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Apple Punks Microsoft, Again

With last month's iPhone update in the rearview mirror, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) is turning its attention to the iPad.

Folks "familiar with Apple's plans" are telling tech blog AllThingsD that the consumer tech giant will host a media event on Oct. 22 to unveil its next generation of tablets.

If the date sounds familiar, it should. That also happens to be the same day that Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Surface 2 hits the market. Retail availability of Microsoft's fledgling tablet is a pretty big deal. Disappointing sales of the original Windows RT-fueled Surface forced Microsoft into a $900 million inventory charge. No one will be surprised if Microsoft falls short again this time around, shuttering the Windows RT operating system along the way.

Apple's choice may be coincidental, but it doesn't seem that way. Drawing media attention away from Microsoft's Surface 2's debut in the wild -- and possibly holding back pre-orders of Microsoft's updated gadget through the next two weeks as tablet shoppers see what Apple has to offer -- won't help Mr. Softy's chances.

Why should Apple care about tripping up Microsoft? will begin selling its new 7-inch Kindle HDX four days earlier. Isn't Kindle the bigger threat to Apple's empire? Isn't any Android-propelled device the real enemy over Windows RT or Windows 8? 

Well, we can say that Microsoft made this personal. Have you seen the Surface ads attacking the iPad this summer?

Did you catch the ads where the Windows-based Lumia smartphone pokes fun at Apple and Samsung? If there's one thing that Microsoft learned from Apple's "I'm a Mac -- I'm a PC" ads several years ago, it's that you can succeed in an attack ad campaign if you're a hungry underdog. As big as Microsoft has been in the fading PC market, it's a fringe player in the booming mobile computing markets of smartphones and tablets.

However, you also need to know what you're aiming at. Apple was able to exploit consumer discontent with Windows Vista. Microsoft isn't going to gain a lot of traction bashing the iPad. Outside of the price -- something that has shifted market share dominance from iOS to Android over the past year -- the public is generally pleased with the iPad.

Yes, iPad revenue slumped 31% in Apple's latest quarter. Cheaper iPad Mini devices introduced late last year have driven average selling prices lower, but not low enough to wrestle back market share from Android. Apple needs Oct. 22 to help change that. Driving Microsoft off the road is merely a bonus.

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Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2013, at 7:16 PM, BillGatess wrote:

    apple grow up.

    yes i mean it .Period

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2013, at 7:18 PM, JoeLemon wrote:

    This is a week old news, and the surface and ipad are really after different markets. The ipad is for fun, the surface is for production.

    Windows RT should die. Intel makes a mobile CPU. It might not have the full performance, but it should run the full windows 8.

    Businesses are already buying the surface pro instead of a laptop for employees.

  • Report this Comment On October 09, 2013, at 8:53 PM, WineHouse wrote:

    Somehow, I don't think the folks at Apple are stupid. Certainly not as stupid as Wall Street "analysts" seem to think. Perhaps it's because the Apple folks are not overtly pushy. They don't care about short-term numbers. When you are the largest market-cap company in the world, you can afford to take the "high road" and maybe even break out into those small knowing smiles that from the distance perhaps look like smirks, grimaces, or heartburn.

    Meanwhile, "smart money" (i.e., money from the pockets of smart people with high-paying jobs based on substantial technical education and skills) continues to be placed on Apple products. Note that I didn't write "Apple stock;" I wrote "products." I personally made the switch a year ago because I got truly sick and tired of the Windows operating system and its patchwork updates and management. I made the transition to Mountain Lion easily and with pleasure. The only programs on my computer that still give me grief are Excel and Word, which I carry on my machine only in order to communicate with the rest of the world. I get "critical updates" for my Microsoft Office Suite for Macs every month -- and with each update, those Excel and Word programs take longer to load up and are slower to run. Based on my prior Windows experience, I would expect the programs to crash completely in a three or four years, weighed down with more "update" code than original program code. In fact, I suspect that some of the "updates" are needed to correct incompatibilities between the original program and the previous updates -- a typical Microsoft phenomenon. While largely unknown to the outside world, Apple's Pages and Numbers (once you get used to the idiosyncrasies) are much better programs. And I've yet to see a "critical update" for either of them.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2013, at 3:20 AM, teral wrote:

    This site should be renamed to the stupid fool.

    Apple usually hold the events in a predictable pattern, last year was in the same Tuesday of October (23) even the most stupid could see that.

    If Nokia or Microsoft were afraid that the apple event could steal the show of their events they have enough time to avoid that.

    Seems that the date is on purpose, may be to show that they are not afraid of apple.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2013, at 3:21 AM, JoeLemon wrote:

    So instead of getting free updates once a month you like to wait 6 months to get the updates and pay apple. That is why you have an apple.

    Sorry to inform you but Apple is losing market share everyday in the laptop and desktop market. That isn't even factoring in that most people have Windows on there mac. Most software that is for being productive doesn't work on a mac.

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2013, at 7:42 AM, jdmeck wrote:

    The commercial is stupid. Every point is easily made null. And don't you love the Apple keyboard idea that Apple (Steve) decided against?

  • Report this Comment On October 10, 2013, at 4:49 PM, JoeLemon wrote:

    Not being able to use a flash drive or multi task isn't a big deal to you? Then you are just an apple fanboy.

    If apple decided against it then why does apple sell a crappy keyboard for the ipad. It just sucks, so no one uses it. So much so that an apple fanboy like you didn't even know they made it.

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