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Talking at the AsiaD conference on Wednesday, Google mobile chief Andy Rubin took the stage with Walt Mossberg to talk Android. However, not so surprisingly, the topic of conversation quickly turned to their biggest competitor (via AllThingsD).

When asked if Apple will “lose step” with the passing of Steve Jobs, he responded:

“I don’t think so…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.”

Rubin apparently isn’t as enthusiastic about Siri as everyone else. His view? “I don’t believe that your phone should be an assistant.” He continues:

“Your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone… To some degree it is natural for you to talk to your phone…We’ll see how pervasive it gets.”

When Walt asks, “How come Android tablets have completely flopped in the market?” he answers:

“Well Walt, I wouldn’t say completely flopped….There’s a little over 6 million Android tablets that we know about…It’s a healthy start….anything, I would say, over a couple hundred thousand pays for itself…but it’s not thirty million.”

Not long into the interview Mossberg asked about competition, and while Rubin tries to avoid a direct answer, Walt presses him, “Maybe you need the translator”. His answer:

“I guess my competitors would be anybody who are in the platform business. Apple builds an operating system. Microsoft builds an operating system.”

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.