Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple's senior vice-president of industrial design, has said that Apple's rivals in the tablet arena are always going to be playing second fiddle because of a lack of originality and a disregard for the end user.

Speaking to the London Evening Standard, the most successful Brit in Silicon Valley (this is the man Steve Jobs described as his "spiritual partner" at Apple, remember, and a man that no one at the company can tell what to do, according to the late CEO) said that Apple has very simple goals: "To design and make better products. If we can’t make something that is better, we won’t do it."

He slammed Apple's rivals as well, saying: "Most of our competitors are interesting in doing something different, or want to appear new - I think those are completely the wrong goals. A product has to be genuinely better. This requires real discipline, and that’s what drives us - a sincere, genuine appetite to do something that is better. Committees just don’t work, and it’s not about price, schedule or a bizarre marketing goal to appear different - they are corporate goals with scant regard for people who use the product."

The comments come just a week after Apple publicly criticised Samsung and Co at the new iPad launch. During CEO Tim Cook's keynote he said that "you won't find that great experience" on any other tablets bar the iPad and, with an image of a Galaxy Tab on the big screen behind him, described the iPad's competition as "pretty basic" and said that apps just look like blown-up smartphone ones.

He said that was the reason why "momentum on iPads continues to build and the competitive tablets aren't gaining traction".

It's clear that, even with its outspoken leader now gone, Apple is still prepared to go all out attack when it comes to taking on its rivals in the public sphere.

What do you guys think? Is the iPad leagues ahead - or is there some serious competition from Samsung and elsewhere? Let us know using the comments below.