You can’t believe the number of calls we’ve been getting for the past few months about this non-phenomenon known as Android. Every analyst on Wall Street wants to ask us about the open-versus-closed thing, and the thing about aren’t we reliving what happened with the Mac versus Windows in the 90s, and the totally made-up activation numbers that Andy Rubin keeps pulling out of his ass — and I’m like, Enough!
That’s why I got on the earnings call yesterday and read that totally impromptu rant about Google and Android and open versus closed.
To reiterate: We are way more popular than Android. In fact, Android is not that popular at all. From what our research tells us, hardly anyone is buying Android phones. I know — that’s not what you’re hearing from the so-called “independent” market research outfits. So ask yourself, why is that? How could all those firms get this so incredibly wrong? Could it be that they’ve all been bought off by Google? Maybe that’s something that someone should be looking into.
But think about it. Do you know anyone who has an Android phone? I don’t. Honestly, not a single person I know has an Android phone. I’ve never seen one anywhere, in public, being used by a real person. I just haven’t. I mean I’ve seen the ads. But I haven’t seen an actual Android phone, and until I do, then as far as I’m concerned they simply don’t exist. They’re like Bigfoot, or the Loch Ness Monster. Great story, very entertaining, but not real.
Those Android devices that you see in the phone store, in the display window — are they actual phones, or just display models? Can you buy one? I think someone needs to do some investigating on this, instead of just sitting in their newspaper offices and writing up whatever bullshit Google feeds them.
Little news flash for you. Google friggin lies. They lie all the time. They lie about everything. They’ve lied about how many people are using Google Apps. They lied about how much money they’re making with YouTube. They lied about how many homes they invaded with their little WiFi cars driving around gathering data, and they lied about what they were going to do in China. They lie, lie, lie!
All I can tell you is that when we look out at the marketplace, in terms of competition, we just don’t see Android. We don’t. We see Windows Phone 7, which is so late that it won’t have a chance. We see RIM, in our rearview mirror, yelling at us to slow down. We see Palm, or at this point just a few fingers, still wiggling as they slide under the surface of the water for good as they drown. We see Nokia, lumbering up ahead of us like a big dimwitted Finnish reindeer, slumped on an ice floe, badly wounded, losing blood, just waiting for me to sneak up and bash it over the head with a club and finish (sorry) it off.
But Android? Honestly, we just don’t see it. Let me repeat that, in a more hypnotic voice: We … do … not … see … Android … as … a …competitor.
Even if we did see Android out there it would not matter because Android is imploding because of fragmentation which is what happens to all open-source projects. Although, as I said yesterday, Android isn’t actually open. So this is really weird because they aren’t open and yet they are fragmenting, and I know what you’re going to ask, you’re going to say, Steve, how is that possible, isn’t it a conundrum, or an oxymoron, and I’m going to say, No, it is not.
Android is closed. But it still has fragmentation. Like all open-source products.
And, by the way, open never wins, closed always wins. Just look at the entire history of the tech industry, or, if you’re in a hurry, just look at that one time when Microsoft tried to do a lame version of making music play on zillions of random shitty devices and it totally got crushed because our closed model was so much better.
So even if Android was open, which it’s not, even then Google would not win, because closed always wins, except when the closed thing is Android, which is, in fact, closed, but still won’t beat us because we’re more closed than they are and the most closed system always wins. Look at Sun Microsystems versus Linux. Case closed.
As for these numbers that Google keeps putting out, why does anyone believe them? Google could say it’s activating a billion phones a day, but that doesn’t make it true. Where is the proof? Where are the numbers from the hardware guys? Google says the phones are being sold by HTC — but does HTC even exist? Seriously? Supposedly they’re based in Taiwan. But I’ve been to Taiwan, and I asked everybody I met, Hey, have you heard of this company called HTC? Nobody knew what I was talking about. Someone ought to be looking into that, but again — lazy.
Then there’s Motorola. Supposedly they’re selling a lot of Android phones. But you look at their financial statements, the stuff they report to the SEC, and there’s nothing. Just nothing.
And even if they did provide numbers, it wouldn’t matter, because it’s not about activation numbers. The whole activation issue is a ridiculous point for Google to keep making, because it doesn’t mean anything, and by the way, our activation numbers are way higher, not that we care, because we don’t, and why should we? But based on our research, we are far and away the biggest phone maker of any kind in the world, and again, not that it matters, because this isn’t about who sells the most phones, but if it were, we would win, because we do.
So, everybody, let’s all take a deep breath here and just agree to stop talking about Android. Okay? Because they are totally irrelevant.
Now I’m going to get some chai tea and sit in my meditation room with my eyes closed and earplugs in and not think about Android for the rest of the day. Peace.