Steve Jobs Called Android “Grand Theft,” Threatened Google With “Thermonuclear War”

Steve Jobs Called Android “Grand Theft,” Threatened Google With “Thermonuclear War”

The AP has somehow “purchased” an early copy of Walter Isaacson’s official biography of Steve Jobs, which is due to hit store shelves on Monday. According to this initial report, Jobs called Android “grand theft” and threatened to go “thermonuclear war” on Google.

Isaacson wrote that Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features of the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson in an expletive-laced rant that Google’s actions amounted to “grand theft.”

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Jobs used an expletive to describe Android and Google Docs, Google’s Internet-based word processing program. In a subsequent meeting with Schmidt at a Palo Alto, Calif., cafe, Jobs told Schmidt that he wasn’t interested in settling the lawsuit, the book says.

“I don’t want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.” The meeting, Isaacson wrote, resolved nothing.

In addition:

– He called Google Android “grand theft” of the iPhone and vowed to “right this wrong” until his dying breath. To underline his contempt, he likened Google products outside of search to manure (not his word).

– Jobs offered this advice to Google co-founder and current CEO, Larry Page: “Figure out what Google wants to be when it grows up. It’s now all over the map.” Google produced so many “adequate” products, Job said, “they’re turning you into Microsoft.”

AP: Biography Sheds New Light On Steve Jobs’ Life

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  • ifuckyourmind

    well Android is a cheap iOS clone. Everybody can see this. Same as Samsung copies the iPad, and now Ubuntu is copying OSX appeareance , the cloud, and the appstore idea ( even Microsoft wants one in Windows8 ) . That’s what happens if a product is successful : the competing companies copy it from ground to top  . This should by all means be forbidden. So Jobs reaction is fully understandable.

  • Conor

    Like a BOSS!

  • AuthorOfThings

    Windows 8 has successfully done so, but it is not openable in the Developer Preview.

  • Robert Norris Hills

    You’re a short sighted uneducated twat. There’s not one thing in your post that’s correct.

  • Couch Guy

    “Be forbidden” Spoken like a true supporter of the one percent. Guess everyone loves monopolies. 

  • jeanlouisnguyen

    You’re right, there should only be Apple products on the market, nothing else.

    On a side note, the book does seem to have lots of interesting insights into the company, can’t wait to read it!

  • John Mozelewski

    LOL ur so funny so apple shouldn’t have a mouse on their computers? or notification bar? or folders? or ota updates? or tabbed browsing? modified keyboards?  in ios cuz android had those first and don’t for get imessage that wasnt blackberry’s idea or anything?.  and apple didnt come up with touchscreens should they not be able to use those now? 

    ps: im not a fanboy like you so dont say i love android and hate apple i have an ipad 2 and a droid incredible. 

  • fortninety

    “Figure out what Google wants to be when it grows up. It’s now all over the map.”
    “they’re turning you into Microsoft.”

    … When Steve Jobs is right, holy shit is he fucking right.

  • iDaBoss

    umad?

  • ovo2011

    You got me mad at Ubuntu do u realize that Ubuntu had “the cloud, and the appstore idea” before apple even did stop being so ignorant and Apple saw that Unix worked better so that stated using Unix back in 2001 . Also do u realize that apple has used the open source Ubuntu appearance and finder system called gnome since snow leopard came out. All im saying is open your eyes im posting this on a mac pro, my laptop is a dell running Ubuntu and my tablet is a windows 8 dp tablet I also have a iPod Classic for my 40 gbs of music and then I have a thunderbolt for my phone and gtfo u MacFag.

  • ovo2011

    I agree hahah competition is good anyways it makes everything better.

  • RobPungello

    I’m going to preface what I’m about to say by stating that I’m a huge Apple fan (and currently own a MacBook Pro, iPad 2, and an iPhone 4S).
    That said, I think Steve was a bit out of line here. I used Android for about a year after my iPhone 3G started showing its age up until the 4S came out (when I switched back). To me, the two OSes felt almost completely different. Sure, they both do a lot of the same basic things, but the implementations are entirely different.What really bugs me is that Steve is ranting on and on about how Google copied Apple when, as others have mentioned, Apple did a fair share of copying ideas from other smartphone OSes.The notification tray and OTA updates are straight copies of Android, and iMessage is essentially an Apple-ified version of BBM (and the other various data-based messaging apps available on other platforms, like Kik).

