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Steve Jobs Lashes Out At Android 864

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the battle-of-the-billions dept.
Ponca City writes "Steve Jobs doesn't usually make a guest appearance on Apple's post-earnings conference calls with analysts, but this time he made an exception, attacking Google for marketing its operating system as 'open' versus Apple's 'closed' iOS. 'Google loves to characterize Android as "open" and iOS and iPhone as "closed." We find this a bit disingenuous, and clouding the real difference between our two approaches,' said Jobs. 'Android is very fragmented. Many Android [manufacturers], including the two largest, HTC and Motorola, install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves from the commodity Android experience. The user's left to figure it out. Compare this to iPhone, where every handset works the same.' Jobs stated that the real debate is between 'fragmented versus integrated' and which is better for the consumer. 'When selling to users who want their devices to just work, we believe integrated will trump fragmented every time. And we also think our developers can be more innovative if they can target a singular platform rather than a hundred variants.' Jobs also criticized the Android Marketplace, pointing out that there are at least three other app stores being launched by vendors, causing confusion for users and work for developers. 'This is gonna be a mess for both users and developers,' Jobs said. 'Contrast this with Apple's integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.'"
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Steve Jobs Lashes Out At Android

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:17PM (#33950766) Journal
    With a single tweet [twitter.com]:

    the definition of open: "mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make"

    The best part is Andy Rubin started as an engineer at Apple in 1989.

  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:23PM (#33950866)
    The difference is that with most Android installations (and indeed, all to my knowledge, but there may be some I haven't heard of), you can install what you want right off the bat. If you don't like the content available on the Android Market, you can check the box to allow you to install non-Market apps. There is absolutely no reason Apple couldn't do this, while still preserve their "user experience".
  • by rotide (1015173) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:24PM (#33950880)
    Honestly, most of the "problems" with Android I actually consider to be strengths. Now the "fragmented" argument, yes, I can see where that can hurt in the long run, but then again, PC's are quite fragmented yet which has a larger hold after all these years, Apple or PC?
  • The answer is... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Aquina (1923974) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:28PM (#33950982)
    The answer is, that none of the two are superior to free operating systems like BSD, GNU/ or for e.g. FreeDOS. In my opinion Apple is no better than Microsoft -- even worse. They kicked out all of the devs from the Quarz project, closed their OS over years and broke the underlying BSD. So if Jobs says users will benefit from "more integrated" stuff one should state the question at which costs that happens. I don't trust Google either and will *never ever* use their OS (not even for less critical operations). I have to mention though that I would choose the latter of those two in case they were the only OS in the world. I would do that simply to be able to have a choice regarding a proprietary user interface! :-)
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:30PM (#33951050) Homepage

    has arguably the most arbitrary and capricious process for vetting the applications produced for its platform of any platform provider around?

    Seriously, my God man, it takes balls so big you need to be checked for testicular cancer to have Apple's track record in dealing with iPhone developers to get on Google's case here.

    Sure, maybe the Android platform will end up truly and badly fragmented, but it is not there yet. Furthermore, at least there is always the option of people creating their custom images and processes for helping end users get around vendor crap.

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:32PM (#33951088)

    Yes

    http://twitter.com/iaindodsworth/status/27813709366

  • by Chees0rz (1194661) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:36PM (#33951188)

    My principle complaint of the Android devices when I had one was that a simple OS update meant reinstalling all of my apps! Why in the world would someone allow that to be shipped?

    Were you an early adopter? I did not need to do this on my HTC Incredible when moving from 2.0 to 2.2 (froyo). Of course, I did have to wait for HTC to release it.

    My roommate went the other approach and installed it himself. Not sure what he ran into...

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:44PM (#33951396) Journal

    AT&T didn't allow you to do this with their initial android offerings - can't comment on the new ones. It was a walled garden just the same as the Apple experience.

    So because AT&T locked down their Android phones, this means that all of Android is suddenly no longer "open"? Strange. AT&T's actions had absolutely no effect on my Evo.

  • by doti (966971) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:45PM (#33951424) Homepage

    MeeGo [wikipedia.org], man.

  • by tophermeyer (1573841) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:53PM (#33951608)

    But the openness doesn't come from the handset itself. Unless you buy direct from a manufacturer, the handsets will be locked down to the specifications of whichever service provider you bought it from.

    Androids openness comes from the distribution of the platform. Once you do root you have an incredible amount of options and level of freedom on an Android device. Much more AFAIK than on any iOS device.

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:59PM (#33951742)

    He's scared of Android.

    He's scared of open platforms.

    His choice of words "fragmented" and "Integrated" are cleverly chosen word associations that he hopes sway you.

    Funny that he took the complete opposite stance on Flash. He claimed it was "Closed" and dead... and would not be allowed on the iPhone... which here he admits is closed itself... or in his clever wording "Integrated".

    Jobs... You're a businessman.... but your not honest.

