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Steve Jobs Andy Rubin Jim Balsillie

Besides shooting down any hope of a 7-inch iPad ever coming to market, Steve Jobs also took the opportunity to talk a little smack about his competition during yesterday's Apple earnings call.  On the topic of Android, Jobs believes that more iOS devices were activated last month than Androids and that his company's more "integrated" approach will beat Android's "openness" thanks at least partially to its fragmented nature.  Steve didn't stop there, though, taking on RIM and the BlackBerry platform, as well.  After passing RIM, Jobs believes that the BlackBerry manufacturer won't be catching up with Apple for the "foreseeable future," and that RIM needs to "move beyond their area of strength and comfort into the unfamiliar territory of trying to become a software platform company."

Several parties have since sprung up to voice their own opinions on what Jobs had to say.  First up is Android creator Andy Rubin, using his Twitter account @Arubin for the first time to compose this tweet: "the definition of open: "mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make."  Steve Jobs referenced TweetDeck and their charts, seen here, showing the many different versions of Android tested (although many of them are ROMs) when speaking of Android fragmentation.  TweetDeck responded, stating that Android was not a nightmare to develop for.  Finally, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie sent out a statement today, saying that "many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple."  Balsillie also compared RIM's recent shipment numbers to Apple's, pointing out that his company has broken shipment records for five consecutive quarters.  You can read Balsillie's full statement below.

This is definitely turning out to be an epic battle between major players in the smartphone industry, and I'd say just about every party involved has some good points and not-so-accurate points.  While Andy Rubin's tweet was pretty clever, I think he could've come up with something that more users could understand and point to.  One big part of Jobs' argument that was flawed was pointing to TweetDeck's graphic to bolster his Android fragmentation argument.  Sure, there are a few different versions of the OS out there, but the majority of the ones in the graph are various ROMs built from one of the core versions of Android.  I'm sure that this isn't the last we'll hear on this situation, and we'll keep you updated when something else happens.  In the meantime, what do you all make of this?

"For those of us who live outside of Apple's distortion field, we know that 7-inch tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience. We also know that while Apple's attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple, developers want more options and customers want to fully access the overwhelming majority of web sites that use Flash. We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple. And by the way, RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive quarters and recently shared guidance of 13.8 – 14.4 million BlackBerry smartphones for the current quarter. Apple's preference to compare its September-ending quarter with RIM's August-ending quarter doesn't tell the whole story because it doesn't take into account that industry demand in September is typically stronger than summer months, nor does it explain why Apple only shipped 8.4 million devices in its prior quarter and whether Apple's Q4 results were padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders. As usual, whether the subject is antennas, Flash or shipments, there is more to the story and sooner or later, even people inside the distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story."

Via Engadget (1), (2)


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