updated 03:20 pm EST, Wed March 7, 2012
Apple talks milestones and Android tablet UIs
Apple during its new iPad event touted its iOS device count and was also heavily critical of Android tablet apps. Apple had sold a total of 315 million iPads, iPhones, and iPod touch players in its history. About 172 million of those were sold in 2011, CEO Tim Cook said, while recapping mention that 62 million had been sold just in the fall.
In the same breath, Cook was also heavily critical of Android tablets and their apps. Apple had over 200,000 native iPad apps, but many Android tablet apps weren't optimized at all. The CEO showed Twitter and Yelp running on a Samsung Galaxy Tab and pointed out that the titles weren't optimized, with large amounts of white space and small text. "It kind of looks like a blown-up smartphone app, because that’s exactly what it is," Cook said of the Twitter client.
Without truly optimized apps, the more than 100 rival tablets that shipped in 2011 won't get that "great experience," he added.
The commentary cuts directly against Google's mobile VP Andy Rubin, who has so far been dismissive of efforts to cater explicitly to tablet owners on Android. He has maintained that there shouldn't be such a thing as separate tablet and smartphone apps, and to date has made no effort to let users easily find tablet apps. The Google Play Store, formerly Android Market, at most has a small section highlighting tablet apps.
Rubin had mentioned in October, before the Kindle Fire launch, that there had been about six million total Android tablets. Even Samsung, which is keen to tout any sales milestone it can, has lately said it wasn't doing well in tablets.