Jobs on the Future of the iPad

Steve Jobs made the rather unusual move to join Apple's earnings call to talk smack about his company's smartphone and tablet competitors. He said Android was "going to be a mess for users and developers" and said he anticipated "the current crop of seven-inch [i.e. not the iPad] tablets will be DOA, dead on arrival."

Apple crushed analysts' earnings estimates but disappointing growth in iPad sales drove shares down in after hours trading. In response to an analyst's question about "the trajectory of the iPad," Jobs gazed into his crystal ball and came up with the following prognostication about the iPad's future.

Well, the iPad is clearly going to affect notebook computers. And I think the iPad proves it's not a question of if, it's a question of when. There's a lot of development and progress that will occur over the next few years, but we're already seeing tremendous interest in iPad from education and, much to my surprise, from business.

We haven't pushed it real hard in business and it's being grabbed out of our hands. I talk to people every day in all kinds of businesses that are using iPads... The more time that passes, the more I am convinced that we've got a tiger by the tail here and this is a new model of computing -- you know we've already got tens of millions of people trained on with the iPhone -- and that lends itself to lots of different aspects of life, personal, educational, and business. I see it as very general purpose and very big... One could argue about the timing endlessly, but I don't think you can argue it's going to happen.