Steve Jobs: "Not a chance" Android will surpass iPhone

Steve Jobs is once again putting finger to touchscreen to jot down tersely worded replies, this time on whether or not Google's Android will leap frog the iPhone and whether or not the WWDC 2010 keynote will bring the rain.

First question:

Are google taking the [p1$$]? I hope you have some good WWDC announcements to blow them out the water?

Jobs' answer:

You won't be disappointed.

Sent from my iPhone

Second question:

Do you believe Google is surpassing you guys [...]?

Jobs' answer:

Not a chance.

Regardless of your personal proclivities when it comes to iPhone or Android, no one can deny that the competitive smartphone landscape has become a whole lot more fun. (Well, except for everyone who isn't Apple or Google at the moment).

We ask again, was Google smart to rile up one Steve P. Jobs this close to the WWDC keynote?

[MacRumors and Gizmodo via 9to5Mac]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Steve Jobs: "Not a chance" Android will surpass iPhone

43 Comments

Of course he was right. Now steve is going to have to even further adress the iphone's short comings, or why he believes they are not short comings, which only brings more attention to them. Although, as far as android surpassing iPhone, I agree, not a chance.

Haha iPhonemilk you are such a follower. Google will surpass the iPhone id they are not careful. Like this whole flash not supported on my ipad is itching to get a android devices as soon as one is out.

Android has surpassed iPhone on feature set and customization of the OS. iPhone is catching up but not all the way in my opinion. Also in my opinion, iPhone has still surpassed them all in user experience.

@Rudy,
You didn't hear? People are already starting to uninstall the Flash component on Android devices because it negates the speed increases offered by the browser optimizations.
And btw, what do you need to see or what sites do you frequent that you are pining for Flash?

Jobs said the iPad was trying to create a "3rd class," and, judging by sales figures, he may have been underestimating demand. Jobs also said that iPhone 4.0 was an A+ upgrade, where the tipb poll, among others, gave it middling reviews.
CEOs have to say things like this.. The question is whether this is a "call to arms" for Apple or a Balllmer-esque "the iPhone will never get more than 5% marketshare" type of quote. And that depends on what Apple does, not what anybody says, in response to Android's undeniable improvements and pace.
Similarly, Google, as the relative upstart in the phone industry, has to take shots at the market leader, Google's shots at Googe/IO were no different than Jobs and Forstall putting up ludicrously overcomplicated pictures of the WinMo task manager during the iPhone's 2007 presentation. The big fish has to expect, and adapt, to shots taken by every other fish in the sea. As Gruber pointed out, Windows Mobile is now an afterthought, and RIM targets a slightly different marker. Apple has to get used to this kind of marketing/evangelism, and react accordingly.
Getting riled is exactly the wrong thing to do, as it makes you react, instead of act, and Apple's strength (almost to the point of hubris) has always been in acting according to their own plan, instead of blowing in the wind. Apple should not be riled, and they should not be scared, but they should be motivated.

I hope WWDC has something that will blow us away. Android is providing really good and stiff competition, something that iPhone OS really needs if it's going to remain a leader.

I went from windows to android then to iPhone os. In my opinion iPhone(while jailbroken) is the best. And I'm not a fanboy, don't own a mac or MacBook. I bought an iPhone and iPod because they just work and work great!

OK Steve. Let's see what you've got. I'm either getting the next iPhone or the EVO in June...
Sent from my 3Gs

@Gwydion
I know people with N1's who have loaded Froyo and tried using Flash. It performs ok in some instances and lags the browser in others.

@JNGold
you have an option in settings to enable plug ins. They let you choose 'Always on', 'On demand', or 'Off'.
You have a choice to let Flash load upon loading pages or load only when you tell it to. Or if you're just all against it, choose off or never download it.
With 'On demand' you get all the speed of the "fastest mobile browser" (disclaimer: grain of salt) but with the Flash content when you want it.

The truth hurts Jobs. Google is surpassing you in several ways, but you will surpass them in others. In the end, just get what works for you.

Didn't Steve say the same thing regarding his OS 4 announcement - which, let's be honest, wasn't really THAT great? He seems to think that whatever he announces is an auto-great presentation.. but the thing is, it really isn't. If people here question the quality of the release, then he has failed.
And surpassing is a broad term in this case. In one aspect, Google demolishes Apple - expectations. The fact that people all over are turning to Android and saying "I want to switch!" shows just how serious Android is as a competitor. Steve can put on his bravado anytime, but even he can't deny everything he's been doing to put down Android.

