How Apple Sabotaged Copycat Google And Made Them “Late” To Tablets

How Apple Sabotaged Copycat Google And Made Them “Late” To Tablets

There’s a good reason why Android tablets were so far behind the iPad.

When Apple announced the original iPhone back in 2007, Google’s first Android handset wasn’t too far behind. The search giant got a compelling iOS alternative out of the gate before anyone else, and it’s been a head-to-head battle between the two platforms ever since. But how was Android able to follow the iPhone so quickly?

Well, that’s fairly obvious to most. You see, Google chairman Eric Schmidt was an Apple board member when the Cupertino company was developing the iPhone, and so he got an inside look at the device before anyone else. Little did Apple know that Schmidt would use what he saw inside Apple’s headquarters to create the iPhone’s biggest competitor.

With the iPad, however, it was a different story. That was years ahead of everything else, and not even Google had a slate ready to do battle when the iPad launched in 2010. Why? Because Steve Jobs made sure Schmidt knew nothing about the iPad before its debut.

When Motorola announced its latest Android-powered smartphones earlier this month, Schmidt publicly admitted that Google was “late to tablets.” He also revealed that only 70,000 of the 1.3 million Android activations each day are for tablets. So why was his company, which was so quick to follow the iPhone just three years earlier, so far behind the iPad?

Because despite the fact that Schmidt was still on Apple’s board during 2008-2009, he didn’t get so much as a peek at the iPad. He didn’t even know it existed, because Steve Jobs made sure he was kept in the dark about its development. We all know how Apple’s co-founder felt about Google’s answer to the iPhone, and he didn’t want a repeat of that for the iPad.

Google wasn’t “late” to the smartphone party, because Schmidt knew exactly how to crash it. But without any knowledge of the iPad before its launch, it took him and Google a whole lot longer to come up with a competitor.

It’s hard to imagine that Google’s chairman could so comfortably steal from personal friends and colleagues, and companies that he and Google have been so close to in the past. But as Gizmodo notes, this helps explain why Google has the worst property infringement record of any major American corporation, and why so many companies are suing it for intellectual property infringement.

It also explains why Apple bought its own mapping companies just to rid its iOS devices of Google Maps.

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  • Jonathan Ober

    I feel like this needs to be a PSA with “The More You Know” campaign ad afterwards :P

  • bytor99999

    Shame Killian has no facts about this and is just taking wild guesses. Yes Steve Jobs probably didn’t show Google the iPad. However, there were others already creating tablets with Android on it, they just weren’t released. There were plenty of sighting of them at conferences before the iPad was introduced.

  • Danilo Luiz

    Isn’t it Google the company with the “Don’t be evil” motto?

    But seriously, if that did happen, I don’t think Eric Schmidt would just leave the board, but Apple would have kicked him out of there and a lawsuit would be in the way long time ago… And, the numbers here would have been way bigger than the Apple vs Samsung fight.

  • techwarrior

    Shame Killian has no facts about this and is just taking wild guesses.

    Agreed! It seems like a convenient theory Killian, but as we now know, the iPad was in the works before the iPhone and got put aside in order to launch iPhone. Thus Schmidt had to know about it!

    That the Apple folks saw the potential to break into the mobile device market with a phone instead of a tablet suggests they saw the market was not ready to take the tablet leap. There were tablets long before the iPad, they failed to garner a following.

    It seems more likely, Schmidt was stuck in the failed tablet mindset. He failed to understand the real potential of the tablet form factor as he didn’t view it as an upgrade from the ubiquitous smart phone, rather as a downgrade from the PC.

  • rockarollr

    I can’t wait to get EVERYTHING Google off of my iPhone and iPad! I have no interest in supporting that band of thieves. Eric Schmidt is the worst one of them. What a backstabbing traitor he was! I came to that conclusion wayyyy before reading this article for those of you that might try to suggest I’m following Killian’s baseless claims. Actually, Killian’s claims in this article are probably not far off at all.

  • Jutz7

    Let’s face one unequivocal fact, that every Android fan boy is going to hate hearing. There is nothing original about Google Android, every product from tablets to phones to even user interface design’s has been either A. a response to its competition, B. a clear rip off; and C. lets face facts, it sucks, more so tablets,they are absolute garbage, they are slow, they all share one thing in common, they are utterly useless, even Windows tablets have more raw funtionality than Android tablets.

    Steve jobs once said that Windows lacked Taste, well google lack taste and originality,

  • townNOTgown

    Did any anyone say fiduciary duty? If Schmidt did as you said, he’d be in court before he could spell fiduciary, let alone look it up.

  • baby_Twitty

    I already stopped using Google’s chrome browser. Its tracking the shiit outta me.
    Safari is now my favorite. Its faster and has all the features that chrome has, only better.

  • RaptorOO7

    So you are ignoring the fact that MS introduced the world to tablets before Apple even conceived of them and by that thinking Google was late. As for copying well lets look at the features Apple has copied and Google has copied, both are guilty and eventually we will arrive at same conclusion authors do. There is nothing left to be original (in terms of stories). Each “original” idea is simply a tweak or modification of something else.

    Notifications, Widgets in iOS hmm, where did they get those I wonder did they have them in the works for years . . . really! Funny how Steve Jobs said apps on the phone were unnecessary . . . until users got pissed then suddenly Apple is the genius you tells us Apps should be on SMARTPhones (oh really). Next Steve Jobs says 7″ tables are DOA as in Dead On Android (or Dead on Arrival) anyway you put it JOBS WAS WRONG AGAIN!

  • Moss

    So you are ignoring the fact that MS introduced the world to tablets before Apple even conceived of them and by that thinking Google was late. As for copying well lets look at the features Apple has copied and Google has copied, both are guilty and eventually we will arrive at same conclusion authors do. There is nothing left to be original (in terms of stories). Each “original” idea is simply a tweak or modification of something else.

    Notifications, Widgets in iOS hmm, where did they get those I wonder did they have them in the works for years . . . really! Funny how Steve Jobs said apps on the phone were unnecessary . . . until users got pissed then suddenly Apple is the genius you tells us Apps should be on SMARTPhones (oh really). Next Steve Jobs says 7″ tables are DOA as in Dead On Android (or Dead on Arrival) anyway you put it JOBS WAS WRONG AGAIN!

    Are you ignoring the Newton and Widgets in OSX?
    I don’t know if the current notifications were copied from Android, but Google certainly had them first.
    I would argue Steve was right about web apps, but it’s a concept that’s ahead of its time for now.

  • ddevito

    I already stopped using Google’s chrome browser. Its tracking the shiit outta me.
    Safari is now my favorite. Its faster and has all the features that chrome has, only better.

    It’s slower because Apple purposely doesn’t allow 3rd party browsers from accessing key OS elements. Chrome also has more features. So, you’re wrong.

  • Avatib

    what Laura responded I am stunned that people can profit $9570 in a few weeks on the internet. did you read this web site (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/WKLkU

  • Brian Whitney

    Copying a company’s products by sitting on it’s board? What a piece of Schmidt.

  • digitalnatured

    Wah-Wah. As usual, an article full of conjuncture and here say, obviously my first mistake was reading another article here.
    Apple made the iPad. Other manufacturers are making tablets now too. Get over it. By taking all of this article and comments into account, the guy that made the Typewriter should be paid an awful lot, because laptop computers still retain the form factor.
    I feel like everyone is just scared that someone will do it better than apple. Like Samsung.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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