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Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook was just asked on the company’s earnings call to offer his thoughts on Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire tablet, which is significantly undercutting the iPad with a price of $199.

In short, Cook says he isn’t worried.

“We’ve seen several competitors come to market to try to compete with the iPad over time,” he said. “Some had different form factors, different price points. I think it’s reasonable to say that none of these have gained any traction thus far and in fact as all of those competitors have come to market, our share went up.”

He continued, “When you really assess this thing and look at iOS 5 and the ecosystem with iTunes, the app store and books and music, and the fact that we have over 140,000 native apps for iPad vs. a number in the hundreds for the other guys, I feel very confident in our ability to compete and extremely confident in our product pipeline.”

Also of note: Cook pointed out that Apple has sold 40 million iPads on a cumulative basis. Without giving a timeframe, Cook said he believes it’s clear that the tablet market will eventually be larger than the market for traditional PCs. That’s a pretty bold statement considering that shipments of PCs are projected by IDC to top 360 million units this year.

“I think it’s a huge opportunity for Apple,” he said.

Earlier this afternoon, Apple reported quarterly profits that fell short of Wall Street expectations, as iPhone sales fell short of analyst projections due to consumers deferring purchases amid the speculation about a new version.

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