During the holiday shopping season, there was talk that the Amazon Kindle Fire was outselling the Apple iPad 2 by moving 1 million units a week. Some data suggest that 6 million units were sold by the beginning of this year while 15.43 million Apple iPads were sold in the fourth quarter of last year.
Cook also addressed talk about a pre-paid version of the Apple iPhone. The Apple CEO said that while certain countries like China and Brazil are important for the company, Apple will not sell cheap versions of its products. The executive was equating cheap with a pre-paid version of Cupertino's touchscreen smartphone. And while Apple had revenue of $13 billion in China last year, the executive brought up the fact that the company got China Unicom to switch from its traditional pre-paid service to offering a post-paid plan together with the iPhone. And while he was amazed by the number of the carrier's customers that converted from re-paid to post-paid just for the Apple iPhone, Cook says that this would not necessarily happen in other pre-paid markets.
As for the smartphone market in general, the CEO said that while the 37 million Apple iPhone units sold by the manufacturer in Q4 seemed like a lot, it was dwarfed by the 500 million smartphones sold last year, a figure he sees doubling by 2015. Cook said, "This is a jaw-dropping industry. It has tremendous opportunity to it."