back to article Jobs dubs Google's 'open' Android speak 'disingenuous'

Apple cult leader Steve Jobs has hit back at Eric Schmidt over the Google boss' repeated claims that Google is "open" and Apple is "closed." During a surprise appearance on Apple's quarterly earnings call on Monday afternoon — "I couldn't help dropping by for our first $20bn quarter" — Jobs called Schmidt's characterization " …


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  1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
    Jobs Horns

    Jobs has a point about...

    The question is: Who's "fragmented" and who's "integrated"?

    "Fragmentation" is an issue, but for the err.. more enlightened(?) users, it's really usually only a minor one.

    it's like desktop OS's... Apple only has to cater for a certain hardware subset on the desktop. M$ and GNU/linux etc have to cater for nearly everything else. But, we've been doing that for _YEARS_.

    We'll get round that if they don't tie our hands behind our back. Honestly, If that were our only problem, we're home free.

    The problem, imho, with android devices as we have seen most starkly recently with the G2 is lockdown. Although google purports to have an open source OS, telcos and device manufacturers still have the option of making life quite difficult for the more inquisitive user.

    Google in my mind, would have to balance appeasing the likes of us end users and the likes of the open handset people. Whom do you think they listen to?

    However, as long as there are android devices out there that are still hackable to the point I still have some degree of reasonable control over, it will be the platform of my choice.

    We'll see what Maemo Meego thingo wotsit will bring.. but the fact that it's still not here apart from on a n900 is a bit worrying. I wonder how much lockdown such devices will eventually have.

    Why why why why why lock down devices? Just bill us for bits transmitted and keep it at that.

    1. DZ-Jay

      Re: Jobs has a point about...

      You are somewhat right, but you are missing one thing. You have to understand the difference between the "open" in "Open Source" and "open" in "Open Systems". The former is a philosophy, while the latter is a business model.

      "Open Systems" is an industry catch all for a platform which is based on conventions and standards, in which every manufacturer offers only a single piece of the solution. This leaves invariably leaves the end-user as the systems integrator, as Jobs pointed out.

      This problem is easily addressed in the "Open Systems" model by some parties fulfilling the need to integrate parts for the end-user. But then this party becomes a vertical integrator, abstracting the choice of the open manufacturers from the client, and in essence you end up with the same "close" system model.

      "Open" works for large organizations when they have an IT team able to integrate the parts themselves. However, as Jobs suggested, it doesn't always work like that. If your sole supplier is IBM or Dell, you are not buying "open" anymore, nor taking advantage of the "best out there", but purchasing what IBM or Dell decide to sell you.

      What you call "lock down" is just the integrator protecting their interests by ensuring a coherent vision and a unified experience.

      Apple eschew this façade completely and embrace the integrator model at once.


    2. vincent himpe

      But, we've been doing that for _YEARS

      exactly. ANd there is still tons of bugs and security issues, unstable drivers and all kinds of other misery.

      For the reference : i don't own a mac and am a windows / unix user. But Steve has got a point.

      Create a controlled environment. We provide the hardware and the software and the compiler. You can only do what we let you do. Step out of line and we boot you off our system. OF course this brings the danger of control freakery but, think about it.

      I'm going to write a piece of code to read a certain memory area where sensitive information is stored to steal someones credit card info.. Err, sorry can't do that... compiler wont let you go to that area. ok, i'm going to hardcode it in a handcrafted assembler. err, it won't pass through our software submission procedure. we run code profiling you see. if there is access to that region of memory in your code that is a no-no as we provide an api to retrieve a key. that means we have a bit of code somewhere, that you need to call, that will verify if you are entitled to the contents of that memory. try to bypass that and we'll catch it.

      fine fine. i'll compile it with my handcrafted tool , find a way to cram it on the phone using email attachment or security hole. ok, you can attempt that but we will close the hole in the next update.

      That was the whole concept of having a ring 0 ni the processor. any code not running with ring 0 privileges does not get access to what is in there. except the programmers botched it by providing backdoors. ( it has to do with the fact that code in ring0 runs in ram and is thus subject to possible changing. )

      1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
        Jobs Horns

        ANd there is still tons of bugs and security issues...

        One thing: for a production box (ie a server) which would you rather trust?

        a GNU/Linux/BSD box you set up yourself?


        an OS X box?

        Just saying...

        (I'm not including windows here but please feel free to say windows if you like)

      2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


        Sure, potentially there may be more holes in Android,

        Firstly, I do not know how secure Dalvik is as a JVM from all kinds of exploitation. Secondly, because one can run unsigned code on the thing, a user blindly run any and everything.

        But, no OS as you well know is free from exploitation.

        I'd rather freedom (and the price that it comes with, ever vigilance) than lock down.

        If I break something, I have no one to blame but myself. On Apple, I have to ... err.. trust Apple.

        I agree, it's not for everyone. But we should have a choice.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That was a truly inspired speech.

    Mr. Jobs, you have supassed IBM and Microsoft; what I have read in this article was the single most epic amount of FUD I have personally ever been exposed to. Bravo! It's nice to see Apple on the leading edge of innovation again.

  3. Michael Xion
    Jobs Halo

    lunch munch

    I think you'll find that, according to George Costanza, eating whilst on an important 'phone call helps to give a more relaxed air to the whole conversation and put the other party at ease.

    1. hplasm

      Eating on a phone call

      Gets the phone hung up on you.

      Get some manners, Jobs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Manners? This is the man that regularly replies to random emails from customers with one line gems such as "You're holding it wrong", or "We don't care about you". I think it's a little late to teach him manners :D

        1. Rex Alfie Lee

          Not to mention...

          ...all smartphones have this problem; meaning share our responsibility onto all the other makers who don't have the problem.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    >And we'd be very pleased if the world dropped this open and closed nonsense. Thanks to both Apple and Google, the words are now close to meaningless

    Google's meaning of Open is really easy to grasp:

    1. DZ-Jay

      Re: Open

      FAIL again!

