Jim Balsillie  (Source: The Canadian Press )
"That's all I can stands, and I can't stands no more!"

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 shaping 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 year.”

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".

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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