Google's Schmidt: Android Predates Apple; Jobs Bio Claims Google Stole iPhone

By Erin Harrison November 10, 2011

It’s an impassioned what-came-first, the-chicken-or-the-egg-he-said-she-said battle of mobile devices.

Recently revealed in Steve Jobs’ biography, Apple held a grudge with Google for taking his iPhone design and iOS platform. Yet Apple has borrowed more than a couple of ideas from its competitor, The Atlantic Wire points out, citing a report from the U.K’s The Telegraph.

Google has come out lately with some pretty eyebrow-raising comments, the latest of which is a claim by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt that Android predates the iPhone.

Speaking in South Korea, Schmidt said this week, “the Android effort started before the iPhone effort,” according to the report, in response to Jobs’ claim that Google stole Apple’s popular mobile device.

In his biography, Jobs is quoted as saying “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to...to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this.”

Sensing his time was coming to an end, Jobs threw out lessons to live by and opened up in a new biography, which takes an unflattering look at many of Apple’s competitors and, in some ways, Jobs himself, TechZone360’s Beecher Tuttle reported.

Jobs lashed out at several major players in the tech space, including those who took over Apple after he was ousted in 1985. He referred to his successors as “corrupt people” with “corrupt values” who cared only about making money “for themselves mainly, and also for Apple – rather than making great products,” according to the AP.

Google, one of Apple’s biggest competitors in the mobile space, seemed to capture Jobs’ ire more than any other company he faced off against.

Convinced Google’s Android OS was a complete rip-off of the iPhone, Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson in 2010: “I will spend my last dying breath if I have to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Apple has since taken Android-based handset manufacturers like Samsung and HTC to court in a myriad of patent infringement lawsuits.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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