      Schmidt is actively muddling the terms by interchanging the context between "open" as in "Open Source" (the philosophy) and "open" as in "Open Systems" (the business model). Remember, Microsoft Windows is a key component of an Open Systems solution, yet there is no source available.

      Obviously this confusion works to influence the geeks' perception.


    2. The Other Steve


      Good luck building that for anything other than an emulator or a G1.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Huh? Get a clue.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    Once could also make the argument the options are freedom of choice and vendor lock-in.

    I choose freedom and therefore do not buy Apple.

    Others choose vendor lock-in in the expectation they will be rewarded for their loyalty. I say a company that sells hardware with 25% profit margins after tax looks after their shareholders, not their customers.

    1. Alex Rose


      If you think 25% is looking after shareholders more than customers then you've obviously never worked in manufacturing.

      One could also make the argument that THAT'S WHAT A COMPANY'S SUPPOSED TO DO, YOU DOUGHNUT!

      1. Ivan Headache

        So Google looks after you?

        After it's collected all your personal info and your web habits.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      I'm all for nice open googliness and wouldn't touch apple locked in stuff with a barge poll but 25% profit margin isn't exactly a huge mark up!

      Given the price of Apples kit I'm sure it must be more than that!

  6. The Other Steve
    Jobs Horns

    No! Android is OPEN! And powered by unicorns!

    "Yes, the man's arguments are bit muddled. But he's certainly right that Android faces a fragmentation problem. And we'd be very pleased if the world dropped this open and closed nonsense. Thanks to both Apple and Google, the words are now close to meaningless. ®"

    And when it starts up, magic open pixies come out and give me a Linux blow job. And there will never, ever, ever, be any bugs in it.

    Also, Steve Jobs can be readily compared to such historical characters as Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

    And that's basically a summary of the rest of the comments underneath this one.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Damn it...

      Godwin in six.

    2. blackworx

      @ The Other Steve

      You, sir, are a great big trollpants!

      1. The Other Steve


        Is my new favourite word.

  7. Geoffrey Swenson
    Jobs Horns

    The distortion field isn't working this time

    C'mon now Steve, even the reality distortion field cannot hide that Google licenses Android widely on a lot of different devices, while Apple keeps its OS to itself.

    Keeping things so closed has worked so well with market share in competition with Windows, so we need to repeat this again with Google.

    Perhaps you will end up with more than 5% of the market this time, or most likely: NOT!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: The distortion field isn't working this time

      "Keeping things so closed has worked so well with market share in competition with Windows, so we need to repeat this again with Google."

      It might have worked with market share... but Windows is shit.

    2. Alex Rose

      There's a difference between a PC and a phone

      MS got a monopoly on the desktop in a very different time, selling to very different customers.

      I'll happily keep my Android device and put up with a few minor foibles but I can certainly appreciate why my wife loves her iPhone and why the average man or woman in the street would prefer that type of experience.

      The fact of the matter is that for most people the iPhone does "just work"* and for that reason they'll continue to sell and Apple's marketing machine will continue to try to present them as an aspirational device.

      It all comes down to this - the iPhone is EASY and does 99.9% of what 99% of people want to do. We can go on in our geeky way about how it isn't "open" and how Jobs is taking our "freedom" but the fact of the matter is that we are in the minority. Deal with it. Or, better yet, stop linking your own personal happiness to whether or not your choice of phone OS has the largest market share or not - IT DOESN'T MATTER!!

      *By "just works" I of course don't mean they don't go wrong, I mean that you don't need a degree to make it work. Anybody who tries to claim that it means they don't go wrong is just as guilty of issuing FUD as MS, Apple, Google and the Linux crowd.

      1. Jason Hall


        Bloody hell. A sensible post on an Apple/Android topic.

      2. The Other Steve
        Thumb Up


        +1 for voice of sanity, are you sure you're in the right place ?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        RE: There's a difference between a PC and a phone...

        Eloquently put. I think the thing that the fanboys on all side miss is that the market place is big enough for everyone and that with an almost equal share, innovation will continue at a great pace. They have gotten so used to pissing contests based on market share and it's irrelevant. Use what works for you. Simple really!

        As an aside; free, freedom and choice are mentioned an awful lot. This "choice" and "freedom" is deemed only OK when it follows the rules of those espousing their own particular moral view. They seem to believe that choice is only valid if choosing their particular ideology. That's where I personally have a problem. As a consumer it's my right to choose closed and managed if I want. Sadly a lot of FLOSS people seem unable to grasp this...

    3. Maliciously Crafted Packet

      And what a disaster that turned out to be

      Years ago people may have put up with the frustrations and security issues surrounding Windows when they didn't know any better or could call their IT departments for help. But they wont put up with such nonsense on their phones today.

      This wont be a re-run of the 1990's, people suffered way too much back then. This is 2010. Stuff is meant to just work. Now many have experienced iOS they wont be swapping this for the fragmentation, integration and security issues of yesterday. Issues that Android and its conservative followers wish to have foisted upon us... Again!

      1. pan2008


        This is where Windows Phone 7 gets useful! Android is old windows mobile 6.x period.

    4. Bilgepipe


      "Keeping things so closed has worked so well with market share in competition with Windows, so we need to repeat this again with Google.

      Perhaps you will end up with more than 5% of the market this time, or most likely: NOT!"

      Market share != quality. By your primary-school thinking, BMW, Rolex, Mercedes, Aston Martin, etc etc are all shite? You stick to your lowest common denominator, thanks, I'll stick to high-quality, low-market share, and be happier for it.

      It stinks of anti-Apple-tards around here this morning.

  8. Martin Owens


    Authoritarianism vs Libertarian. Personally I always favoured the industrial/new money world to the old Feudalism, sure the new system is a bit more fragmented and we have lost of people who don't have a title but still find themselves with money/land or what have you. But I think we've put together an impressive set of systematic functions to cope with the scary freedom.

    It's no less what we do in the Free Software world. Making the freedom understandable and systematic.

    Apple of course, and Jobs and anyone who aspires to his thinking, is two sandwiches short of a Lordship psychosis.

    1. The Other Steve

      Did you just fail the Turing Test ?