  • by yyxx (1812612) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @04:03PM (#33951856)

    Android tends to be more popular with really geeky folks while the iPhone tends to be more popular with people that want their experience ready to go out of the box.

    I have both, so let's see.

    Android phone: turn on, type in Google account name and password (old or new), and everything works and stays in sync.

    iPhone: turn on, and... then it gets complicated. You definitely need a desktop at some point, but then you have to decide... Do you want to sync with Google? That's complicated, you need to set up mail and an Exchange account. Do you sync with your desktop? On Mac, it sort-of syncs with the built-in applications (but not much else). On Windows, it supposedly syncs with Outlook. If you use both a desktop and a laptop, things get even more complicated.

    Seems pretty clear which is better for "people who want their experience ready to go out of the box": get an Android phone and use Google's online apps. Apple's ecosystem is a complicated mess in comparison.

  • He never does this (Score:5, Informative)

    by C_Kode (102755) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @04:06PM (#33951912) Journal

    Jobs never does stuff like this. He is very worried. He must have gotten a peak the latest Android growth figures. It's not slowing or even staying the same, it's exploding at a rate Apple can't match on several fronts. Manufacturing alone has to be the biggest worry. They just can't match the output of HTC, Samsung, and Motorola who are all spitting them out as fast as they can. That doesn't even scratch the surface. With all these smartphones coming out, you are going to be able to buy them for next to nothing or even get them free. Apple doesn't want any part of that, but it's coming.

  • by mrjatsun (543322) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @04:07PM (#33951922)

    by "root" I mean wait for someone to find a bug in the firmware so a program can be created to re-program the flash.

    i.e. see Droid 2. It is not open.
          http://www.androidpolice.com/2010/08/25/motorola-droid-2-rooted/ [androidpolice.com]

  • Re:Jobs is babbling. (Score:3, Informative)

    by rufus t firefly (35399) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @04:07PM (#33951928) Homepage

    Yes, because people have proven that having more than one drug store, supermarket, or fast food chain inevitably disorients them and fouls up their lives. Oh, wait.

    I have only one Google Marketplace on my phone but the prices are in different world currencies. I have more than one drug store, supermarket, and fast food chain near me most of the time, and they ALWAYS give their prices in my LOCAL currency. Apple's App Store is the same way.

    Google's Marketplace needs more work before it can approach the user experience given by Apple's App Store.

    The last time I looked at the market on 2.2, it showed everything in ~ USD amounts.

  • by yyxx (1812612) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @04:09PM (#33951972)

    That's an oddity of the American market and American carriers; in much of the rest of the world, people can buy phones and service separately.

    And AT&T uses GSM, so you don't have to buy and use their locked down phones. I've been using an unlocked third party phone on AT&T for years, including tethering.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @04:11PM (#33951996)
    You don't actually need to re-rom your android phone to install what you want. Very few applications even require you to be rooted and the ones that do aren't banned from the app store. Re-roming enables a user to do a lot more than installing arbitrary apps and it really isn't needed if that's all you want to do.
  • by froggymana (1896008) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @04:17PM (#33952132)

    Umm... Android is actually outselling iOS... I'm rather curious to see where you got that info from.

  • by kaiser423 (828989) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:41PM (#33953568)
    Yea they are. Many of the ROM creators and other coders have submitted patches to Google that got accepted and are in the distribution for everyone. I think that the highest profile of this was Cyanogenmod and his scheduler.

    So, yea, the whole community is benefiting from it being open.
  • Re:Dear Steve, (Score:2, Informative)

    by kaiser423 (828989) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:43PM (#33953600)
    No, AT&T has disabled this feature. AT&T is stupid, we knew that. The fact that AT&T is stupid has no bearing on whether Android is open or not.

    Every other Android phone has that feature.
  • by c_forq (924234) <forquerc+slash@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @07:05PM (#33954616)
    Are you sure your friend backed up his iPhone? I recently did what you described, and everything was restored without a problem (by the way, even if you delete a program on your phone it is still kept in iTunes. You can simply re-check it and the app will install next time you sync).
  • by Qwavel (733416) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @07:15PM (#33954716)

    Here's one example:
    http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/15/apple-blocks-pulitze.html [boingboing.net]

    Apple's explanation was that the content "ridicules public figures". Yes, I know that this guy's app was allowed after he won his Pulitzer, but what about all of the apps that aren't backed by Pulitzers?

    People's phones and tablets are becoming the medium through which they experience the world, so this sort of censorship does matter.

  • by Hooya (518216) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @07:31PM (#33954882) Homepage

    > Android is very fragmented

    I have a droid and i really don't care how fragmented the android market is. I got to pick the phone i liked. and *my* droid - the single instance of the phone - is not fragmented. it works the same every day of the week. so, as a user, i don't really care how fragmented the market is. as a developer i do care - but Jobs, trying to frame it as something a user would care - "every phone works the same" - how is that a benefit for a user?

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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