Jobs Slams Android

By Reuters  |  Print this article Print

Apple iPad sales disappointed when Apple announced its earnings for the quarter, but CEO Steve Jobs went on the offensive, criticizing the Google Android mobile operating system and pointing out that iPhones are outselling BlackBerry.

Jobs noted that Apple's iPhone outsold RIM's BlackBerry in its most recent quarter. "I don't see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future," Jobs said.

And he criticized Google's Android as a "fragmented" operating system. RIM and Google did not respond to requests for comment.

In the still emerging tablet market, Jobs said there appears to be just a "handful of credible entrants," and he said price points on rival tablets won't be able to compete with the iPad, which starts at just $499.

Some analysts agreed with Jobs, and foresaw sales of the iPad, which came on the market only in April, jumpstarting next year as the gadget gets rolled out to more countries and to more mass-market retail outlets like Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N).

As an indication of industry bullishness, research group iSuppli said it expects Apple to sell a whopping 43.7 million iPads next year.

"IPads were low, but I also think they had a lot of production problems getting that off the ground. So I don't think that really is a good demand indicator for iPad," said analyst Jane Snorek of First American Funds.

Apple on Monday reported a net profit of $4.31 billion, or $4.64 a share, in the fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 25, up from $2.53 billion, or $2.77 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

That was better than the average analyst estimate of $4.08 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue surged 67 percent to $20.3 billion, ahead of Wall Street's target of $18.9 billion.

As it looks ahead to the holiday season, Apple -- which typically issues very conservative outlooks -- forecast current-quarter earnings of $4.80 a share on revenue of $23 billion. The consensus estimate is for a profit of $5.07 a share on revenue of $22.4 billion.

Shares of Cupertino, California-based Apple slid 6.1 percent to $298.50 in extended trading, after a brief trading halt. They closed at $318.00 on Nasdaq. (Writing by Edwin Chan; Editing by Richard Chang, Gary Hill)