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Jobs biographer and Larry Page clash; what did Jobs really think about Android?

Posted: , by Scott H.

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Jobs biographer and Larry Page clash; what did Jobs really think about Android?
In his recent interview with Bloomberg, Google CEO Larry Page indicated that he felt that Steve Jobs didn’t really mean all of his talk of “stolen product” and going “thermonuclear” against Android, implying that it was more for show, to rally the Apple troops. Jobs biographer, Walter Isaacson, doesn’t agree, and is hitting back. In a lecture at the Royal Institution Isaacson claimed that Page was attempting to "revise history", and said that during the many interviews Isaacson conducted with Jobs his anger was palpable.

Isaacson believes that much of the anger stemmed from similarities with what happened with during the PC wars. Jobs had always wanted to control both software and hardware to create specific user experiences, and when Microsoft “stole” the idea of a graphical interface (note: you can’t patent the broad concept of a “graphical interface”) that was bad but, according to Isaacson, what really upset Jobs was Microsoft’s “promiscuous licensing habits”, wherein they let any company that wished to build generic PC clones running their software.

That of course lead to Windows becoming dominant for more than a decade, and Jobs being forced out at Apple. On his return Jobs once again created a closed system with iOS and the iPod, iPhone, etc., only to see (according to Isaacson) Android copy iOS “verbatim”. Isaacson went on to explain that “…then they license it around promiscuously. And then Android starts surpassing Apple in market share, and this totally infuriated [Steve]. It wasn’t a matter of money. He said: ‘You can’t pay me off, I’m here to destroy you.’

We wouldn’t recommend Isaacson as a patent lawyer – he seems to believe that Apple should have been able to patent the idea of a responsive touchscreen device – but we have no reason to doubt his impression that Jobs was legitimately angry about the situation when they spoke. At the same time, we’re not quite ready to accept that Larry Page was simply making things up, since he also spoke personally with Jobs, shortly before the tech giant’s death.

Instead it’s probably worth paying attention to the details in both accounts. Larry Page is basing his statements on what Jobs told him as well, but that relationship didn’t really take off until after Page became CEO last year, after many of Isaacson’s interviews were conducted. Isaacson did much of his research when Eric Schmidt, Google’s previous CEO, was at the helm; that’s an important fact, as Steve Jobs expressed personal betrayal at Schmidt, who had sat on Apple’s board of directors when the iPhone and iPad were in development. As recorded by Isaacson, Jobs believed that this influenced the direction that Android took – and Jobs extended Schmidt's perceived betrayal to Android creator Andy Rubin, who was an Apple employee before creating Android.

Larry Page was apparently not held personally responsible, as he and Jobs reconciled in meetings that Jobs personally asked for; Jobs famously told Page he needed to decide what Google wanted to be "when it grew up". There were no reports of Jobs demanding that Page kill Android (which obviously wasn’t going to happen), or otherwise haranguing him with the vendetta he felt against Schmidt.

In the end it’s not difficult to believe that Jobs anger over Android was real, but that it may have been based more on personal relationships and perceived slights than a simple mirroring of PC history. In that sense Page is partially correct – Jobs hatred was not so much at Android per se; instead it was directed at the people he thought ripped him off. On the other hand, we have to agree with Isaacson that the original statements Jobs made about destroying Android were probably made in earnest, reflecting his genuine intention at that point in time. It wasn't for show, it's just that Jobs was hating the players rather than the game.

A careful reading of Isaacson’s book and Page's interview doesn’t suggest that either is making stuff up or trying to revise history. Instead, they paint a more complex picture of Steve Jobs. A Steve Jobs whose outrage wasn’t just for show, but in the end wasn’t so much a death wish for a competing platform as much as it was about the feeling of being betrayed by those you trust. We don’t take sides on whether or not Jobs was correct to feel betrayed, but in the end it suggests he was more concerned about individual relationships than unquestioned market dominance, which is an interesting insight into a legend whose myriad accomplishments often overshadow the man himself.

sources: Macworld, Bloomberg, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

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posted on 06 Apr 2012, 12:28 27

1. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)

Let's see... Jobs' biographer has an interest in selling a book that is perceived to be "confrontational" in regards to the Android vs Apple "battle".

Larry Page has an interest in... s**t, what does he care what Jobs wanted to do to Android, the dude is dead.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:40 3

72. HTCFreak (Posts: 156; Member since: 17 Jul 2010)

It doesn't matter if the dude is dead or not. So we also can't make books about, like Micael Jackson or Withney Huston, because they're dead? Your argument is invalid, sir.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:58 10

76. tedkord (Posts: 11689; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

His argument isn't invalid, though I don't necessarily agree with it. He's saying that when it comes to credibility, Isaacson has a profit motivation for up playing Jobs' anger and ire - it sells his book. While Page has no real gain from saying that he didn't believe Jobs' anger was entirely real.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 20:01 4

105. jroc74 (Posts: 6005; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Exactly...that was the point of his post...and I agree 100% with one or both of yall...lol.

