TIM COOK has been labelled "out of touch with reality" after his comments that Google Chromebooks are merely "test machines" and are only successful because they are cheap.
Cook made the remarks during an interview with Buzzfeed during a surprise visit to Apple's new Upper East Side retail store in New York ahead of its Hour of Code program, which kicked off in all of its retail stores on Thursday.
A small education technology firm called Neverware has since been so outraged by his remarks that it has decided to write to the Apple CEO and give him a good telling off.
"We were stuck by just how out of touch with reality Mr. Cook's comments are, and we wrote an open letter to him in response," the firm told The INQUIRER.
The letter, which can be read in full here, scolds Cook for caring more about a competitor than for the education of children.
"As the CEO of one of the most powerful companies in the world, your words are reprinted around the world," the letter reads. "You have the ability to influence hundreds of millions of people. Knowing that... is a petty swipe at a competitor's product the best that you, and Apple, can do for education?"
Cooks remarks were made while he was talking about education and how he believes the cirriculum in America needs to be reinvented. He said that Apple wouldn't be following Google's strategy in the education market when responding to a question about Chromebooks overtaking iPads as the most popular devices in American classrooms.
Although Cook didn't mention any names, the CEO implied that Chromebooks and other inexpensive PCs are really only successful because they're the cheapest option for letting school kids take standardised tests. He even went so far as to label them "test machines".
"Assessments don't create learning," Cook said. "We are interested in helping students learn and teachers teach, but tests, no. We create products that are whole solutions for people - that allow kids to learn how to create and engage on a different level."
While Chromebooks are failing to make a dent in the enterprise market, Cook's comments could come across slightly punitive considering Google has claimed that by the end of 2015 there will be more Chromebooks in schools than all other devices combined.
Chromebooks are ideal for schools and have proliferated because school districts needed to buy devices quickly, cheaply, and in large numbers in order to accommodate large numbers of pupils at once during exam weeks.
Nevertheless, Chromebooks are still a popular device with manufacturers. Taiwanese hardware firm Asus was the latest brands to unveil a Chromeboo device back in April when it introduced the Chromebook Flip, the first convertible Chrome OS device.
Looking to rival Lenovo's Windows-powered Yoga line-up, the Asus Chromebook Flip comes with a 10.1in HD IPS touchscreen on a 360-degree rotating hinge, allowing it to fold into a variety of form factors including a tablet.
The 'all-metal' device ships with a 2GHz quad-core Rockchip 3288 processor, an ARM chip based on a 32-bit quad-core Cortex A17 design. This comes paired with 4GB RAM and 16GB eMMC storage, and equips the budget hybrid with a claimed 10-hour battery life. µ
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