Steve Jobs' soundbites: His thoughts on RIM, Android, tablets and notebooks

Steve Jobs' soundbites: His thoughts on RIM, Android, tablets and notebooks

Summary: Steve Jobs appeared as a special guest on today's earnings conference call with analysts, making a statement about its competitive forces and fielding questions from analysts about the growth potentials and his outlook on market shifts.The company reported a strong fourth quarter, generating more revenue than Google does in a full year, boasting record sales of iPhones and a strong start to a category that it pretty much owns: the tablet PC.

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Steve Jobs appeared as a special guest on today's earnings conference call with analysts, making a statement about its competitive forces and fielding questions from analysts about the growth potentials and his outlook on market shifts.

The company reported a strong fourth quarter, generating more revenue than Google does in a full year, boasting record sales of iPhones and a strong start to a category that it pretty much owns: the tablet PC. Here are some bullet points on his talking points.

RIM: Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry "has a high mountain ahead of them to climb," he said. The iPhone has surpassed the BlackBerry in sales and "I don't see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future." The competition is forcing RIM to grow beyond its comfort zone and move into the platform business. But he questioned whether RIM will be able to lure developers to develop for yet another platform, notably iOS and Android.

Android: This debate over open and closed platforms "is just a smoke screen to hide... fragmented versus integrated. Android is fragmented and becoming more fragmented by the day." The Android experience is enhanced by device manufacturers and that has left "a mess" for developers to work with. He said the Apple approach, with an integrated system, doesn't force a user to be a systems integrator. "We think integrated will trump fragmented every time."

iPad: He said reports of a "avalanche of tablets" poised to enter the market is a bit deceiving. Instead, he said, it's a "handful of credible entrants" who are compromising screen size by as much as 45 percent and will create a sub-par experience. Tablet users are also smartphone owners and the idea of trying to sell users on a tablet for the pocket is no good. "Seven-inch tablets are tweeners. They're too big to compete with smartphones and too small to compete with the iPad."

Notebook: "The iPad is clearly going to affect notebook computers and I think the iPad proves now that it's no longer a question of if but rather a question of when," he said. There's a lot of technological development coming down the pipeline in the next few years. There's a lot of interest across many verticals, including education and business, a segment that "surprised" Jobs. He said:

We haven't pushed too hard in busioness and it's being grabbed out of our hands... all the way from boards of directors down to nurses, doctors, hospitals... I'm convinced that we've got a tiger by the tail here, a new model of computing.

Finally, on Apple TV, Jobs said the company has already sold 250,000 units since it was reintroduced at a new price point of $99 .

Topics: Android, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, BlackBerry, Tablets

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20 comments
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  • Hey, "open" fans.

    Read Steve's comments about how "open" leads to fragmentation, which leads to lots of developer problems. As he said, wouldn't a developer rather spend time refining a product for one platform instead of testing a product on dozens (hundreds?) of different platforms?
    Userama
    • Don't have any basic understanding of English???

      I read the same thing and saw the word ANDROID multiple times in the paragraph. He is talking about Android fragmentation.

      When you have products coming out at the same time with the OS raging from versions 1.5 to 2.2 and NONE guaranteeing that will have support for the latest version, you can see why he is talking about fragmentation. Then add the fact that Google keeps releasing newer versions ever few months .....
      wackoae
      • RE: Steve Jobs' soundbites: His thoughts on RIM, Android, tablets and notebooks

        @wackoae And the Networks/OEMs modifying them.
        Jeremy-UK
      • RE: Steve Jobs' soundbites: His thoughts on RIM, Android, tablets and notebooks

        @wackoae Jobs didn't mention versions at all. His rap was on OEM's and Phone companies changing the platform after the fact. "The Android experience is enhanced by device manufacturers and that has left ?a mess? for developers to work with."
        tymiles
  • A question to Sam Diaz.

    Do you agree or disagree with the comments Steve Jobs stated? I would be very curious if you agree of disagree with them.
    kenosha77a
    • RE: Steve Jobs' soundbites: His thoughts on RIM, Android, tablets and notebooks

      @kenosha7777 I think Steve makes a lot of valid points in the areas that he covered. I agree with him about RIM - they have a long mountain to climb. I agree with him about tablets and how design and screen size matter a lot. (The iPad has set the bar.) I think he made some valid points about Android, though I don't necessarily agree with him (and neither did Tweetdeck's founder - see my post from this morning.)

      It's hard to say if I "agreed" or "disagreed" with what Steve said. He made some solid points that the analyst community needed to hear. But, clearly, Apple and Google see the road ahead via different lenses.

      For what it's worth, I don't dislike the iPhone itself. I actually had iPhone envy for years. My beef is with AT&T's service in the Bay Area. That's what pushed me into Camp Android. And I like it in that camp so much that Apple has pretty much lost this potential customer for good - all because they couldn't/wouldn't play ball with other carriers.

