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Apple CEO Tim Cook: A hybrid laptop-tablet is not such a great idea

by Doug Drinkwater

April 25 2012

Apple chief executive Tim Cook compared a hybrid laptop-tablet to converging a toaster and a refrigerator
Apple chief executive Tim Cook compared a hybrid laptop-tablet to converging a toaster and a refrigerator

Speaking after yesterday’s earnings conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook dismissed suggestions that hybrid laptop-tablet devices could come to the fore.

When quizzed on the possibility of some kind of half-way house between a laptop and a tablet, Cook said that meshing together an iPad and an MacBook Air, for example, would “wind up compromising” both devices, which could be interpreted as a subtle dig at Microsoft's Windows 8, which will cater for desktop, laptop and tablet PCs.

“Anything can be forced to converge”, said Cook in a conference call after the results, and as transcribed by financial news website Seeking Alpha. “But the problem is that products are about trade-offs to the point where what you have left at the end of the day doesn't please anyone.

"You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user. We're not going to that party... others might from a defensive point of view."

Tim Cook’s views are in stark contrast with those of chipmaker Intel, which showed off a prototype laptop which converted into a tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January, and no doubt Asus with its' Transformer Prime device practically the best of a laptop and tablet.

Intel’s head of the PC business unit recently told the BBC that this hybrid form factor will work perfectly with Windows 8. 

"With Windows 8 coming you can get the best of a mechanical keyboard, which people are telling us they don't want to give up, but when you want to get into consumption mode and read articles or the newspaper you can switch into tablet mode,” said Kirk Skaugen.

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