Note to Apple CEO: never open your mouth in an unbidden rant about opponents. People will either think you’re spooked or, worse still, you’re insane enough to believe that wiping out the enemy is a good marketing plan.

Jobs has attracted plenty of attention for his comments during his company’s earnings conference call this week, and he should now hope that they won’t one day be quoted back at him in mirth.

On the maker of BlackBerrys:  "We've now passed RIM, and I don't see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future," he opined to analysts. “I think it's going to be a challenge for them to create a competitive platform and to convince developers to create apps for yet a third software platform, after iOS and Android."

How dare 12.1 million buyers in Q2 2010 endorse the upsetting notion that a THIRD mobile platform, the Blackberry, is viable? What cheek.

And as for the SECOND platform, Android, Jobs was even more scathing:

"Last week, Eric Schmidt reiterated that they are activating around 200,000 Android devices per day," Jobs said. "For comparison, Apple has activated around 275,000 iOS devices per day on average for the last 30 days."

And, yes, he did make those ‘other’ remarks. Steve Jobs, head of Apple Computer, complained that Google’s Android is not as ‘open’ as it seems. This from the man who has built an empire of Alexandrian proportions out of selling people closed technology and making them feel good about it.

Most of this is standard CEO trashing of the other guy, but in Jobs’s case, it reveals something more sinister. This is a guy from the old days of Microsoft v Apple and it shows.

He’s right about Google’s Android being ‘fragmented’ but wilfully misses the point that it this IS THE POINT. Open software allows diversity to creep in according to need. It is more complicated but it hopefully leads to diversity that serves users.

At a time of 10 percent unemployment in the US, huge public debts across the developed world and spending cuts that could scythe down a generation, the guys at 1 Infinite Loop are rolling in it, as the best ever quarterly results revealed by Apple’s team revealed.

That’s $20 billion more towards Apple’s frightening $50 cash bank account. This is where all the money spent on iPods, iPads and MacBooks ends up - in the wallets of Apple’s shareholders and employees.

Let’s not sound too resentful. People love Apple’s products, cling to them even as islands of expensive certainty in a made-in-China world of dreary cheapness. Apple must be the first company in history to invent products made of gray plastic and turn that into a style triumph.

Apple wants to smash Android but should the world be worried that he might actually succeed?

If that’s the case, this looks like an attempt to replay history in Apple’s favour. Even assuming it’s possible, beating rival operating systems into submission was the wrong thing for Microsoft to do a generation ago and it is the wrong thing for Apple to wish for now.

Just ask the consumers who were landed with the expensive, bloated and insecure Windows monopoly. Just ask Microsoft’s shareholders, some of whom now secretly fear that Windows and Office might turn out to be it because nothing else the company has done recently has made any money.

They were so successful they ran out of ideas, guys!

The world needs reasonable diversity and in the case of Smartphones and tablets, that means more than two companies slugging it out. The games world is better for having three major platforms and the new generation of operating systems could benefit from the same modest environment of competition and innovation.

I hope BlackBerry thrives, and Android, and Nokia, and even the iPhone because it will be good for the consumer, good for the industry and good even for Apple in the long run. It won’t please Steve, that’s all.