Apple's Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs has long been a fount of pithy quotes and insults. He has long held both a scathing wit and brutal honesty. Take this classic from 1983:
“Oh, yeah, and I suppose you both dropped acid on your way to Cupertino this morning?"
That was directed at David Bunnell and Andrew Fluegelman of the soon to be "Macworld" magazine, who had asserted an allegiance to the Grateful Dead after Jobs put them on their heels by asking, “What makes you think a dull PC guy like yourself can appreciate an elegant machine for artists like the Macintosh?"
Later, in 2006, Mark Parker had just taken over as the CEO of Nike. Apple and Nike were collaborating on the Nike Plus and Jobs offered this bit of sage advice:
"Get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff."
Fast forward to the iPhone era and Jobs' hits keep coming. Whether directing his attention to the mobile phone status quo or the iPhone's nearest competitor, Google's Android, he has never been one to hold his punches. Steve Jobs on the birth of the iPhone:
"We all had cellphones. We just hated them, they were so awful to use. The software was terrible. The hardware wasn't very good. We talked to our friends, and they all hated their cellphones too. Everybody seemed to hate their phones."
In October of 2010, on an Apple conference call to discuss the Apple Q4 results with analysts, Jobs came out swinging against Google's Android:
"Google loves to characterize Android as open and iOS and iPhone as closed. We find this a bit disingenuous and clouding the real difference between our two approaches. [...] Android is very fragmented. Many Android OEMs, including the two largest - HTC and Motorola - install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves from the commodity Android experience. The user is left to figure it all out! Compare this with iPhone where every handset works the same. [...] The multiple hardware and software iterations present developers with a daunting challenge [...] This is going to be a mess for both users and developers! [...] Even if Google were right and the real issue is closed versus open, it is worthwhile to remember that open systems don't always win ... we think the open versus closed argument is just a smokescreen!"
This diatribe by Steve Jobs received plenty of coverage in the press. It was soon followed by a rare tweet by Android founder and current Google VP Andy Rubin:
the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make"
The tweet is effectively a command line bitch-slap of Steve Jobs. It doubly highlights Android’s openness, both by illustrating the relative simplicity of developing on Android -- in contrast to the hurdles to develop for iOS -- and demonstrating how easy it is to acquire the Android kernel source code itself.