I dont think Paige has no motives to defend Jobs. What will he gain from it? He generally liked the guy. While that author is trying to sell books.

I think the fanboys need to pay attention to things like this...

posted on 07 Apr 2012, 15:18 1

119. dragonstkdgirl (Posts: 144; Member since: 07 Apr 2012)

You mean Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston?

It's hard to take a comment about an invalid argument seriously when spelling errors abound. :-/

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 12:40 21

2. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

There's two sides to every story which we see here.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 12:54 21

7. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

The truth normally lies somewhere in the middle...

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 12:40 11

3. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

Steve Jobs is an interesting person, nonetheless.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 13:24 18

16. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)

Steve Jobs was a thief and a borrower of ideas and, only interesting to his herd of wannabies'.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 13:43 14

23. ilia1986 (unregistered)

BS. Even though I hate Apple, And love Android - Steve Jobs was a very interesting person. He had a strong personality - and was probably the best salesman who walked on the surface of our planet.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:21 4

70. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)

I'm there with you, bro.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:58 1

77. tedkord (Posts: 11689; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

Best salesman who wasn't a career politician.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 14:31 2

48. sudhar131998 (Posts: 63; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)

okay then who invented ipad(as in a first device which could replace a laptop) and the ipod(as in a device that was the first to play stored music portably)?

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:13 9

66. wassup (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)

he didn't invent it T.T smh iGoats believing whatever they are told. MP3 players existed before the iPod, and tablets most definitely existed before the iPad... if you believe otherwise, you're an idiot...

posted on 08 Apr 2012, 23:57

127. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)

the comment may be a little off in terms of the invention portion, but let's be honest here...mp3 players became relevant after the iPod & tablets became relevant after iPad. have you ever used one of those old PC tablets? the experience was horrible...even current windows based tablets are pathetic. those ppl trying to undermine Apple by saying marketing is the reason for their success are at an almost criminal level of denial. Apple ushered in a new era of smart phone completely opposite of the dryness of Blackberry, Palm & Windows Mobile. Whatever your opinion is about Apple, face it...they revolutionized the mp3 player, smart phone & tablet. Android wouldn't exist w/out Apple - WebOs wouldn't exist w/out the domination of Android & Apple - Windows & Blackberry wouldn't be forced to step their game up w/out the previous mentioned. These opinion-based debates get ridiculous when you start to ignore the facts.

posted on 09 Apr 2012, 00:43

128. Pete_Muzz (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Apr 2012)

I totally agree with you that Apple took a product which already existed and totally REinvented the Tablet (which I think are a total waste of time and the words resources) and the phone...and I thank him for it because what you say is true. With out the motivation of Apple, Android wouldn't exist. Just like jobs took the tablet and touch screen phones of old and improved them...Google has taken the iPhone and improved on it again. From competition comes better consumer products. I think the iPhone users and Android users should be thanking each other, because the competition between these two 'companies' (I know Android isn't a company) has provided us with a technology race that is improving the way we communicate at an incredible rate. Without each other the industry would slow right down. But it wouldn't stop Apple releasing products with one added feature and calling it an entirely new product.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:13 10

67. ojdidit84 (Posts: 458; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)

The iPad was NOT the first touchscreen tablet nor was the iPod the first portable digital music player nor the iPhone the first full touchscreen phone...

They were the first to put an incredible amount of money towards advertising them effectively to the masses though...

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:43 6

74. beatsandmelody (Posts: 109; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)

It's exactly like the Ford Model T automobile. Wasn't the first one around, just the first one to make it big and widespread.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 16:00 8

78. tedkord (Posts: 11689; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

Seriously? You do know that there were tablet PCs for a decade before the iPad, and there were mp3 players before the iPod?

Or maybe you really don't.

posted on 09 Apr 2012, 00:45

129. Pete_Muzz (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Apr 2012)

It's just that only the Apple faithful sheep find the tablet to be an amazing product...waste of time if you ask me.
Although these new tablets that can control all your bluetooth capable products in your house (regardless of brand...you don't have to live in an Apple orchard to be able to synch all your devices) make a bit more sense.

posted on 07 Apr 2012, 02:11 3

116. quakan (Posts: 1373; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)

@sudhar131998 You should have looked up your facts haha. Just to let you know I had a sony mp3 player before the iPod came around and I had an Archos tablet before the iPad came around. That was an ignorant comment on your behalf.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 18:29 7

102. qxavierus (Posts: 48; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)

I totally agree. Everything Apple use in their products is invented and designed by some other company. Yet, they claim it's their accomplishment. Like the retina display - Apple says "...we had to design it in a completely new way..", but the truth is that the display is designed by their suppliers, not Apple...

