Wednesday, October 20, 2010

RIM and Google respond to Jobs

On Blackberry's blog, co-CEO Jim Balsillie responded to Steve Jobs, essentially arguing that RIM's upcoming 7-inch Playbook is relevant to consumers and that RIM is not fading away. Makes sense that he would want to try to make the point that Blackberry is still relevant.

The blog post goes:

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.

Google's Andy Rubin, on the other hand, made the point that Android is open by tweeting:

the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git:// ; repo sync ; make

For non-techies, Twitterific's Craig Hockenberry provided a helpful translation: "Make a folder for the Android project; Download the source code into that folder; Build the product."

However, if you look at the transcript of the earning call, Jobs wasn't saying that Android wasn't open. Instead, he said that characterising iOS as closed and Android as open was "disingenuous and clouding the real difference between our two approaches." The issues, according to Jobs, isn't open versus closed.

"In reality, we think the 'open' vs. 'closed' argument is just a smokescreen to try and hide the real issue which is: What's best for the customer? Fragmented versus integrated. We think Android is very, very fragmented and becoming more fragmented by the day."

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