I was at Party City the other day, trying on a Larry Ellison costume.
It comes with the charismatic wit, gargantuan ego, and the "I have more important things to do than shave" gruffness. Right next to me, trying on the exact same outfit, was none other than Apple's
OK, so maybe I'm making most of that up. There is no Ellison disguise at Party City -- not yet, anyway.
However, after checking out Jobs' surprise appearance last night on Apple's quarterly conference call, he certainly does seem to be channeling Oracle's
Jobs still isn't up to Ellison's level of scorching his rivals. He isn't as creative, the way Oracle was in 1997, when Ellison sent an ice cream truck to a rival upstart offering free ice cream with wrappers that taunted -- and recruited -- the sweet-toothed hires.
You have to give Jobs credit, though. He's making up for the lost time. Here are some of the nuggets from last night.
- Apple's 14.1 million iPhones sold during the period "handily beat" the 12.1 million BlackBerry devices that Research In Motion
(Nasdaq: RIMM)moved in its most recent quarter, which ended in August.
- "I think it is going to be a challenge for them to create a competitive platform, and convince developers to create apps for yet a third software platform after iOS and Android," he said about RIM's late arrival to the app marketplace.
(Nasdaq: GOOG)wasn't off the hook either. "Google loves to characterize Android as open, and iOS and iPhone as closed," Jobs said, before calling the characterization disingenuous. Fragmentation creates confusion, as Jobs singled out that four different companies are launching Android app stores.
- He singled out Microsoft's
(Nasdaq: MSFT)failed PlaysForSure MP3 initiative as an "open" platform that faltered against Apple's iTunes.
- He didn't name names, but claimed that the 7-inch screen tablets coming out will be "dead on arrival" as "tweeners" that are "too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad." He's referring to RIM's PlayBook and Hewlett-Packard's
(NYSE: HPQ)Zeen as well as Samsung's Tab and a flood of other Android tablets.
I think Jobs is ripping me off with that last point, since it's exactly what I wrote about Dell's
Still, there's no point in interrupting the process. Just like in Animal House, when John Belushi's Bluto, while rallying his depressed fraternity brothers, mistakes the Germans for the Japanese as bombing Pearl Harbor … Forget it. He's rolling.
Should Steve Jobs take the high road, or is he right to call out the competition? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is not about to tell Apple what to do with its money, given the success Apple has been having in recent years. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy, and it knows that roaming charges weren't billed in one day.