Google Chairman Eric Schmidt appeared on Bloomberg TV on Wednesday, where an anchor asked him about the “desire factor” around the iPhone 6, leading to heinously long lines outside Apple Stores last week (and this week, as well).
“I’ll tell you what I think,” Schmidt said. “Samsung had these products a year ago,” referring to Samsung’s phablets that are around the size of the iPhone 6 Plus.
The anchors were quick to point out that no one has been lining up for blocks to pick up the Galaxy Note. But Schmidt held fast to his one-liner.
“I think Samsung had these products years ago, that’s what I think,” he said, laughing.
Schmidt is right, technically. Samsung has been selling large-display smartphones long before Apple unveiled the iPhone 6.
But it’s completely dodging the question. Schmidt can’t explain why consumers aren’t lining up outside their local Best Buy to pick up Android smartphones.
Or maybe he doesn’t want to.
Saying “Apple wasn’t there first” doesn’t mean anything. That’s not Apple’s strategy.
In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, Tim Cook was asked if the iPhone 6/6 Plus was a response to Samsung’s smartphones. Here’s what he said:
Honestly, Charlie, we could have done a larger iPhone years ago. It’s never been about just making a larger phone. It’s been about making a better phone in every single way. And so we ship things when they’re ready.
Apple’s products are so widely desired because Apple isn’t first-to-market. Apple waits for competitors to enter a product category, then Apple releases its take on that product.
Android users might say Apple copies its competitors this way, but that’s a debate better left untouched.
The point is: Apple not making a phablet before Samsung says nothing about the company’s success. And Eric Schmidt probably knows that.
Here’s the full interview: