On Monday, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance on the company’s earnings call to snub 7-inch tablets, to question the benefits of openness, and finally, to brag that iPhones are outselling BlackBerries. The rest of the week has been consumed with others’ reacting to those strong opinions. The latest for us came in a conversation with Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE), the company that loves to hate Apple.
In an interview, Adobe’s Danny Winokur told us that 7-inch tablets will not be “dead on arrival,” like Jobs said they would be. Jobs questioned the screen size, harshly saying that consumers will have to file their fingers down in order to accurately tap the screen. But to the contrary, Winokur said: “No, I don’t think they will be. In fact, we’ve seen a high degree of demand from OEM partners, and the consumer research they’ve done, as well as, feedback we’ve received ourselves.”
So, is Jobs correct? Time (NYSE: TWX) will only tell, but there were a few others in clear disagreement. Here’s what others had to say during the week:
– Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion: “For those of us who live outside of Apple’s distortion field, we know that 7″ tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience. We also know that while Apple’s attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), developers want more options and customers want to fully access the overwhelming majority of web sites that use Flash.” Read more here.
– Google’s Andy Rubin: The Android guru awakened his Twitter account to send a message in response to Jobs. The tweet was this: “the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make.” Roughly, that is referencing the source code to Android to define “open.” (Via TechCrunch)
– TweetDeck Founder Iain Dodsworth: Jobs was thorough in his criticism. During the call, he mentioned how the twitter client had to contend with more than 100 different versions of Android software on 244 different handsets, presenting “a daunting challenge.” Dodsworth also responded to Jobs in a tweet: “Did we at any point say it was a nightmare developing on Android? Errr nope, no we didn’t. It wasn’t.” (Via BusinessInsider)
– Facebook employee Joe Hewitt: Following Jobs comments, Hewitt first tweeted his opinions, and then used more than 140 characters to explain why Android isn’t really “open,” and makes a few very good points along the way. In his blog, he writes: “There is no doubt that Android is the most open of all major mobile operating systems, and they are to be commended for this. Coming from iOS, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much more configurable Android is. The fact that you can replace the home screen with a third-party launcher or even make your own app store is a clear sign that Google’s heart is in the right place. However, there is clearly something keeping them from being even more open. That something is probably the carriers, and not Google’s management philosophy.