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Jobs takes swing at Google over Android activations

Who's got the bigger count?

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Google and Apple's bush war flared up again as Steve Jobs apparently cast aspersions over Android's activation numbers as he unveiled Apple's latest iPod and TV scrub-up yesterday.

During his discourse, Jobs said that the iPhone OS was seeing around 230,000 activations a day. Crucially he said these were all new activations, compared to "some of our friends" who Apple reckoned were including upgrades in their activation numbers.

Jobs didn't detail which "friends" he meant. Indeed, it's hard to think of anyone Apple really thinks of as a friend, never mind one with its own rival mobile OS.

Industry watchers quickly jumped to the conclusion that he was referring to Google, with which Apple used to have a love/hate relationship which has now segued into a loathe/hate relationship.

Google certainly thought that's who Steve meant, quickly getting in touch with Fortune magazine's inhouse Google watcher to say that no, they don't include upgrades either.

Google added that the 200,000 and growing daily activations Eric Schmidt referred to last month was only a portion of the full total, as it didn't include devices that didn't carry Google services.

The spat erupted as analysts Net Applications' latest figures showed that iOS-based devices accounted for 1.13 per cent of the devices browsing the internet, compared to 0.17 per cent for the various flavours of Android. Symbian copped 0.27 per cent, while BlackBerry got 0.09 per cent.

Interestingly, Google's riposte via Fortune did not mention Jobs' digs at Google's TV service.

The Apple supremo, announcing an upgrade of Apple TV, said consumers wanted high-end content, "not amateur hour" and that other technology companies did not seem to understand that consumers didn't want a computer in their living room. ®

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