Dissecting the Jobsian Rant

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-10-19 Print this article Print


Jobs also argued that-even if Google were fairly portraying Android versus iPhone as an open-vs.-closed argument-open systems don't always win.

He pointed to Microsoft's "PlaysForSure" music strategy, which leveraged the same model Android uses of separating hardware from software. When this failed, Microsoft aped Apple's iPod strategy with the Zune.

"In reality," Jobs continued, "we think the open versus closed argument is just a smokescreen to try and hide the real issue, which is, -What's best for the customer-fragmented vs. integrated?' We think Android is very, very fragmented, and becoming more fragmented by the day. And as you know, Apple strives for the integrated model so that the user isn't forced to be the systems integrator. We see tremendous value at having Apple, rather than our users, be the systems integrator. We think this a huge strength of our approach compared to Google's: When selling the users who want their devices to just work, we believe that integrated will trump fragmented every time."

"We also think that our developers [can] be more innovative if they can target a singular platform, rather than a hundred variants. They can put their time into innovative new features, rather than testing on hundreds of different handsets. So we are very committed to the integrated approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterize it as "closed." And we are confident that it will triumph over Google's fragmented approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterize it as "open."

Jobs' words, written with the aplomb of a political speech writer, fell like cannon balls on Google, which has heard the criticisms that Android's fragmentation threatens its entire ecosystem.

The words also came three weeks after Google's Schmidt, a casual friend of Jobs, took time to define Android as open and iPhone as closed at the TechCrunch Disrupt event.

"Google's core strategy is openness. Other companies, notably Apple, have a core strategy of closed-ness," Schmidt said.

Schmidt said that developers of iOS, Apple's mobile OS, must use Apple's development tools to build apps for Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad tablet.

Jobs made a solid case for why his integrated approach provides safety and comfort from the Wild West that Android has become.

But there are no wrongs and rights in this Google vs. Apple rivalry that's laced with hard facts and opinions ensconced in religion.

Google and Apple have two markedly different approaches for the same goal: control over the mobile Web and its advertising riches.

Google officials announced Oct. 14 that the company's mobile ad business is operating at a run-rate of $1 billion a year. It will be interesting to see whether that will grow under the aegis of Android.


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