What we have here folks is a good old fashioned geek war.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs spent about five minutes of yesterday’s earnings call (embedded below) berating Google’s Android Model and its “disingenuous” “smokescreen” while touting Apple’s “integrated, vertical” model where Apple controls most of the hardware and software stack.
That isn’t going to mean much to mainstream smartphone users, but to developers, it is the simple instructions for downloading and installing the Android Open Source OS on a device.
Unfortunately for Android consumers, they see a changed, often locked version of that Android code once the manufacturers and carriers have their way with it. Google is rumored to be changing that with an upcoming version of Android, called Gingerbread, which will stress a more consistant UI.
Jobs also spent a lot of time talking about activation numbers, which Google has been touting for the last few months. Jobs stated that over the past month, which includes the release of the new iOS-based AppleTV and iPod touch, Apple (AAPL) has been activating 275,000 devices per day on average with 300,000 per day on a few days. That’s up from 230,000/day a month ago. Google’s most recent tally is 200,000 average and up to 250,000/day as of last month.
Jobs’ words didn’t appear to help the AAPL stock, which was down 5% on lower YOY iPod sales and lower than expected iPad sales amidst growing iPhone and Mac numbers.
Both Jobs’ and Rubin’s words (or code) clearly indicate that the two goliaths of the mobile industry are engaged in a war for the hearts and minds of developers and consumers.
Clearly, the two companies are neck and neck depending on the metrics used. What’s also clear is that Apple isn’t going to cede the smartphone industry away like they did the PC industry.