      I'm notl sure that I understand what you're trying to say.

      I _am_ sure that you don't.

  9. Tim Bates
    Jobs Horns

    One phone...

    Well of course when people write apps for the iPhone they only have to test on one phone - Apple only make one bloody phone at a time, and they expect the sheep to all buy the latest one when it comes out.

    Android is still Android even on other devices. If Steve Jobs really got his way with making developer's lives easy, we'd all be using a single phone with a single OS. Probably some sort of Nokia.

    1. bygjohn

      Except they don't just drop old models...

      ... unlike some Android manufacturers.

      This year's iOS release is the first that doesn't support the original 2G iPhone, so it's had 3 years of software updates before it got to the stage where the hardware really can't handle the new update.

      Contrast the number of Android phones that have already been dumped by their manufacturers, with no more official updates.

      Now, I'll happily agree that developers only have to support 3 generations of iPhone and iPod Touch, plus optionally the iPad - so 6 or 7 devices, instead of the couple of hundred plus devices Android developers have to cater for, but "they expect the sheep to all buy the latest one when it comes out" just isn't true.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is actually worth debating ?

    English is open and fragmented. Latin is tightly controlled, integrated and closed. Which is the more successful and useful language ?

    Western democracies are open and fragmented. The Soviet Union was tightly controlled, integrated and closed. Which model is still around ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ..The Chinese still have communism and they are now one of the worlds economic superpowers (despite what the west may say). Palestien, Afganistian & Iraq have democracies, but apparently they are the wrong sort.

      As for:

      Western democracies are open and fragmented

      Open? Ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaa.

    2. Keith 21

      The answer is not the one you want it to be...

      ...the more successful and useful language in your comparison is Latin.

      It is the root of a great many languages, it forms the basis of so much of every-day terminology, and Latin itself is still in use today thousands of years after it was first spoken. English is a fraction of that age, and a significant portion of it is Latin or Latin-derived.

      e.g. (sorry, that's Latin) "fragmented" is derived from Latin. As is derive.

      Heck, English as a word itself is from a Latin root.


      Ooops, there goes that Latin again!

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge


        I hate to nitpick but in actual fact English is a Germanic language. The Latin bits came to us via French, but the grammar, syntax and general wibbly bits are german. We really speak a fresian in french knickers (but, to be accurate, fresian is a language that descended from the same parent as english, which makes them distant cousins rather than direct descendant/ancestor).

        Latin is a dead language. It isn't "spoken" anywhere outside high catholic mass and educational institutions. Its descendants are not Latin, though they share some features of it, just as I am not my grandfather, and just as latin is not proto-indo-european.

        Still, a better comparison for the op to make would have been English or Spanish vs French. the former are loose, widely spread and "fragmented" but still work together and are spoken by a significant majority of the world population. The latter was once the language of diplomacy and art, but fell out of favour in part because someone wanted to peeserve the "purity" of the language.

        posted from my n900. i suspect it is fresian to android's english...

        1. Sean Baggaley 1

          Uhm no...

          ... not really. If English were mostly Frisian (please note the spelling; after all, you're the one claiming to be an expert), we'd still be talking like this:

          Latin's influence on English is undeniable, but is seen primarily in vocabulary. Latin was the lingua franca of the Enlightenment and Renaissance, so there's that influence too, as well as that of Old French. But these new words didn't usually replace existing words; they just added to them, with each option shaded with its own nuances and meanings.

          Some of the grammatical changes came from the English themselves. Which is why English went through three phases—the YouTube link above goes to a recording of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" read in its original Middle English—and neither Old, nor Modern English would be intelligible to Chaucer.

          Modern German reads like Shakespearean English—"Sprachen Sie Deutch" translates most literally into "Speakest thou German". Yet modern English doesn't even retain that any more. It has a very loosely decoupled grammatical structure compared to most major languages.

          Latin gave birth to Old French, Spanish, Romanian and Italian. Its influence can also be found in the Germanic languages too, although, being on the peripheries of the Roman Empire, that family retained rather more from other influences, including the Celtic families and Scandinavian influences.

          Many languages are now importing loan words from English, instead of vice-versa. Italians use phrases like "cliccare il mouse" : "cliccare" was not only imported from the English "click", but has even been naturalised already. Even "mouse" is pronounced as the English would, instead of according to the phonetic Italian rules.

          And it's not just Italy: Slovaks are seeing even greater changes.

          English is therefore giving birth to new dialects already, even though it is a much younger language. Its influence will still be felt long after the nation that gave birth to it has ceased to exist.

          1. Graham Dawson Silver badge


            "please note the spelling; after all, you're the one claiming to be an expert"

            I make it a point to never claim to be an expert.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wow...just, wow

      Phewee, you sure know how to group together completely dissimilar things. Hang on, I reckon's I can plays at this game too:

      Android is open, but so is space, and space is cold, and having a cold is caused by a virus, hence Android is a virus!

      Or maybe the other way 'round: Whats the difference between Android and a mallet with a cold? One's a sick duck; I can't remember the rest, but your mothers a whore.

      1. Doug Glass


        My fridge is a virus! And it has no chips so it can't be a cow. post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    4. Ted Treen
      Big Brother

      You gotta be kidding....

      "Western democracies are open and fragmented. The Soviet Union was tightly controlled, integrated and closed. Which model is still around ?"

      I can only assume you've done a Rip Van Winkle & haven't experienced the same last thirteen years in the UK which I have.




      1. Syntax Error


        Still both. China, Mynamar, North Korea, Vietnam i could go on...

  11. MacroRodent
    Thumb Down

    One thing Steve forgets...

    Fragmentation does not matter too much when the phones get bought and,recycled by the consumers faster than they get bored by the particular app store it works with (provided they even see apps at all important - most people I know don't). The difference with iPhone and others is that the others don't cost an arm and a leg, so people don't cling to them so much.

