 3 of 104
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member

    Cook is kind of gentleman. When he has to ignite, he add gasoline to the flame and pursue.

    When needed, he is soft spoken and energetic.  Tim is awesome.

  • Reply 4 of 104
    darklitedarklite Posts: 229member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    Mr Cook giving attention to competitors at his own developer's conference?? Why would Android enter into it at all? Seems un-Tim-like and unprofessional to me. I'd expect that type of message to come from an underling like Schiller (or someone like Ballmer) who's lobbed a few at competitors in the past.

    Agreed. Apple shouldn't acknowledge their competitors - put up the figures for your own system, and then let others draw conclusions. Mud-slinging lowers the tone, while silence gives the impression that you're not worried in the slightest.

  • Reply 5 of 104
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,816member
    I am so very glad you did not write something along the line, "This is not something Steve Jobs would have done."

    LOL. . .
  • Reply 6 of 104
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

    Seems un-Tim-like and unprofessional to me. Id expect that type of message might come from an underling like Schiller

     

    Or Steve Jobs, who did the exact same thing. Repeatedly.

  • Reply 7 of 104
    bill42bill42 Posts: 122member
    I respectfully disagree. Jobs always poked fun at Windows in many of his speeches during conferences. This is no different.
  • Reply 8 of 104
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,816member
    Or Steve Jobs, who did the exact same thing. Repeatedly.

    Steve Jobs would be considered to have had a very unique personality. . . ;)
  • Reply 9 of 104
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    Mr Cook giving attention to competitors at his own developer's conference?? Why would Android enter into it at all? Seems un-Tim-like and unprofessional to me. I'd expect that type of message might come from an underling like Schiller (or someone like Ballmer) who's lobbed a few at competitors in the past, but surprising to see Cook feel Android needed to be addressed when introducing new Apple software.

     

    No you're right- it's a developer conference, there's 2 major mobile development platforms right now (iOS and Android), Apple is trying to show the benefits of developing for iOS, yet "Android doesn't enter into it at all"? Yeah, ok. Did you miss the last WWDC? Stats are compared with Android for the past few years. Just like how Google puts up the "marketshare" slide at every conference, taking credit for every shitty phone with a barely functioning version of Android that has ever been sold- as if those people were buying the phone based on OS anyway.  

     

    And no, it's not "surprising" in the least- as far as I recall, Steve Jobs wasn't an "underling" yet he made these shots all the time. When you see stats like 90% of iOS users are on the latest release compared to 14% Android, and 99% of walware is on Android, those are pretty powerful numbers. What isn't surprising is your reaction to Tim shedding light on this, which predictably is negative. Not to worry, Google has their I/O conference in a couple weeks and I'm sure they'll have #s you can use to gloat and share. In the meantime, try not to be so butthurt. 

  • Reply 10 of 104
    redhotfuzzredhotfuzz Posts: 280member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    Mr Cook giving attention to competitors at his own developer's conference?? Why would Android enter into it at all? Seems un-Tim-like and unprofessional to me.

     

    Welcome to War of the Tech World.  MS and Google have been bashing Apple plenty - it's time to return fire.

  • Reply 11 of 104
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,724member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Mr Cook giving attention to competitors at his own developer's conference?? Why would Android enter into it at all? Seems un-Tim-like and unprofessional to me. I'd expect that type of message might come from an underling like Schiller (or someone like Ballmer) who's lobbed a few at competitors in the past, but surprising to see Cook feel Android needed to be addressed when introducing new Apple software.

    Somebody post the image of Steve Jobs with the Keynote slide with the Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb logo. I think it was at the March 2011 keynote announcing the iPad 2. Thanks!
  • Reply 12 of 104
    cwscws Posts: 59member

    I think Tim's comments were appropriate and pertinent.  The developers in the audience have a right (and need) to know this information so they can make better decisions about which platforms to commit their resources to.  Besides, the words "toxic hellstew" were not Tim's.  He was merely quoting a widely recognized expert. 

  • Reply 13 of 104
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,724member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Steve Jobs would be considered to have had a very unique personality. . . ;)

    Unique = "doesn't prove me wrong"?
    Glad you have a portable goal post ;)
  • Reply 14 of 104
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Apple always used to poke fun at Micirosoft. I think that's fine when you're the plucky underdog.

    I wouldn't even mention Android at this point though. Let's here why iOS is so great rather than why Android is so poor.
  • Reply 15 of 104
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,724member
    I guess we can add "AppleInsider Staff" to the list of known DED aliases :)
  • Reply 16 of 104
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member

    lol Flames.

  • Reply 17 of 104
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    Let's see more of this!

     

    I like when people tell it like it is. Good for Tim Cook!

     

    I especially liked the line about Android users seeking a better experience and a better life!<img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" /> It is very true! I also liked how Tim Cook addressed how less than 10% of Android users are actually using the newest OS. That is just so pathetic.

     

    The average Android user is not tech savvy and they merely ended up with their phone because they got it for real cheap or free. The Android experience is a miserable experience plagued by bloatware, carrier installed junk, malware, viruses, poor performance, terrible apps that are ugly and massive fragmentation that exists between Android devices.

     

    It's no wonder that Tim Cook said that Android users seek a better life, because Android is basically the operating system for the third world, and who the hell wants to live in the third world? It's no surprise that Android is doing best in those countries which are some of the poorest on the planet. Android is mostly garbage made for people who can't afford anything else. Whenever I see Android users on public transportation, most of them look like that they are heading off to their minimum wage jobs. 

     

    Apple needs to continue lobbing grenades and anything else they can find at Android. Watch how a few "concern trolls" will come and claim that Apple shouldn't be doing this. <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

  • Reply 18 of 104
    kerrybkerryb Posts: 270member
    The WWDC stage was the right place to speak directly to developers about Android's shortcomings especially in regards to customers being able to run new and updated versions of their apps. The press was listening as well and writing your story is better than having a pundit invent it.
  • Reply 19 of 104
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,724member
    richl wrote: »
    Apple always used to poke fun at Micirosoft. I think that's fine when you're the plucky underdog.

    I wouldn't even mention Android at this point though. Let's here why iOS is so great rather than why Android is so poor.

    Yeah, perhaps you missed everything after the first 40 minutes of the WWDC14 keynote?

    And Apple isn't the underdog? Please. Windows and Android have won desktop and mobile, period. Mac OS X and iOS are second place platforms. And if you listen to the Fandroids, iOS is now lagging behind Android in features and customization, and not just in hugging the open source and viruses. You should be cheering the dominant "winners", not hating the underdog.
  • Reply 20 of 104
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

    writing your story is better than having a pundit invent it.

     

    But they still invented it, directly contradicting what the keynote said. They couldn’t care less about truth.

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