Rim hits back at Jobs 7 inch tablet criticism

Darren Allan

October 20, 2010

Rim Co-CEO Jim Balsillie has hit back at Steve Jobs, following the Apple CEO’s comments regarding 7 inch tablets at the company’s earnings call this week.

Jobs had a pop at iPad alternatives, saying that out of the avalanche of tablets coming to the market, most weren’t serious competitors, and those which could be considered rivals were hamstrung by their 7 inch displays.

He said that the 7 inch screen wasn’t big enough for a great app experience, and also needed to come with “sandpaper so users can sand their fingers down to a quarter of their size.”

Rim has a 7 inch slate on the way next year, the PlayBook, and Balsillie didn’t take kindly to these comments, referring to the Apple “distortion field” in a reply on the Official BlackBerry Blog.

Balsillie said that 7 inch tablets will make up a big portion of the market, and he insisted Flash support matters to those who want a “real web experience” on their slate.

He stated: “We 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 websites that use Flash.”

Balsillie also noted that Apple’s record quarter, with over 14 million iPhones shifted, couldn’t be directly compared to Rim’s last quarter, a comparison Jobs drew. An unfair one according to Rim, as Apple’s quarter includes September whereas Rim’s finished with August – and September is typically stronger than the sales of summer months for the whole industry.

Furthermore, the Rim Co-CEO found it odd that Apple only shipped 8.4 million iPhones in the previous quarter, and suggested that the Q4 results were “padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders.”

Someone isn’t a happy chappie. Google also had a pop at Jobs’ comments about Android being a fragmented rather than open system, with OS guru Andy Rubin tweeting a Unix shell code reference to define what open source means.


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