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Apple CEO comments on Android in Q4 earnings call

The top ranks of the computing world are engaging in some very public bickering today, following Apple’s Q4 earnings call. The call, in which Apple revealed record profit of $4.31 billion and iPad sales of 4.19 million in the three months to the end of September, saw an unexpected appearance from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who took the opportunity to air a few grievances. Chief of these was the common criticism that Apple’s products are closed, or not as open as they could be, with Jobs commenting, “open systems don’t always win.”

He went on specifically to attack Google’s mobile operating system, Android, stating, “Google likes to characterise Android as open and iOS as closed. We think this is disingenuous.” He continued to say that the real issue was “integrated versus fragmented,” referring to the problems Android has operating across different devices, with developers having to write a number of versions of the same applications. “We believe integrated trumps fragmented every time,” Jobs said.

The response from Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering at Google and in charge of overseeing the development of Android, was swift. His previously dormant Twitter account this morning sprung to life with the following 137 characters:

the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git:// ; repo sync ; make”

Other key points from Apple’s Q4 earnings call involved, predictably, large figures: 3.89 million Macs, 14.1 million iPhones, 9.05 million iPods and 4.19 million iPads sold in the three month period. Activations for iPhones and other iOS devices (iPods and iPads) are currently at around 275,000 a day with Jobs stating that they approach 300,000 on some days; Android activations were at 200,000 a day at the last count.

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