    I notice that the Chinese grey market web shops are nowadays full of cheap Android phones, these are unlikely to be tallied by anyone. As Android costs nothing to no-name manufacturers while stile providing a good use experience, this alone may make it beat all other phone OSes in the long run.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Perhaps I was just young and idealistic...

    but I remember a time when CEOs said stuff that defined their companies, told us what to expect, excited us even. Now, between Jobs, Ellison, Ballmer, Schmidt. all we get is this laughable doublespeak. How they manage to lead an organisation rather than just cause baldness through endless head-scratching I do not know.

    1. Doug Glass


      doublespeak and political correctness. What the fuck wrong with these bastards?

  13. Lottie

    Playground business

    Blah, blah, blah, they're smelly, we hate them, we're more popular.

    All the major players seem to be doing this these days, it's like kids in a playground.

    Please, give us something useful to listen to. Explain how the companies are so great by extolling your virtues, NOT by highlighting the others failings.

    Either that or SHUT THE FUCK UP!

  14. dct

    openness and trash talk

    Android ISN'T free to "no-name" manufacturers, except that they don't put their names on devices and hence avoid paying license fees to Google. And those chineese phones ABSOLUTLY don't provide a "good use" experience. HTC and the like don't put their own UI's on for the fun of it - they do it because those generic devices suck (anyone want to swap my "open" Android Tablet I got in China for one of their nasty closed iPads? - come on... It runs 1.6 but I'm sure you could upgrade it cause its "open"... thought not... didn't think anyone REALLY thought they were as good as iPads).

    As for lock down - how is an Android phone OK because they're "hackable", but an iPhone not because you have to "jailbreak" it? Same approach by manufacturers, same effect on consumers, and same trick to get round the problem, giving the same result.

    Yes - Steve should do better than trash-talking the opposition. It's no cooler when he does it than when Ballmer does it, but Android is not "open" to any usefull degree.

    1. James Hughes 1

      You are confusing...

      The openness of Android, with the closed nature of the hardware it runs on.

      Android is open. You can download the OS source, and recompile it to your hearts content. Whether you can then make it run on the closed hardware you have is another matter.

    2. DrXym

      Yes it is free

      Android can be downloaded, built and installed on any device with Google's permission or not. Someone could ship an Android decked out with Yahoo or Bing apps if such things existed. That's why you see no-name devices because there is no obligation to licence the tech or pay Google any money. Your crappy Chinese tablet exists precisely because Android is open.

      Where Google tries to exert its influence is by only granting access to the market place app and Google's own apps to devices that are certified as compatible as laid out in the Compatibility Definition Document. If a device is compatible and passes the compliance test suite they get the market place app and access to the Google apps. That's good for Google because they get extra revenue and the incentive of the extra apps keeps the platform cohesive.

      Unfortunately the 2.2 CDD is pitched at smart phones which is why a number of tablets are not compatible at the moment. If this situation were left to continue I expect the platform would fragment because devices which do not implement smart phone features like GPS, compass etc cannot be compliant the way it stands. I expect this deficiency will be addressed by 3.0 which will probably classify different device profiles. The android dev blog is already laying track for this with articles about how to detect and use optional devices, cope with larger screen sizes. The sooner it happens the better.

  15. Mike Bell

    All Your Handset Are Belong To Us

    Steve appears to baulk at the notion that there are 244 types of handset for developers to contend with.

    Wouldn't life be so much easier all round if there was only one type of handset in the world? Perhaps one with an Apple logo on it?

    There you go. Problem solved.

  16. blackworx
    Thumb Down

    Pot, meet kettle

    He says you're black

  17. Anonymous Coward

    "With over 300,000 apps on Apple's app store,

    RIM has a high mountain ahead of them to climb."

    Apple did have a lot of help scaling those heady heights. I mean the amount of methane in a lot of those apps adds up to a truckload of buoyancy!

    1. Jason Hall

      Fart away

      Funny, but also true.

      It seems all the other manufacturers have spent years making it their business to produce 'tat', which left the market open for someone to come in with a 'just works' device and clean up.

      I love my iphone 4 (even with it's occasional problem), but just can't see any device I would like to own more.

      Yes there are a few HTC (and other?) models that compete technically, but with all their 'issues' I still don't see anything more worth my pennies.

      It's unfortunate that I can't have some of the openness that Android supplies, but I'm willing to give that up for a device that has, so far, caused me ZERO problems. No crashes, no dropped calls, no grip of death dropouts (although the bars do go down if I hold it wrong :)

      I'm more than willing to look at the latest bunch of Android models in approx 20ish months when my contract finishes, so let's hope Android/Blackberry/Apple/Microsoft/whoever use the time between then to make their handsets even better. Good times ahead.

  18. Andy Jones


    Steve Jobs claims the iPhone is not a closed system. He probably thinks you are all holding in wrong!

    I have never heard so much crap in my life. Android is an open system. So open it allows people to add their own user interfaces to it. The Android base is still the same! Ok, there are different versions of Android out there but then there are different versions of iOS out there.

    The guy is desperate, otherwise he wouldn't conflate the iPhone, iPad and iPod activation numbers to compare them to Googles Android activations, would he!

    /Mines the one with the fragmented pockets.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Doublespeak translated...

    I think what Steve Jobs meant was "Android brings you choice. Choice is BAD. Choice makes you have to make decisions. Decisions are BAD. They are too complicated for you and you wouldn't understand. The more you have to make the greater the chance you will make a mistake. Mistakes are dangerous. We protect you from this danger; We bring you a single handset so you don't have to stand in the shop with everyone looking whilst you decide what to buy. We bring you a single app store so you're protected from having to go on the Internet and choose where to buy from and from making the mistake of giving the wrong company money.. We will even protect you by removing apps from your device if we think you've made the wrong choice.

    Curl up nice and warm. you're safe now. We're here to protect you. Trust us."

  20. Miek

    This is some form of title

    When I hear the word 'Open' I certainly do not think of Windows, unless it's the summertime.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    He's discussing the average man on the street, not geeks

    The average bloke out there doesn't give a flying donkey cock about open source or whatever, and likely doesn't know what it is. To him, yes, windows is the definition of open. To him, the iphone is effectively open - he can go on the app store and install pretty much whatever he wants on it. Can he get root access? He doesn't know or care.

