It's been two years since Steve Jobs joined in on an Apple earning conference call. Perhaps he should have waited a bit longer...
After news of Steve Jobs' Android and RIM bashing hit the Internet, the tech world became enraged at the arrogance and inaccuracies portrayed by the charismatic CEO. In the conference call, Jobs focused on Android fragmentation, and used TweetDeck (a popular Twitter client) as an example of development struggles. He stated that developers had to work with more than a 100 different versions of Android to get it right. He also said that open is not necessarily better, and that calling iOS closed is "disingenuous." However, Jobs failed to realize that Android doesn't have over 100 different versions. It has over 100 different ROMs (based on one or two versions of the OS), which isn't even close to the same thing. Most developers will never have to deal with more than two versions of the Android OS at a given time.
"Did we at any point say it was a nightmare developing on Android? Errr nope, no we didn't. It wasn't."
"@dannysullivan yes exactly! We only have 2 guys developing on Android TweetDeck so that shows how small an issue fragmentation is"
Jobs also voiced his disapproval of seven-inch tablet devices, which both Google and RIM are releasing.
"This size isn't sufficient to create great tablet apps, in our opinion. While one could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference, it is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size."
In retaliation, both Google and RIM decided to voice their opinions. Google's Andy Rubin (aka the "father of Android"), decided to bring his A-game to Twitter this morning where he left the following message, showing just how "open" Android really is.
"the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make"
Android is so open, that with a single string of commands, you can download and compile the latest version of Android to do with as you please.
RIM's Co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, also had some carefully chosen words to share with Steve Jobs. Not only did he want to set the record straight regarding RIM's sales figures, he also expressed his belief that customers want a "real web experience" and are "getting tired of being told what to think by Apple."
"For those of us who live outside of Apple's distortion field, we know that 7" 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."
Jobs fired across many corporate heads with his comments and really stirred the pot. While Apple has been on a hot streak, everything will come to an end, eventually.