Andy Rubin : Apple’s DNA is Strong

Andy Rubin told an audience in Hong Kong that Apple’s DNA is strong enough to survive the passing of cofounder Steve Jobs. Mr. Rubin is the head of Google’s Android OS as well as an ex-Apple employee. He made is comments at AsiaD when asked by Walt Mossberg if he thought Apple would falter without its iconic ex-CEO at the helm.

“Will Apple lose step with Steve’s passing? I don’t think so,” Mr. Rubin said, according to AllThingsD. “The DNA in the people walking the halls at Apple is a very powerful combination of the arts and computer science, and I don’t think that’s changed with Steve’s passing. That combination of creativity and computer science, it’s still there. Apple will certainly miss Steve’s leadership, but now it’s time for the other guys to step up.”

Walt Mossberg interviews Andy Rubin

Walt Mossberg interviews Andy Rubin at AsiaD
Source: AllThingsD

AsiaD is “the inaugural expansion of D: All Things Digital,” a tech conference that started in Silicon Valley. At D (and AsiaD), tech execs are interviewed live by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher on variety of topics, including the state of competition. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt of Google, and many other executives have taken part in the conference over the years, but AsiaD is the first time it has been held outside the U.S.

Mr. Rubin also defended Android’s relative lack of success in the tablet market. Walt Mossberg bluntly asked Mr. Rubin, “How come Android tablets have completely flopped in the marketplace?”

“I wouldn’t say completely flopped,” Mr. Rubin replied. He claimed that there are some six million Android tablets running Google service, and added, “Six million is pretty healthy, but it is not 30 million. Obviously, we need to get there.”

Apple announced on Tuesday that it has sold more than 40 million iPads.

Mr. Rubin also believes that Amazon’s Kindle Fire is a win for Google and Android even though it uses an older version of Android that Amazon forked (i.e. broke away from Google’s official development tree) and hides the Android interface with a customized Amazon interface.

“I think it is fine for Google,” Mr. Rubin said. “It is Android. It adheres to the APIs of Android. I don’t view this as some kind of walled garden.”

He then added, “Maybe this is going to solve the tablet problem.”

There’s more in AllThingsD’s full coverage of Mr. Rubin’s interview.