    The geek minority is going to be incensed by all this, but the actual point is going to go way over the heads of most of them. The finance people (who he was talking to at the time) will mostly get it. Apple is a mass-market company, they're not catering to the geeks, and Jobs isn't discussing the geek meaning of open here.

    1. Doug Glass


      My Ford truck is closed! I can't make a Chevrolet key work in it or for that matter my wife's Explorer key. Or battery, or seats, or hell anything that's not either custom designed or OEM. Just damn! My beloved 1999 Ford truck is an iPhone. But as a driver and not a design engineer I just don't give a damn. I just drive it and enjoy it's features and grow older with it under my butt getting me to the apps sto .... er no ... the gun store. And damn again! Glocks are iPhones too! Frakk, I need to stop thinking about this. Pretty soon my bride will be an iPhone. Thank God she's not from Stepford. Oh frakk!

    2. DrXym

      Windows open is not iPad open

      Windows lets me download and install apps from anywhere I please. So does OS X for that matter. How can you possibly equate the openness of Windows to the iPad where you get exactly one store to connect to and there are an entire raft of other restrictions built into the device.

      I think this "average bloke" would get it quite fast if you said to them that Android offers a great deal more freedom, from the device's price, form factor and features, to the apps you are allowed to install, to where you get your apps from, to the files the device permits you to copy to the device, to ability to play things like DIVX movies on many devices, to allowing things like tethering in unlocked phones. And so on.

      1. The Other Steve

        OMG I NEEEEEEEED DivX for my pr0n and pirate movies!!!!

        " I think this "average bloke" would get it quite fast if you said to them that Android offers a great deal more freedom "

        Really ? Go try it and watch how fast their eyes glaze over.

        Oh, and you can play DivX movies on iOS. CineXPlayer, VLC.

  22. semprance


    So integrated == locked down, and fragmented == open. This truly is double-speak as he isn't stating anything new, just applying new terms by twisting them to fit a new meaning...

    Although this may not be the case here, I would have thought a lot of 'fragmentation' comes from the nature of open-source being that anyone can branch anything. Hell, you can branch a piece of open source software a thousand unnecessary times. They may be unnecessary but I'm still happy that I have the option if I want to make positive changes to software.

  23. DrXym

    Android the platform is open although implementations may not be

    All of the source necessary to produce an android device is right there for download. So yes it is open Mr Jobs. Even commercial distributions of Android that wish to be "compliant" must also conform to certain guidelines which allow users the freedom to chop and change the OS, such as by replacing the default apps.

    As far as fragmentation is concerned, I think Android will be fine. Devs do not code to some random Android branch, they code to 2.1, 2.2, or 1.6. As APIs are forwards compatible, a dev states the bare minimum API level their app requires in a manifest and then they code to that. We've seen pie charts from TweetDeck which make the situation look far worse than it is. Most of the supposed branches of Android are just people who've downloaded the source code and built it on their home PCs. The build process *asks* for a branch name when you build the source which would explain why a huge raft of branches turn up Tweetdecks stats.

    As for 7" tablets, I think he may be right that they are cramped and 10" is going to be more spacious but then again claiming you can do nothing with smaller devices is utterly absurd. Personal media players (for example) would be pretty stupid if they were 10" in size. 10" may also be too large and cumbersome for kids. It might also be too big for comfortably using on a beach or on a plane.

    Then look how much iPads cost. There are Android tablets for ONE FIFTH the price of an iPad. Crappy devices to be sure but precursors of where the market are going. There will be completely functional, reasonable quality tablet devices possibly sporting 9-10" screens in the $200-300 range before long.

    In summary I think Jobs is getting a bit touchy. Sales of iPads have been good (over 4 million sold which is a lot of iPads) but they fell short of analysts expectations. Apple's head start is over so perhaps analysts think the free lunch is too.

    1. The Other Steve

      It's (not) the API, stupid

      "I think Android will be fine. Devs do not code to some random Android branch, they code to 2.1, 2.2, or 1.6. As APIs are forwards compatible, a dev states the bare minimum API level their app requires in a manifest and then they code to that"

      So what ? The WinMo API was stable for a long time. The problem - or rather the additional challenge - is that you have to contend with the number of different devices with disparate specs in terms of things like screen size, resolution, battery life, storage capacity, CPU speed, etc, etc.

      Dealing with some of these things is not impossible, but it does add extra complications to the design and coding process. And even when you've taken as many of them into account as possible, the diversity of hardware means that sooner or later you're going to lumber some users with a shitty UX.

      And when that happens, users will think their phone is shitty and/or that your app is shitty, when in fact there isn't anything wrong with either, they just happen to be mismatched.

      Those of us with slightly longer memories and more mobile development experience than the average Reg commentard remember this kind of pain from the WinMo days, which is why we keep banging on about fragmentation.

      The WinMo comparison stands further examination, because of course the handset OEMs actually built their own versions - making MS driven updates all but impossible - provided their own (often flaky) drivers and inserted their own crudware to the detriment of the platform.

      Android is of course susceptible to these very same things, by virtue of it's very openness,

      This is not to say that Android is bad, wrong, or will fail, far from it. Simply that it has these additional challenges to overcome and there is historical precedent to suggest that not dealing with them gracefully can result in serious problems.

      Why do you think MS, with all this experience from their foray onto the market, have chosen to ape Apple's model ?

      1. DrXym

        Most of those things don't matter

        "So what ? The WinMo API was stable for a long time. The problem - or rather the additional challenge - is that you have to contend with the number of different devices with disparate specs in terms of things like screen size, resolution, battery life, storage capacity, CPU speed, etc, etc."

        Screen size - Not much different from iOS really. Android will pick the best layout from those your app implements. If your app has minimum dimensions you can say so in the manifest. If you want to target a specific layout (e.g. a tablet), you can do so by writing a new XML file. Same as issues facing apps when targetting iPhone / iPad really

        Resolution - I'll take this to mean screen density since resolution / screen size produces DPI. Android works in device independent pixels for the most part. If you insert an image in pixels which is smaller than the space required in dips, Android will upscale the image. Alternatively you can specify different images for different densities, or use scalable svg graphics.