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 14:02 3

31. TROLL.ISAHA (banned) (Posts: 535; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)

Steve jobs last dieng will and wish
was to eliminate, destroy Android,
but hahaha the deviant was extinct befor
Android! Iniquitos is gone.....

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 12:40 14

4. biophone (Posts: 1956; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)

Can we just let the man rest in peace. He was only human after all.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 12:49 12

5. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)

try to tell this to apple so they can stop suing and start innovating. anyway who cares what jobs thought of android.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 12:53 8

6. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

Agreed. The iphone has become stale...time to take the worm out of the Apple.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 13:06 2

8. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Still managed to work in your Apple hate. This isn't about innovation, which Apple does more of than any company.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 13:08 9

9. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

Taco stop yer crying and just admit ....what innovation? Siri? lol, maybe purchased innovation. It is still a good phone and the wife likes her tiny iphone 4S from Verizon. Simmer down, boy.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 13:25 2

18. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

How many tablets did Android have before the iPad?

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 13:44 9

24. ilia1986 (unregistered)

How many tablets did Apple have before Windows XP, tablet edition?

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 13:57 2

30. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Hahaha how many people even new a windows tablet existed? And even less bought. Face it ilia tablets were not relevant until the iPad came out.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 14:18 5

40. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Of course!! No product was relevant until it wasn invented by Apple!! Life itself was irrelevant until Apple came and turned it into iLife..

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 14:24 2

45. TROLL.ISAHA (banned) (Posts: 535; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)

Then it turne'd in-to a iPlauge....

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:04 7

57. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

just because a product wasnt popular or didnt sell does not mean it did not exist...popularity does not mean its the 1st of its kind...i wouldnt be surprised if many things that were 1st of its kind was a ''flop''...its usually the 2nd or 3rd version which becomes successful..facebook wasnt the 1st social network but should they be known as the company that created social networks because they are popular?google were not the 1st search company but are the most popular,should they be known as the company that created search? its very hard to get something right the 1st time and its easier for another company to build on the original idea of someone elses because you can see where and how things went wrong etc...point is popularity does not give you the right of innovation.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:10 1

60. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Apple's iPad was nothing like Microsofts. Apple actually designed an OS from the ground up to work on a tablet. Microsoft slapped a PC OS on a tablet.

Apple gets a huge amount of credit for their innovation with the iPhone and iPad. The only people who don't give them credit is the fandroid trolls on PA.

Without Apple android users wouldn't have a touch friendly smartphone OS and they wouldn't have tablets.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:14 4

68. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

fact is the idea of a tablet existed way before apple therefore apple did not invent the tablet...like i said its easier when another company builds on someone else's idea as you can see what went wrong.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 17:50 2

93. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

thats a lie of the worst kind, alpha android test where shown on touchscreen devices, Google had touchscreen in mind

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:12 1

63. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Ps I don't think Apple is solely responsible for all innovation, but credit should be given where its due.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:18 3

69. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

your right apple should be credited with making smartphones and tablets more mainstream...apple have got many millions of people using technology who probably would not have otherwise...but you also got to give others credit for ideas aswell regardless of popularity.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 15:30 1

71. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Exactly. Apple didn't invent the touch screen but they came up with a new way to interact with it. That's one example.

posted on 07 Apr 2012, 01:14 2

115. jroc74 (Posts: 6005; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Speaking of flops....

Apple tried a gaming system...huge flop...the Bandai Pippin.


Apple's first tablet/pda whatever it was....huge flop....the Newton. Palm took up the reigns and dominated for years.

Whats funny is the Newton could be considered the beginning of tablets, smartphones. Plus one to Apple...Wonder how many Apple fanboys knew that...lol. List of more Apple flops:


They are batting close to or at 1000 now as far as products ,seems like that cant miss now...but it wasnt always that way.

I agree you 100%. Popularity doesnt mean it was the first invented. What kills me is Apple fanboys dismiss products that came before because they didnt sell or just sucked. Most of Apple's innovation came from already existing ideas. products....like any other company.

Well...cant give the Newton too much credit...lol:


WAAAAY before the Newton and iPad. From Wiki:

"This concept was created two years before the founding of Xerox PARC."

Xerox might ring a bell for some ppl in relation to Apple...2 years before the founding of Xerox...

THIS is the point that some Apple, iPhone fanboys cant seem to understand...Apple wasnt the first to invent alot of things that they made popular now. They innovated of of already existing things...so why cant ppl innovate off of Apple?