But...on to this topic. I mean...this is pointless arguing. As far as features (software wise) Android has indeed surpassed iPhone sans App Store.
Add in the App Store...and I would have to say it's even, numbers don't matter, it's all about the ability of apps and dev support, which is strong on iPhone, growing on Android...and lets face it. Most top apps (barring games) on iPhone are on Android.
As far as usability and user experience...it's split. Usability goes to iPhone because it's drop dead simple. That's what it was made to do. User experience is not so simply because it's a personal preference. Some people like the grid (and soon to be folder) experience. Some like the desktop like experience. Mileage may vary.
Last, but not least...hardware. This will be a spot that nobody will ever surpass anyone in. Hardware evolves too quickly. Just yesterday 1Ghz processors were the rage. Now we're moving onto 1.3Ghz processors, and already having in mind dual core ones.
Whether Apple is being leapfrogged or Google is still catching up boils down to which device you hold in your hand, what you use it for, and which kool aid you're drinking. I honestly can't see any 'surprises' Apple can throw on June 7th. Hardware wise...there's nothing new to add. Software...I don't know if they could add the elements there quick enough.
But if it's one thing, you never count Apple out. So after June 7th...I guess we all will have a nice grasp on who is where and such.
But hey...be happy none of us on Blackberry/Symbian...we all know they've been leapfrogged, lmao.

@Gwydion
Yeah...it's like people can't read the BETA tag on it...or they don't understand it.
I mean...there is a dictionary.com app in the market and app store. Maybe they should download that and research the word Beta.

So many people have the Iphone and love it. Personally I don't. I have Android for my work and it's the best phone I have every seen. Unfortunately for Google, most people want a phone for fun not work. Google has a different, smaller target market than Iphone. I do think Android is 100% better though.

They will be past absolutely unless Apple evolves and starts to really make dramatic changes..More than one type of iphone on multiple carriers will make them ALOT stronger down the road. Android has so many different devices and price points its going to be very hard for apple to keep up in the long run..

I really do think that Steve Jobs is starting to let the iPhone slip. Does everyone remember the "tourtice and the hair" story, where in the race the hair thought he was so far ahead that he slept and lost?
Well that is what Apple's mentality was early on with the MAC. And the 2007 keynote announcing the original iPhone said that iPhone OS is at least 5 years ahead of its competition. Steve Job's fatal flaw is that he underestimates the competitors.
Whether its Microsoft Windows of Google Android, Steve always believes that Apple is, and always will be, the best. He does not think that Apple has to constantly improve to stay ahead of the curve. So in his mind, Steve Jobs probably does not think that Android can ever surpass the iPhone.

it will be a lot of fun watching apple vs google and the rest. Google has also the big advantage, that they work with other companies strong together and also tight with developers. That's Apples biggest problem, not their hardware or software, their big restrictions for users&developers, carrier restrictions and quasi the solo run they are doing.
Google/Android will do it in the middle-term and long run.

Lol will?? I'm sorry mr jobs your phones os is now 2nd best, so I hope whatever os 4.0 your cooking up is good, because android 2.2 looks pretty damn good. Intense competition I love it!

The funniest thing about this whole thing is what Rene said at the end:
"Regardless of your personal proclivities when it comes to iPhone or Android, no one can deny that the competitive smartphone landscape has become a whole lot more fun. (Well, except for everyone who isn’t Apple or Google at the moment)."
If you are not Google or Apple right now, you are NOT even in the news. And that is just sad. As much as I don't want just one company (Google or Apple) to rule them all, I also don't want only 2.. Come on Palm, Microsoft, Nokia, and RIM. Do something amazing to light a fire under these 2 companies.

@Mr.Nelson
I think initially the hype of OS 4 will definitely surpass Froyo and 2.2. The thing is, Froyo to Google was just an incremental/small update. If you watch the Google I/O keynote, and if you were there and spoke to some of the Google staff, they are more excited about Gingerbread (3.0) which is coming in the Fall than they are with Froyo. I think its a good strategy too. Get people excited about Android right before WWDC, then do it again in the Fall after the iPhone 4G/Hd/G4 news dust settles with the release of Android 3.0.
The race is on people! Buckle up.

While all you guys are talking this whose better crap you know who is laughing all the way to the bank? Verizon, ATT, and the other Telecom companies. They want you to keep spending your hard earned money devices believing that you have to get another device because the next OS upgrade needs a whole new device so that you can use it. None of these telecom companies want to get upgrades out there because then you will not buy these devices every three months like the fools that you are. Apple I admit is taking its sweet time with upgrades it sucks because it needs many blatant and subtle touches to its OS. Will it come? Yes in due time. Android is literally whoring its way into this whole thing. Just because its on a lot of devices doesn't mean its the best. Just because right now it has more features doesnt mean its better. Its all about what you need it for. What some of you guys also don't realize that most of the world that buy phones don't read these sites dont update their phones software they just use them and go. Both has there pros and cons get over it. While you guys go back and forth they are trying to change how we compute. Whether its mobile or at home pc. What are you doing? Im not trying to say not to comment this is a free country. Freedom freedom freedom is all you fools keep saying. But realize freedom isn't free. Sorry for the cliche. It all has a price. Wake up!