    And Google Docs? I adore Google Docs (use it for everything these days). So much better than iWork in the cloud (where are my easy-to-manage folders, Apple?).
    Besides, I get 80GB of Google storage for $20/year. It’d cost 2x as much to get 1/4 as much storage on iCloud.

  • techgeek01

    uh.

    Others have had the cloud and app store ideas /way/ before apple.

    Guess, Apple needs to stop with iCloud and the Mac App store then.  They copied those things directly from the ground up from other companies and such.

  • techgeek01

    ” I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.”

    Irony at it’s best.
    You know, maybe they should throw iCloud out, since Google and Microsoft (and shitloads of other companies) have been providing similar things well before apple.maybe they should throw out the camera photo button on the start screen since that was completely ripped off Microsoft.Maybe they should throw out the App store since Nokia had one before them. (and god know who else had apps stores as well)Also, toss out the “apps” (the line up of apps)   Nokia, palm and others had that before Apple.maybe toss out the mouse as well, since that was Xerox.The point being. Everybody “steals” (uses) ideas from each other.  You CANNOT complain about people using your ideas and such, when you are using other peoples ideas.

  • ovo2011

    Also no one can use a camera phone of any type unless its made by Nokia on tmoblie cause the first camera phone was a Nokia on tmoblie that makes sense rite lol.

  • Guest

    Don’t think you can be anymore hypocritical than Steve jobs….

  • Phil

    If there’s a draft for this war I’m in. My fellow Mac Heads, who’s coming with us???!!!

  • djrobsd

    Competition is what makes things better.  Without the droid there would be no notification center on the iPhone.  Without the droid there would be no SIRI.  Without the droid, there would be no over the air updates.  I could go on and on for days.  And besides, did Apple REALLY invent the touch screen phone or just perfect it?  I seem to remember my Palm Treo phone having touch, although it was meant to only work with the stylus.  And.. Then there’s this… From Wiki:
    Treos have a number of integrated features such as the ability to check the calendar while talking on the phone, dial directly from a list of contacts, and send email messages…

    So maybe HP should SUE Apple for stealing all those things…. Especially the ability to check the calendar while talking on the phone…

    I love Steve, he’s a visionary, but he is FLAT OUT WRONG…

  • Sam Parmenter

    He is being hypocritical but his advice is sound to Larry Page. He says that google products are not good enough over the spectrum of what google delivers. Just recently, Larry Page has basically said that google won’t be mucking about so much and will only focus on the best products and only release them when they are polished and done as opposed to their current way of releasing early to users for testing.

  • Guest

    Bingo.

  • Thunder Dan

    There’s a difference between having to use a stylus and using your fingers to work with the interface. It’s a perfection in some way, but they were the first to invent a phone using tactile touch. That is what I consider revolutionizing a technology. Android simply copied what Apple did. It did not revolutionize what Apple did. Competition is good, but I hardly think the add on of Notification Center Android developed revolutionized the iPhone or the smart phone market. Now Google is trying to interface Android with Google+ … All these companies are trying to integrate their OS with some Cloud or Internet based format… Again copying the success Apple has had integrating their hardware and software. Maybe other Android junk will add some good ideas in light of healthy market competition, but they are not innovating by any means.

  • Andy Powell

    This is the same man who built up apple based on the simple premise of stealing other people’s ideas and making them better….

  • Nutz320

    Android’s notifications are copied from jailbreak iPhone apps. Siri existed on the iPhone App Store way before, Apple just bought it, massively improved it and integrated into the 4S. Apple did not invent MULTItouch, but they bought the company who were working to create it.

  • MitchRimi2001

    What a loss. I created the image below as a tribute to Steve J. and I thought it very fitting to this post. R.I.P. Steve and Thank You.

About the author

Leander KahneyLeander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac. He is the NYT bestselling author of Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve’s Brain; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney and Facebook.

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