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 13:21 3

15. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1717; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

Srsly cry moar, you are wasting your time troll

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 13:27 8

19. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)

iNnovAte my taco: all they do is steal from everyone else then iPatent and iTrademark it.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 14:05

34. TROLL.ISAHA (banned) (Posts: 535; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)

I like that... that was iStyle and funny! PAPINYC

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 16:08 1

79. tedkord (Posts: 11689; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

Not is several years. Not since the original iPhone, in fact. Android has been much more innovative since 2009 than Apple. To the point that Apple is now copying them.

The original iPhone was revolutionary. Every model since has been evolutionary, some not even. The iPad is just a bigger iPhone. iTV will probably look exactly like an iPhone or iPad, just bigger - even to the indented single button on the short side.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 16:30

87. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Siri comes to mind.

I don't see anything android is doing that reinvents the wheel.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 16:33 5

88. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

siri was an app that apple bought and made part of its OS.
1) its not an apple invention in the least
2) proven time and time again, google voice commands is as good or better depending on what your doing
3) siri's only advantage is the ability to say multiple phrases to do the same thing. its not magic, its an evolution of voice commands.. again, bought, not developed by apple.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 16:42

89. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Android was bought by Google. Oops looks like that means google has done zero innovation with android then right?

See how silly your logic is?

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 16:57

90. GellerDoesDallas (Posts: 50; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)

It seems to me like you're angry, would you like to see android fail? Would you like to see the only competition that Apple has just go away?

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 17:27

92. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Where did I post I want android to fail? In fact I've only responded hateful fandroid comments for the most part.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 17:55 1

94. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

-android at Home is one example of reinventing the wheel
-also continued dictation

those a a few examples, you just need to see it and they appear

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 18:10

99. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Android at home and continued dictation? Explain I'm not familiar. NFC is nothing revolutionary.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 19:02 4

103. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Android at Home project involves connecting your device to all your appliances, for example lights change when you get home, or when you play a game or watch a movie, your fridge could tell your phone what you need to buy at the store your AC remind you to have the filter changed, your running machine could fix your schedule because you didn't worked hard enough the last time and so on. its what Google is trying to do

continued dictation means that instead of processing, a whole bunch of words when you use dictation, every word is processed in real time as you tell them

and how come NFC is not revolutionary? if it had an apple logo you will be all over NFC... it offers a real lot of advantages, and was nearly nonexistent, saying that in a near future all you need to take with you is your phone(use it to take orders, check in at work and see your hours, check at places, pay for your food, check menus and offers, share things with friends) is a revolution.

also I could continue saying things and services.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 19:52

104. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

So two things that don't even exist. The appliance thing isn't a Google idea. Real time dictation would just be the next step in dictation.

NFC is moving your credit card chip into your phone. I want it. It would be really convenient, but it's not some major break through.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 20:37 2

110. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

two things that do not exist? you kidding right?

Dictation is real and live on any 4.0 enabled android phone.

the second one is here, even tho it it has really slow adoption rate Google started moving the gear no one is willing to touch, Google is not making the appliances ya know? is providing the working platform and tools and figuring out how to make it work together


and that's just an example, but go watch the entire key note and educate yourself

and the NFC on your phone is smart, the one on your wallet is not, or tell me when was the last time you used your card to send a cat video to a friend? NFC is not going to be payment only. other tons of transactions that will make your life useful, bu to you is no big deal...

you know what this conversation is quite boring because you lack actual knowledge of the stuff I'm talking about and simply putting your fanboysm into dimming Google's innovation roll, truth you aren't even prepared to back up the statement you initially started with

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 23:40

112. saket.shrivastava (Posts: 55; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)

taco believe it or not you have been iFlashed by iCrap , iPray for ur soul :(

and @protolezoz is right, u would have gone gaga over any of the techno made by android or symbian or bada or anything for that matter, if it was having an apple stuck up its ass........................................

posted on 08 Apr 2012, 12:16

125. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

technically MS was talking about the appliance thing back in the 90s. If apple could figure out a way to charge a s**t ton for home appliances with apple logos on them and an app list, they would do it. Of course, it would probably have to multitask to work, and we all know apple hates that. :)

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 22:17 1

111. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

yes an entirely new tech that makes things more convenient and supposedly safer as well as it is expected to become the norm within a few years is not revolutionary.. yet buying a voice assistant app and throwing an apple logo is ... inut logic right there.

posted on 06 Apr 2012, 16:25 2

84. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

more you say? the only thing Apple can do is sue other manufacture. and yet every new generation looks the same just updated spects hardware never change

posted on 07 Apr 2012, 15:43 1

120. dragonstkdgirl (Posts: 144; Member since: 07 Apr 2012)

They haven't been doing a ton of innovating lately. Did you see yesterday's article on the tech blogs about Apple working on implementing a face unlock technology? Google must be so proud....

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