Ballmer: Apple is "Too Controlled" and "Too Expensive"
This past week, CEO Steve Ballmer was interviewed by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman while at the Churchill Club in Santa Clara. One of the more interesting subjects that the two discussed between was Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform and how it compared to its two main rivals, Apple’s iOS platform and Google’s Android platform. As expected, Ballmer didn’t have good things to say about his competitors. He went as far as calling Android “wild” and “uncontrolled,” then saying the iPhone is “too expensive” and “too controlled.” He stated that he felt that Windows Phone was in the sweet spot between the two.
Going into further detail, Ballmer highlighted that Google’s Android ecosystem is “wild” from an app compatibility perspective, and that the company’s open, “uncontrolled” approach meant that many devices were susceptible to malware. When talking about the iOS platform, he said “the Apple ecosystem looks highly controlled and, by the way, quite high priced.” He provided an example of the iPhone going on sale in Russia last week, at a cost upwards of $1,000, which he believes will cause Apple to struggle to sell its smartphone in the country at that price.
Ballmer continued by saying “So the question is, how do you get the quality, but maybe not at the premium price, with a controlled, but maybe not quite as controlled ecosystem?” By saying this he of course was alluding to the Windows Phone platform, which he claimed offers “the best of both worlds.” He mentioned that the platform gives users the safe, controlled ecosystem you get with Apple devices, but with the price and diversity you get with Android devices. He even went as far as pointing out that Microsoft works closely with software developers, while stating that Apple and Google do not. He gave examples at Apple’s “Maps debacle,” after proclaiming that Windows “just works.”
How do you feel about Ballmer’s statements?