On today’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked by Sanford Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi whether Apple would come up with some kind of tablet-laptop hybrid, so consumers would only need to carry one device.
Cook, who is known as an operations expert, didn’t miss a beat. Sounding downright Jobsian, he said:
“Anything can be forced to converge. But products are about trade-offs.”
Make too many, he suggested, and “you begin to make trade-offs where what you have left at the end of the day doesn’t please anyone.” He added:
“You can merge a toaster and a refrigerator, but that’s probably not going to be pleasing to anyone.”
He went on to provide data that suggests Apple is selling what the market wants. Through the end of 2011, the company had sold 67 million iPads in the two years it’s been on the market. It took more than 24 years to sell that many Macs, five years to sell that many iPods, and three years to sell that many iPhones. He suggested that many people will continue to want a laptop.
“There is a very good market for the MacBook Air, and we continue to innovate in that area,” Cook said.