Preston Gralla

How Steve Jobs bent the truth at the iPad 2 announcement

March 04, 2011 11:32 AM EST
Steve Jobs, as always, was a masterful salesman at the iPad 2 rollout. But Fortune's Seth Weintraub notes that he used "twisted facts" and "factual errors" to make his points about the superiority of Apple's revamped tablet to the competition.

Weintraub says that the distortions began with Jobs' first bullet points, in which a slide claims that the iPad 2 is the "First dual core tablet to ship in volume." Weintraub notes that the Dell Streak 7 has been shipping since January, and the Xoom "is certainly shipping in volume as well."

As for the iPad 2, it isn't even shipping yet, and won't until March 11.

Later on, Jobs used a slide claiming that Samsung VP Lee Young-hee said this about the Samsung Galaxy tab:

"As you heard, our sell-in was quite aggressive...around two million. In terms of sell-out, we believe it was quite small."
That certainly sounds like a damaging admission from a competitor. There's only one problem with it, though: That's not what Young-Hee said. Listen to this recording, and you can hear that this is in fact what was said:
"As you heard, our sell-in was quite aggressive...around two million. In terms of sell-out, we believe it was quite smooth."
There are more distortions as well, says Weintraub. Jobs claimed that Apple has a 90 percent share of the tablet market. But as Weintraub points out, those numbers don't add up. Samsung sold 2 million tablets in the last quarter, and Weintraub notes that there are plenty of $100 tablets being sold at Walgreens or Amazon as well. He notes that the Nook is an Android-powered tablet and concludes: "If you choose to include the Kindle, Apple may not have even reached 50% of the market."

Weintraub uncovers more as well. He concludes:

"I have a lot of respect for Steve Jobs and Apple's products. It's just a shame that all the truth-bending destroys the keynotes."
He's absolutely on target.