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Apple boss Tim Cook brands Surface "compromised, confused"

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Apple chief executive Tim Cook has branded Microsoft's new Surface tablet computer a "compromised" and "confused" product.

Microsoft today (October 26) launched Surface slates running a flavour of the company's new Windows 8 operating system. The device will compete with Apple's iPad at the top-end of the tablet market.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event to announce new products in San Jose

© PA Images / Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Microsoft's Surface

© Microsoft



In a conference call with analysts following Apple's results statement yesterday, Cook suggested that Surface would suffer from a crisis of identity.

He branded the new 10.6-inch display slate a "fairly compromised, confused device", but admitted that he had not "personally played with the Surface".

"One of the toughest things you do when deciding what to make [is to] decide what a product should be, and we've really done that," Cook said, referring to the iPad.

"You can design a car that flies and floats... but I don't think it will do all of those things really well."


> Microsoft Surface gets mixed early reviews
> Microsoft planning to develop more hardware

Apple recently sold its 100 millionth iPad, and yesterday reported profit of $8.2 billion (£5.08bn) in the three months to September 29, below analyst expectations of $8.3bn.

However, quarterly revenue at Apple climbed 27% year-on-year to $36bn, beating expectation of $35.8bn among analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Apple shares slipped 2% to $598.01 in extended trading on Wall Street.

Apple sold 14 million iPads over the third quarter, fewer than the 15.3m expected, but the final three months of the year are expected to bring stronger results for the tablet line following announcements of new models this week - the iPad Mini and the fourth-generation iPad.

In the conference call, Cook said that it was "clear that customers delayed purchases of tablets due to new product rumours, and these intensified in August and September".

iPad Mini

© Apple

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, introduces the iPad Mini

© PA Images / Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP



He added: "Some of that was anticipated, and some of it I wish it didn't occur - but it did occur."

Apple today started pre-orders for the iPad Mini, its new tablet computer with a 7.9-inch display and A5 processor.

Analysts have expressed concern over the pricing strategy, as Apple is charging £269 for the entry-level model, making it considerably more expensive than rival products from Google (Nexus 7) and Amazon (Kindle Fire HD).

However, Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer has said that the firm priced the iPad Mini "aggressively".

The £269 WiFi-only model of the iPad Mini has already sold out its advanced orders in the UK, and shipping has now slipped to "two weeks".

Meanwhile, Apple got some brighter news this week after a judge at the US International Trade Commission ruled that phones made by Samsung had infringed Apple's patents.

South Korea's Samsung has already been ordered to pay more than $1bn in damages to Apple after losing a major jury trial in California earlier in the year. The firm intends to appeal the ruling.

Photo gallery - a history of tablet computers in pictures:

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