posted by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Oct 2010 21:42 UTC
IconSteve Jobs' rant against Android, RIM, and 7" tablets couldn't go by unnoticed, of course. We already had the rather dry response from Google's Andy Rubin, but Mountain View isn't the only one who responded. TweetDeck's CEO wasn't particularly pleased by Jobs distorting TweetDeck's story on developing for Android, and now we have RIM's co-CEO Jim Balsillie who slammed Cupertino pretty hard.

Let's start with the TweetDeck CEO, Iain Dodsworth. Yesterday, Jobs referred to TweetDeck's blog entry on developing for Android. This is what TweetDeck had to say. "To date we've had 36,427 active beta testers and below you can see the massive variety of phones and Android OS versions everyone is running," the blog entry reads, "We were really shocked to see the number of custom roms, crazy phones and general level of customization/hackalicious nature of Android. From our perspective it's pretty cool to have our app work on such a wide variety of devices and Android OS variations."

Jobs butchered this statement, and twisted and turned it to make it fit an anti-Android agenda. "Twitter client TwitterDeck [sic] recently launched their Android app, and had to contend with 100 different versions of software on 244 different handsets," Jobs said, "That's a daunting challenge."

That's a rather different interpretation, and TweetDeck's CEO isn't pleased. "Did we at any point say it was a nightmare developing on Android? Errr nope, no we didn't. It wasn't," he said on Twitter, "We only have 2 guys developing on Android TweetDeck so that shows how small an issue fragmentation is."

There's bigger fish than TweetDeck's CEO out there, and one of them is RIM's co-CEO Jim Balsillie, and he isn't happy with Jobs' rant either. Jobs said: "[We] handily beat RIM's 12.1 million Blackberries sold in their last quarter. We've now passed RIM. I don't see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future. It will be a challenge for them to create a mobile software platform and convince developers to support a third platform."

Bilsillie's response in full:

For those of us who live outside of Apple's distortion field, we know that 7-inch 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.

Interesting how he specifically contests Apple's claim that they surpassed RIM; the official figures will have to confirm or deny that one.

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