        Battery life - most apps don't care, although most app developers regardless of platform should be conscious of not having their app consuming CPU or bandwidth 24/7. If your app eats the battery you can bet it will get uninstalled.

        Storage - No different from any other platform. An iPhone could be short on space and app might fail to write a file out. Apps on any platform need to check or cope gracefully when files cannot be written out.

        CPU speed - Not hugely different from the same issue faced by games on Windows, OS X, iOS, Linux etc. and resolved in a similar way - a game loop that processes, updates and renders the world as fast as possible. The time difference between one iteration and the next determines how granular the animation / physics etc. is.

        "hardware means that sooner or later you're going to lumber some users with a shitty UX."

        Android provides tools to help cope with different layouts, screen densities and the market place app filters out apps that don't match your device's criteria. If by chance an app doesn't work properly on a device... well it's a self correcting issue. Your app will be uninstalled from those phones or downrated into oblivion. Survival of the fittest etc.

        1. The Other Steve

          Yes, yes you did

          Just repeat the exact same points I made, only without the reality.

  24. rob hindle

    locked into the playground or free to roam?

    I'm delighted with my £80 (if you try hard enough, list is £99) San Francisco Android PAYG. £400 for iPhone PAYG just ain't going to happen for me. And I'm bright enough to calculate that the alternative of iPhone for £99 plus £35 a month for 2 years on contract comes to £929 - and at that cost I'd need to take out insurance adding a bit more to the price.

    Maybe if you use a mobile a lot and can justify £35 a month on contract just for the calls iPhone becomes competitive but for me £10 a month on calls/data is fine - I'll have had 2 years use for a third of the iPhone cost. If I write off my S-F or have it stolen I'm not stuck with the contract, and a repIacement phone is only £80.

    If iPhone is so great why are people jailbreaking it? Those are the guys who made the wrong purchase, they need Android.

    Alternatively if you go Android but want to play safe then don't root the phone and just stick with your service providers walled garden app shop.

    As a developer maybe the Android platform is more fragmented than Apple but I can publish anything I want, I don't have to pay the apple tax nor seek their approval.

    This is Mac vs PC all over again, same issue: choose between paying a premium for being locked into the playground or free to roam, more risks but more choice, more benefits and cheaper. And after 20 years of Mac/PC which business model has proven the most popular?

    1. The Other Steve

      Ah the price premium argument yet again, with knobs on

      "As a developer maybe the Android platform is more fragmented than Apple but I can publish anything I want, I don't have to pay the apple tax"

      $99/year is a tiny fraction of the overheads for a professional developer - if you expect people to be paying for your apps.

    2. Ted Treen


      "This is Mac vs PC all over again, same issue: choose between paying a premium for being locked into the playground or free to roam, more risks but more choice, more benefits and cheaper. And after 20 years of Mac/PC which business model has proven the most popular?"

      Pure sophistry old Son.

      I've been a happy Mac user for over 20 years because I've always found the MacOS to be IMHO easier to use and more stable than the various contemporary versions of Windows.

      "Locked into the playground"???

      I haven't yet found anything I want to do with my Macs that I can't, or that would necessitate acquiring a Windows machine. There may be more variations of standard software types written for Windows as a platform, but how many spreadsheets, or word processors do you need to run? 14 of each?

      I couldn't care what others use, but a lucid cogent argument would be preferable to the blind tribal rant which does characterise so many MAC-PC discussions.

      When these 'discussions' degenerate (all too often) into yar-boo-sucks name-calling, I switch off. As long as I'm happy with my preferred choice, and it continues to be available, I'm happy. I really don't care if others are using Windows, Linux or even nursing CPM/86 machines, or DEC PDPs.

      Enjoy what you've chosen, get a life and accept that others might differ.

      1. Jason Hall

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

        Too true matey.

        Far too many people take this tribalism too seriously.

        Use the correct tool for the job. The last thing I want to do is have to mess/fix problems when I'm not at work, so I chose a device to suit my needs.

        Plenty more people want more options/don't mind messing/fixing/etc. Good on 'em.

        My life, however, is too short and my time too precious to waste it fighting with a fucking phone.

        (That's what PCs are for isn't it?)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ah...but do you switch off?

        ...or do you spend 1000 keystrokes telling everyone how you're above tribal ranting?

        ...just before saying "get a life"?


  25. billyad2000
    Thumb Up

    He has a point.

    Just about a year ago I invested in my first smartphone, the much anticipated, and much hyped G1, only to discover that the phone was obsolete a third of the way through the contract. Eventually it was upgraded to android 1.6, but that was it.

    By rooting my phone and Installing Cyanogen mods I have managed to keep the software fairly current, but this is without the support of the provider (T-Mobile), who insisted that the G1 was incapable of >1.6.

    Despite this, I may have considered another Android phone, until I bought an iPad anyway. I had always avoided Apple as being overpriced, but I have always liked the idea of a small touch controlled table device, and the iPad seemed to push all the right buttons for me. I had one or two doubts concerning for example the lack of adobe flash, but bought one anyway (The fact that the promised flash lite on the G1 never materialised showed me that I can easily live without).

    Ultimately Apple, through the iPad, have gained a convert, and next month when my contract expires I'll be getting an iPhone 4. I do like iOS and the benefits far outway the cons. I expect that the phone will be supported by Apple for at least the length of the contract.

    I know that the iPhone4 is expensive, but no more than a high end Android phone, that may or may not have the latest Android version, and may or may not get updates.

  26. Catroast

    I had a dream...

    ...that I was poisoned and had to milk Steve Jobs' moobs daily for the antidote.

  27. Tim Almond

    Android Versions

    "Jobs went on to say that when TweetDeck recently launched its Twitter client on Android, it had to contend with 100 different version of Android and 244 different handsets. "The multiple hardware and software iterations present developers with a daunting challenge," he said. "Many Android apps work only on selected Android handsets running selected Android versions, and this is for handsets that were shipped less than 12 months ago.""

