Steve Jobs showed up during a routine earnings call Monday to gloat about the company's first $20.3 billion quarter. Apple's CEO also trashed Google's Android mobile operating system and defended the company from criticism related to the Apple platform running on a closed proprietary system as being a disadvantage when compared to open-source systems like Google's Android.
Apple sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter, up 91% unit growth from the year-ago quarter, beating out Research in Motion's (RIM's) 12.1 million sales of Blackberry's during the quarter ending in August.
There's a lot at stake. Mobile advertising will reach $743 million this year, and is forecast to surpass $1 billion in 2011, according to eMarketer. The research firm estimates video, display and search ad spending on mobile will more than double this year.
Last week Eric Schmidt reiterated Google activates about 200,000 Android devices daily and support about 90,000 apps in the apps store. Apple has activated about 275,000 iOS devices per day on average for the past 30 days, with a few days peaking around 300,000 iOS devices. Jobs also said Apple app count in the apps store stands at about 300,000.
Jobs told investors that Google loves to categorize Android as open, and iOS and iPhone as closed. He also called Android fragmented, and explained many of Android OEMs, including Motorola and HTC, install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate them from the community handset experience. The disjointed marketplace can't possibly be good for advertisers.
Yes, Jobs supports the argument that the Android marketplace faces a fragmentation problem.
When the Twitter client TweetDeck launched its app for Android, the company is said to have reported contending with more than 100 versions of the Android software on 244 different handsets. With multiple hardware and software iterations, many apps only work on selected handsets.
Tuesday morning, TweetDeck Founder Iain Dodsworth tweeted on Twitter "Did we at any point say it was a nightmare developing on Android? Errr nope, no we didn't. It wasn't."
During a recent appearance in San Francisco, Google CEO Eric Schmidt reiterated that Google's core strategy remains a fundamentally open strategy. Schmidt called Apple a closed company. Open-source applications allow anyone to view the software's source code, and modify and distribute it at no cost.
So is it a leap to call a leap to call Apple a closed company? During the earnings call, Jobs went as far to claim open systems don't always win. And, the open and the closed software argument is just a smokescreen to hide the real issue of fragmentation on Android or seamless integration on iOS.