Apple’s CEO says that Android is fragmented and that the open vs. closed dilemma is not important as long as Apple’s proprietary mobile operating system manages to provide a better user experience.
“Many Android OEMs 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 ever handset works the same. (…) We think the open vs closed is just a smokescreen to try and hide the real issue, which is: What’s best for the customer? Fragmented vs. integrated. We think Android is very very fragmented and becoming more fragmented by the day.”
Steve Jobs is right, the real question is: What’s best for the customer? Some people like to have options. Not everyone likes iPhone’s form factor, iPhone’s interface and some may even want a hardware keyboard, a custom virtual keyboard or a weather widget. Android is a diverse ecosystem and there’s a lot to learn until Google, hardware manufacturers and all their partners manage to come up with revolutionary phones, consistent interfaces and integrated experiences. Android is just an opportunity to innovate, it’s not a complete package. Google chose a non-restrictive license for Android to encourage innovation, even if that meant less control and more fragmentation.
Mobile phones are more personal than computers and I don’t think we’ll live in a world where every smartphone user will choose an iPhone. There’s always a trade-off and not everyone wants a perfect phone if that means they’ll have to change their definition of a perfect phone.