Aside from Microsoft launching Windows 8 yesterday (and Carphone Warehouse leaking the LG Nexus 4), yesterday was earnings report day for a number of big fish in the industry, including Apple, which dished up “slightly disappointing” profits of £8.2bn.
In his earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook was unsurprisingly asked about the newly announced Microsoft Surface, and labelled the Windows tablet “compromised” and “confusing”.
Cook will certainly have seen the question coming. It was a fairly obvious one considering Apple's own tablet announcements in the past week, along with Google's movements on the Nexus front – to be clarified on Monday.
So you can be sure the Apple boss used exactly the words he intended to when he issued the seemingly offhand response “we're reading that it's a fairly compromised, confusing product”.
He then did the predictable thing, and steered the conversation to focus not on the competition, but on Apple's own iPad.
“I think one of the things you do with a product is make hard trade-offs. The user experience on the iPad is absolutely incredible,” Cook said, before adding: “I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats, but I don't think it would do all of those things very well. When people look at the iPad versus competitive offerings, I think they'll continue to want an iPad.”
Solid stuff, and while hindsight is wonderful, we can't see Cook ending up embarrassed in the same way Steve Ballmer was when openly laughing at the prospect of the iPhone back in 2007.