Why Android makes Jobs sad…


Remember that Apple used to be a computer/software company, believing itself capable of being David to Microsoft’s Goliath. Anyone who didn’t have their head stuck up their backside could clearly tell this was throne-lust and not magnanimity. Steve Jobs’ love for the small man was a deep, passionate love, that took place with the exchange of as little as $1400!

With a lucky pole-vault off the back of Sony’s Walkman into the world of the iPod and then the lightning swing into the iPhone era, Apple suddenly found itself king of a real mountain – not just a foot hill or a dune.

Is Android the right thing for consumers? Frankly, no. That’s not what bothers Steve Jobs. Android is excellent for developers (a subset of the human species that Mr Jobs has utmost disdain for, just talk to any Apple developer) and wanna-be phone manufacturers.

It provides them with a fantastic baseline for bringing their concept to market. It just seems that, so far, most of the manufacturers concept has been that you pay them money for something someone else wrote and they stuck a badge on.

Jobs’ arguments:

“open” vs “closed” is disingenuous:

Really? Isn’t the application process for selling an iStore App one of your selling points?

And given that the “open” vs “closed” concepts are only brought up in relation to development, I think it’s generally fairly well understood.

I’ll tell you what is disingenuous: Being stupid enough to piss off people in both camps at once, those are some nutty people, especially when it comes to operating systems.

“Android is fragmented”:

Again with the not-so-disingenuous to refer to Android as “open”. Like a box that you can reach into and reconfigure.

So yes, there are countless variants of Android. Unlike the case where each vendor builds their own OS from scratch in their attempt to with Apple, all of the Android phones can run each other’s software.

Some vendors have made bad calls in their Android tweakage, making them less compatible than others, but as the app base grows we’re more likely to see improvements to the ‘droid baseline than far-branch tweaks that render a device incapable of running a significant percentage of the device-selling-or-killing app base.

Hell, Apple could use Android to make an iDroid, and could completely control the apps etc that users could consume off it. Naturally, they won’t, because Apple is fascist about people not opting out (to such an extent that I have to assume they are exploiting subscription/account data in some very lucrative way).

IMO – an Apple Droid phone – with the same nuances as the iPhone, just running an apple-modified droid base – would be an awesome experience I’d jump from my Droid for.

I really do think that Mr Jobs’ rants are the result of sour grapes at finding his make-believe time as Bill Gates of the 21st Century cut short by the open source stuff he loathes so much (so much that his Darwin OS is based on it, and his company’s software development tools are all built out of it, etc, etc).

Mr Jobs wanted to believe himself a shark in the water but finds himself to be just a guy wearing a seal suit holding a dead fish. He knows trouble is gonna be coming soon.

I’m just surprised that he didn’t figure the best thing to do was … make like a shark.



Trying to change the words from “open/closed” to “integrated/fragmented” for this scope is a gamble, but then Jobs is a gambler. A fragmented OS platform for all the new phones coming out isn’t a half bad thing, no matter how fragmented they are. It’s way easier to support a couple hundred different mobile-OS flavors than it is a couple dozen different mobile-OSes.

Android is less of a mobile phone OS than a functional standard. And most importantly, did I mention it’s functional? Think about how many costs and how much time-to-market going Android buys down a phone developer…

David Kirschbaum (Toad) November 21, 2010 at 10:38 am

[quote]Android is excellent for developers (a subset of the human species that Mr Jobs has utmost disdain for, just talk to any Apple developer) [/quote]

Heh … that “subset” part … you know, I kind of noticed that back in the Apple II days. I was oh so tempted to get one and start hacking, until I noticed there weren’t any hackers! (This is the old “hacker” definition now, mind you.)

So I went to Unix, went to DOS, went to C-64, went anywhere except Apple. And never looked back.

Pity, really.


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