Apple Rules Week with Earnings, Attitude and New Products

Apple released a couple of new computers, showed off its upcoming operating system and launched an updated suite of applications this week. But it also did what Apple does best: Stay in the headlines.

CEO Steve Jobs began the week by joining in an earnings call with other executives, media and analysts, gloating about the company’s latest record-setting sales: $20.34 billion in revenue and $4.31 billion in profit, including proceeds from 3.89 million Macs, 14.1 million iPhones, 4.19 nillion iPads in the fourth quarter. Although sales of iPods were down 11 percent (with knowledge of a refresh coming in September), the iPhone’s numbers soared 91 percent and Mac sales were up 91 percent.

Jabs From Jobs

In the course of the conversation, Jobs boasted that Apple products had outsold leading competitor Research In Motion’s BlackBerry devices — “I don’t see them catching up to us in the foreseeable future,” he said — and played down the surge in phones powered by Google’s Android operating system, pointing out the diversity of devices using the open-source system and the many ways manufacturers tinker with it, compared to Apple’s closed, integrated system.

“In reality, we think the open versus closed argument is just a smokescreen to try and hide what’s best for the customer, fragmented versus integrated,” said Jobs, according to a published transcript. “We think Android is very fragmented and becoming more fragmented by the day … We see tremendous value in having Apple rather than our users be the systems integrator.” To make his point, Jobs noted that when Twitter launched its app for Android “they had to contend with more than 100 different vesions of Android on 244 different handsets.”

For good measure, Jobs then took a shot at the rival manufacturers rushing tablet devices to the market to compete with Apple’s iPad, noting…

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