@(Copy of) Dev
sorry to always be picking at what you say , ..... but
steve said the next iphone would be an A+ upgrade not the os4.0. So although os4.0 reviews have been 'middling' i'm keeping an open mind until all the workings of the new iphone are out. (please disregard many comments due to blindness optimism)

I see very little to make me switch to Android. I simply carry my iPhone about from day to day and it works flawlessly and entertains me endlessly.
Every so often it gets a whole heap of new features completely seamlessly. This is why it appeals to so many people rather than just us techy types.

@loz
i agree i came from a winmo phone, which i custom rom'd all the software you could fit on the thing, i had everything setup exactly how i wanted it... But it was buggy as hell and i always seemed to be fixing things. i don't miss those days, completely flawless is the way forward imo.

@Desmond: well said, pal. You have to take a big picture view here. Only 10% of people know (or care) what OS is running on their phone. The rest just use whatever works best or cheapest for them. That said, you have to admit that iPhone platform is holding it's own very nicely despite of hordes and hordes of androids, schizoids, blackberries and shmuckberries out there. Personally, I choose Apple pie any day vs. the rest.

@zero credability
You are right -- Jobs said that about the iPhone update, not 4.0 specifically. No worries about picking at me when I am wrong; thats what forums are for. :) On this point, I am happy to stand corrected.
The main point, though, was that Google's arguably distorted shots at Apple (today's big kahuna) are to be expected, and no better or worse than Apple's arguably distorted shots at yesterday's big kahunas, WinMo (task manager) and RIM (BES failures) back in 2007, and that Apple's response has to be more than just talk. I expect them to respond well, but getting "riled up" is irrelevant to the quality of the product or the business, and public anger can often simply backfire.
I'm keeping an open mind as well, which is why I can say both that I was very impressed with Froyo and am excited to see how Apple responds come June.

@Mav Without a doubt! I'm a 3GS user myself. Its funny because they still comparing a 3GS which is a year old to month old devices. On top of the fact they also comparing to what Steve Jobs allowed us to see a couple months ago and a few prototypes and these geniuses posting on the site have all the answers. I do believe that Jobs is smarter than most even if he doesn't have tricks up his sleeve iPhone is not dead. I just know Android users talk more about iPhone than iPhone users. They all make money off each other.

@Desmond,
Yeah I get a kick over N1 owners who make mention that the N1 "is just as fast as the iPhone 3GS" or the YT reviews that show the 3GS performing on par with devices that are 200-300mhz faster based on raw processing speed alone.

We'll see where everything is at in a couple years. I still have 18 months on my ATT contract. When that is up, I will look at Android and iPhone and see how they compare. Android will probably be up to 4.0 by then and iPhone should be up at 5.0 with new hardware also.

Of course he would say not a chance, he's so full of himself that he can't see the flaws in his stuff.

I'm tired of drinking the kool-aid. Can't wait to drop my 3gs for an Android handset. If it wasn't for jailbreak I would have switched a long time ago. Steve BJobs needs to eat a donkey dong.

The only WWDC announcement that Apple can make that will blow anything out the water is if they have a deal with Verizon... harder than that ... they d have to add a whole lot of features to OS 4 to keep me impressed... ichat does not get me excited..

@tk,
You really think that? You think that someone that has been as successful and as influential in the tech sector doesn't know where his company's products fit in the marketplace? He knows (much) more than you think he does. You may not agree with his style or prose, but believe me he knows what he is doing. You don't get to where he is in life without knowing and having grasp of how the products and services your company offers stand in terms of features and benefits (or lack thereof).

Q: Not a chance? What's the real deal?
A: We will legalize Jailbreak, implement FlashPlayer, work with more carriers together and will remove the Crosscompiler-Restrictions.
Steve Jobs
sent from my iPhone

i hope so and i hope the screen is larger and doesn't us the dated tft lcd screens super amoleds are beautiful and regular amoled is better than tft i used my friends incredible the other day outdoors at that and it was really nice also if i don't see a revamp in the os so its not so plain im definitely jumping ship

I love this. You guys arguing about who you're desperate to spend your disposable income with is evidence of true and healthy competition. It will keep prices in check and innovation soaring. You guys rule, man!

Social Media said:

Unfortunately for Google, most people want a phone for fun not work.<<

What non-iPhone users fail to understand is that Apples "BRAND" is the art of turning "work" into "fun".
What a horrible, horrible concept huh? ; )