      Hope that answers your question.
      sldiaz
  • Agreed with Jobs: "open" = fragmented, "closed" = integrated

    Also, indeed, even Google says that Android 2.2 is not suitable for tablets at all.<br><br>Actually, besides iPad, <b>ALL other tablets will offer mediocre user experience due to tablet's size and/or non-suited UI.</b><br><br>Only Apple has tablet-size UI in OS now.
    DDERSSS
    • RE: Steve Jobs' soundbites: His thoughts on RIM, Android, tablets and notebooks

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  • How well is Apple positioned with the iPad?

    Jobs comments about the 7' tablets may well be an indication that Apple has seen levels and acceptance of their iPad that we don't (yet) realize.

    It also presents potential for larger iPads. 11" and 13" iPads in the future?

    I think Apple's guns are loaded for the next 12 to 18 months and a lot of companies in the market had better get moving.
    Ken_z
    • RE: Steve Jobs' soundbites: His thoughts on RIM, Android, tablets and noteb

      @Ken_z
      You might be on to something. Jobs commented that a ten inch screen was a minimum requirement for user enjoyment. He didn't rule out a larger screen iPad.
      kenosha77a
  • I think Steve is right on the dot regarding competing tablets...

    I think Steve is right on the dot regarding competing tablets. 7" tablets seem pointless to me. If you already have a BlackBerry, Droid, or iPhone, why would you want to fill your other pockets with an undersized tablet?
    olePigeon
    • RE: Steve Jobs' soundbites: His thoughts on RIM, Android, tablets and notebooks

      @olePigeon I absolutely agree. I can type comfortably on the landscape keyboard of my iPad, but I could never whip out articles as quickly on a 7" keyboard. It's an awkward size for any type of productivity.
      HCMarks
      • RE: Steve Jobs' soundbites: His thoughts on RIM, Android, tablets and notebooks

        @HCMarks I have a 7 inch Android tablet and I find it a perfect size, Android has Swype don't forget, I can type on my tablet quicker than my PC.
        ManiacMat
  • RE: Steve Jobs' soundbites: His thoughts on RIM, Android, tablets and notebooks

    this is a great discussion<br><br><a href="http://www.projecttelecoms.com.au/index.php/phone-systems>phone systems</a>
    davesydney84
  • focused

    as always, very well structured, presents clear arguments, is focused, and it addressed the target of investors that want to know more about the rationale behind apple's strategy.

    does anyone really want to mess with this guy?
    banned from zdnet
  • 7 inch tablets...

    Why would you want one? Simple... One Word... "Weight" A 7 inch device is not only 45% smaller, but 60% lighter. If you are holding an iPad for an hour trying to read a book...it becomes very heavy in your hands.

    Also, iPads without Flash = stupid.
    condelirios
    • RE: Steve Jobs' soundbites: His thoughts on RIM, Android, tablets and notebooks

      @condelirios If you want a 7" device just for reading, buy a Kindle or a Nook. The iPad is much more than just a reading device, as evidenced by Apple's lack of enthusiasm for the iBookstore.

      Also, Flash is stupid. I've done fine without it on my iPad, iPhone, and my laptop. A lack of Flash hasn't exactly stopped Apple from selling millions of iDevices.
      HCMarks
  • Woah woah woah hold your horses there Mr Jobs.

    RIM - I agree with Jobs on this BUT, RIM are now targeting a younger market as well. I'm 16 and I'd say 60% of people in my sixth form have a blackberry, both male and female. (remember adults like to be trendy, and in fashion as well)
    BBM is what has sold them to young people and what continues to sell more.
    Meanwhile they are being sold to the older demographic for ease of use and a PHYSICAL kb.
    I know my Dad swapped his iPhone 3GS for a BB Bold just because of that.

    Android - Jobs should leave this well alone.
    Yes they are competing but if the iOS is doing so well why does he have to dig at it?
    and as a young person I much prefer the android OS.
    I've got an iTouch, liked the OS until I got my Desire.
    I can't remember the last time I used my iTouch.
    Quick note about the profits : how much does google get from each sale of an android phone?

    iPad - A disappointment, could be so much more.
    Yes you can argue that Android and tablets don't mix (which they don't).
    This is where Chrome OS steps in, I think that on a 9 inch tab this could squash the iPad.

    Notebook - The iPad IS an alternative, but I'd prefer to have an Apple Notebook (why hasn't this been done already) Apple could actually have the "Macbook Mini" as a high selling product, but as I mentioned earlier Physical kb's are far better ( not the keyboard attachment, I know about it) for typing in general than touchscreens.

    Apple TV - Basic economics here.
    Brand Name + Low Price = High Sales

    Jobs makes some good points here, but he is simply boasting about how Apple is superiorineverywayshapeorform. I will say.
    Yes I will buy a Mac, and if I get the Mac then an Apple TV.
    but tablet and smartphone-wise
    I think Google hold the future (tablets) and maybe MS will sneak up. But then again I've not tried WP7 yet.
    I'll make my judgement after I've had a play.

    Zach.
    zachaby63
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