    Tweetdeck didn't have to "contend" with 100 different versions of Android. It was beta tested by users running 100 different versions of Android. No-one is checking that it works on all 100 versions. Tweetdeck's beta programme would have been more about functionality, bugs etc.

    This "fragmentation" issue is, to anyone who's read about Android development, a massive exaggeration. When you build an app, you specify the required minimum version features (in the manifest). If your device doesn't support the feature, it doesn't even show in the store to download. In your app, you can query what features the device has, or will let you have at a more granular level. The view model is designed around not having to worry about pixel resolution. You can if you like, but generally, you should really use percentages of the screen space.

    All of this means that you actually don't have to test on lots of devices. It's probably worth checking resolution on a couple of devices to make sure you've got your views set up right, and then to release it.

    The other good thing for developers is, of course, that you can do small scale beta testing, which you can't on iOS.

  28. David 138
    Jobs Horns


    the arial issue with the iPhone 4 is exactly where his view is wrong.

    If HTC for example brought out a crap Android phone, you just buy a different one, you still get the goodness.

    If your iPhone doesnt work you told to sod off, what choice do the users have? Even when they admit fault by offering a case to fix the issue the phone doesnt apparently have.

    Apple users are such saps. Look at the stagnent Mac platform, its had so little development its still in the dark ages. they didnt even support a stadard UK keyboard untill a couple of years ago, and im not sure if they do now. But if you asked them to fix it they would tell you to buy apple rubbish, and go f$$$ yourself if you wanted them to actually support a setup used by millions of people.

    I he dies in horrible pain with an iPhone shoved up his arse.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    CEO comes out battling for his own company as it announces it best ever quarter to a group of analysts!

  30. JaitcH
    Jobs Horns

    Jobs: " I don't see them catching up to us in the foreseable future ..."

    Maybe this is a case of myopic vision.

    Jonathan Swift said "There’s none so blind as they that won’t see."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      I usually disagree with almost everything you say, but this time you are probably correct.

      Just as with the phones/laptops/computers, there will always be a market position for a low-end (inexpensive) and the high-end (expensive as hell) product.

      Android might be able to cover both ends. Maybe. But probably not.

      1. Rattus Rattus

        Android already covers both ends, and the middle too

        There are cheap-as-chips low-end phones running Android, and at the other end there are the Nexus One, HTC Desire, HTC Desire HD, Samsung Galaxy S, etc - all of which are considerably better than the iPhone 3GS and some of which are better than the iPhone 4. I've even seen video of Android running on an iPhone, although I have no guarantees of the vid's authenticity.

        Use whatever phone you want and whatever OS you want, just remember Android already has the whole spectrum covered.

  31. Shonko Kid
    Jobs Horns

    I know the phrase 'open' has taken a beating this past year or two, but..

    To say

    "The first thing most of us think about when we hear the word “open” is Windows..."

    Is a bit of a stretch, even if you do have the FUD inducing RDF turned up to 11!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    hate to say it but jobs is right about android

    Android may be open for the device manufacturers, but that just gives idiot distributors even more freedom to screw it up for the consumer.

    I bought the wife an HTC Tattoo here in Dubai. The local HTC distributor, in his infinite wisdom, loads EVERY SINGLE HTC Android device sold in the middle east with a nice app which 5 times each day will start up the GPS, find Mecca and then sound the call to prayer rather loudly so you don't forget to do your duty.

    Just in case you accidentally risk eternal damnation by accidentally turning the app off, it has no 'off' switch. If the phone is on, rest assured you'll be woken up at 6.15am (and have meetings and movies and whatever else ruined 4 more times during the day) to ensure you get yourself to the mosque.

    In fact, the HTC distributor has done the extra mile to keep us all out of Hades by thoughtfully blasting this app onto the device's ROM, so you cannot uninstall it with anything other than perhaps 'rooting' it (like the average punter is going to be able to do this).

    HTC's support line in the UAE advised me that the app cannot be turned off and cannot be uninstalled. The helpful man advised that I take it back to the store, complain, and then buy one next time I am in Europe which hopefully won't be ruined by such a ridiculous software installation.

    I am not a fan of jobs, but to be fair even apple would not stoop to crippling a phone with such an app just because of a puritanical whim of the someone in the supply chain.

    1. James Hughes 1

      But But But

      What you have described has nothing to do with Android.....its solely a problem with the distributor.

  33. Sean Baggaley 1

    Think Hi-Fi separates.

    In the good old days, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and "Windows" wasn't a curse word, people listened to these things called "records", recorded by chiselling vibrations into plastic. (Or, if you were *really* old: shellac.)

    These "record players" were read-only devices—nobody ever got around to inventing an "LP-R", or, indeed, an "LP+R", "LP-RW" or "LP+RW". To record their own (for which, read: "pre-recorded, commercial") music, a separate medium involving rusted metal smeared along a plastic tape was created, known as a "cassette tape recorder".

    These devices needed to be connected to amplifiers that, in turn, connected to the loudspeakers. And manufacturers also produced radios that could share these same amplifier units too.

    So manufacturers came up with a whizzo idea: create a standard width for these units—say, about 19 inches—and sell them to customers. Thus the hi-fi "separates" stack was born. Musos, audiophiles and the like *loved* them, even though it meant having to wrestle three or four remote controls into submission just to listen to a track.

    Joe Public, on the other hand, was happy to buy all-in-one devices, often called "Music Centres" from the likes of Panasonic and Phillips. Those with no money and even less taste bought incredibly nasty "all-in-one hi-fis" from (cough! spit! PTANNGG!) Amstrad.

    In this strained metaphor, "Fragmented" = "Hi-Fi Separates". "Integrated" = "Music Centre"

    My point is that there will always be the geek that wants to have absolute, complete and total control over their user experience, *regardless* of the the market. You see the same thing in many other fields.

    Unfortunately for these geeks, they're *not* in the majority. You're not even a particularly big minority!

