Steve Jobs is known for making his over
the top comments and calling out the competition whenever he gets the
chance. Yesterday, Jobs
took direct aim at not only Google's Android OS (which is now
up to be a worthy competitor for of the iPhone in the U.S.
market), but he also took aim at RIM.
Whereas Jobs' comments about Android
came in the "informal"
quarterly earnings conference call with investors, he actually
took a potshot at RIM in Apple's
actual Q3 earnings press release. “iPhone sales of 14.1 million
were up 91 percent year-over-year, handily beating the 12.1 million
phones RIM sold in their most recent quarter," said Jobs. "We
still have a few surprises left for the remainder of this calendar
Well, RIM's co-CEO is tired of taking
abuse from Steve Jobs, so he decided to fire back. This is Jim
Balsillie's response to Jobs in full courtesy of CrackBerry:
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,
developers want more options and customers want to fully access the
overwhelming majority of web sites that use Flash. We think many
customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple. And
by the way, RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive
quarters and recently shared guidance of 13.8 - 14.4 million
BlackBerry smartphones for the current quarter. Apple's preference to
compare its September-ending quarter with RIM's August-ending quarter
doesn't tell the whole story because it doesn't take into account
that industry demand in September is typically stronger than summer
months, nor does it explain why Apple only shipped 8.4 million
devices in its prior quarter and whether Apple's Q4 results were
padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders. As
usual, whether the subject is antennas, Flash or shipments, there is
more to the story and sooner or later, even people inside the
distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story.
Most companies take a more subtle or
guarded approach when responding to criticism from competitors (see
Andy Rubin's response
to Jobs), but Balsillie seems quite passionate about Apple's
knack for "changing the channel".