    Most people really, seriously, honestly, DO NOT CARE about "open source" or "open systems". It's utterly fucking irrelevant to 90% of the market. Demanding that an entire industry places such a tiny (albeit very vocal) minority at the top of their list of priorities is fun to watch, but it ain't gonna happen. Deal with it already, and stop stamping your feet in anger like a bunch of children. It was already old 30 years ago, when the exact same arguments were being had over complete and "kit" computers.

    1. Juan Inamillion

      A breath of fresh air from an open wind... oh wait

      Blessed are the cheesemakers.

      Your ultimate paragraph says it all mate. Not one person in a hundred outside Geekdom gives a flying fuck about ''open source', 'open standards' or probably 'open-crotch panties'. They really really really want something that just does what they purchased it for.

      To make calls.

      Go down to any Tesco, Somerfields or other major hub of human interaction and watch the masses in their daily toil. They would use a can and a piece of string as long as it works.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Open Systems

      "Most people really, seriously, honestly, DO NOT CARE about "open source" or "open systems"."

      It's not so much that people care about open systems, it's what open systems do for them. Find 2 comparable products released at a similar time with similar features, and in every case I can think of, the more open one became the biggest. Open solutions end up with competitors fighting to lower the cost and improve the features in a way that closed systems don't or can't.

      Compare sd cards with Memory Stick, Windows with Mac (more open in terms of hardware it could run on), TCP/IP with every other networking standard, Wordpress with every other blogging platform. The open one won.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    One of these days...

    I'll understand why people get so upset about these things. If you have Android and love it, fine, get on with your iife. If you don't like Apple, fine, don't buy their stuff, get on with your life.

    Then again, feel free to continue coming on to sites like this venting and ranting about open this, jobs that, blah blah blah. In the meantime Apple will continue to churn out devices and software that the MAJORITY of the world wants and likes and who couldn't give a flying frack what all you geeks think about Jobs, iOS, fragmentation or anything else. They buy a device, use it, like it and enjoy it. You however spend your time pointlessly ranting.. and yet you call them the sad ones??

    I take that all back.. I'll never understand it.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    open as in golf tournament ??

    open as in golf tournament,? don't make me laugh !

    it took many year before they alow female into the tournament

  36. James Dunmore

    Tweetdeck say Jobs is wrong

    Erm - in your face Steve!

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Now for some sanity!

    Love Apple kit own plenty of it, but Steve Jobs really is a complete prat of the highest order!

    Chewing food on the phone, yeah OK you're billionaire but you don't have to act like some toss-pot futures trader. It's not big and not clever, OK?

    Open Source/Open Systems, nice! Lovely way to try to get the geek crowd on board eh? Use the word "OPEN" and the geeks sit up and pay attention!

    Listen Steve "Dipstick" Jobs, Joe Public doesn't give two monkey's wotnots what is running on his phone OK?

    Joe ( or Josephine ) Public see's his/her mate has a phone. It's shiny and it has FaceSlap/Twatter/Browser/Games on it. Whatever JP see's first will almost certainly be the one JP goes down to Phones4Twats or WhoreHousePhones and asks for. JP wants shiny, simples. Whichever shiny JP sees first will almost certainly be the one JP buys. It's only sad geeks who have no life that feel the need to spend 6 weeks weighing up the pros and cons between iOS. Android and Symbian, face it there's bugger all else worth bothering with. It's a phone, you phone, you text, you play the

    occasional game, it's not a lifestyle choice, it's a flipping phone!

    Now if you'll excuse me....Landlord, same again please!

  38. Mikey 1

    The narcissism of minor differences

    Thanks stackoverflow for the Freud:

    "It is clearly not easy for man to give up the satisfaction of this inclination to aggression. They do not feel comfortable without it. The advantage which a comparatively small cultural group offers of allowing this instinct an outlet in the form of hostility against intruders is not to be despised. It is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestations of their aggressiveness. I once discussed the phenomenon that is precisely communities with adjoining territories, and related to each other in other ways as well, who are engaged in constant feuds and in ridiculing each other — like the Spaniards and Portuguese, for instance, the North Germans and South Germans, the English and Scotch, and so on. I gave this phenomenon the name of “the narcissism of minor differences”, a name which does not do much to explain it. We can now see that it is a convenient and relatively harmless satisfaction of the inclination to aggression, by means of which cohesion between the members of the community is made easier."

  39. druck Silver badge

    Flash love

    "But we love Flash, and Flash has done extremely well on Android."

    I think we might reserve judgement on that until the majority of us have received Andriod 2.2 upgrades.

  40. Bob 18
    Jobs Horns

    Chaos Abounds...

    > Then he pointed out that various third-parties will soon be

    > launching their own Android marketplaces, including Amazon,

    > Verizon, and Vodafone. "This is going to be a mess for both users

    > and developers," he said, before pointing out that there's only one

    > app store on the iPhone.

    Ohhhh... the confusion and chaos! When I want to buy a vacuum cleaner, I can buy it at Target, K-Mart, Best Buy, etc. Same thing for just about everything else in this world, I have choices of where to buy. I'm so confused, I can barely take it...

    I don't know what I would do without Steve Jobs to show me the One True Way to buy software.

  41. sisk

    What's best for the customer?

    In my opinion what's best for the customer is that they be able to do what they want with their phone without having to jailbreak it. So that would be Android: 1, iOS:0.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You don't care until it affects you...

    90% of people don't give a toss about open-source? True. 90% of people also don't give a crap who develops a piece of software, why it is developed, how it's development progresses etc. either.

    But try applying that as an analogy to other areas of life. 90% of people probably don't care about how new medicines are standardised provided they "just work", but take away the standards and core processes, allow companies to prevent other companies from distributing their medicines, and then all of a sudden people give a crap.

    Let Jobs continue on with his draconian foolishness then. Eventually you'll probably only be able to phone other iPhones from your own iPhone - will openness be an issue for you then?

    Ok, I admit these statements are hyperbolic, but the underlying argument has substance.

    Jobs' reference to Windows being 'open' is significant to this - look at the new Mac app store: in comparison Windows does look open.

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