Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

Summary: Steve Jobs said he would go "thermonuclear" on Android, an operating system he saw as a "stolen product."

TOPICS: Apple, Android, Google, Legal

Steve Jobs felt that Android was a rip-off of Apple's iOS and wasn't going to settle any lawsuits with Google or its partners no matter what.

As details emerge from Walter Isaacson biography on Jobs---the Apple co-founder's decision to put off cancer surgery---his hatred of Android may be overlooked. Isaacson's bio launches on Monday and he will detail some of the book Sunday on 60 Minutes. The Jobs biography is published by Simon & Shuster, a unit of CBS, owner of ZDNet.

The Associated Press details Jobs' view of Android and his relationship with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Schmidt was on Apple's board, but resigned after Android was launched. Jobs felt betrayed. According to AP Jobs said:

"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. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."

It's worth noting that Apple has more than twice the cash hoard since that Jobs quote. Meanwhile, there are no signs that Apple will back off its Android lawsuits.

Jobs made it clear he wouldn't settle for any amount of money. AP's Michael Liedtke tweeted some choice Android excerpts.

The comments shed light on Apple's series of lawsuits against HTC, Samsung and others over Android. The big question is whether these lawsuits will be settled under Apple CEO Tim Cook.


Topics: Apple, Android, Google, Legal

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  • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

    Well, duuuh! It was!
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

      @Cylon Centurion Google "Stole" a Java-based fully threaded operating system from Apple that created an Objective-C based single-task vaguely macintosh based system?

      Heck, if you want to go postal about "stealing" have a look at the pull-down notification screen that's been on Android for a couple years, and then compare to what Apple just rolled out on iOS 5. You DO hate "stealing" right? Or will you just stick with technologically ignorant selective outrage?
      • Jobs talked about major key concepts of UI, not specific minor features

        @spark555: <b>anyone</b> can go to YouTube and look at what original Android UI was. Of course, nothing like iPhone.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

        @spark555 The pull down notification screen was - on the iPhone OS - originally a jailbreak tweak to the OS and Apple hired the creator of that tweak to develop the notification system used in iOS 5.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

        @Pete "athynz" Athens: "The pull down notification screen was - on the iPhone OS - originally a jailbreak tweak to the OS and Apple hired the creator of that tweak to develop the notification system used in iOS 5."

        .. and? It was still a tweak to make iOS notifications more like the successful Android model, rather than brain-dead interrupt-your-game modal dialogs. Apparently "stealing" UI ideas only flows one way for Apple.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

        @psdie I never claimed that the guy who made the jailbreak tweak was not inspired by the Android notification system - I was pointing out the chain of events for clarification.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

        @spark555 Still waiting for any sign of outrage from team "stealing UI design is evil" about iOS 5's blatantly obvious copying of the Android pull down notification design.

        If you people really believe copying UI design is so horrible, why the massive silence as Apple does it, contrasted with endless claims that Android is "stolen" because it comes in a rectangular package and has icons on some screens?
      • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

        @DeRSSS Yep. And _anyone_ can look at iOS 5's new notification pull down to see it's obviously similar to what Android created.

        Now the hard part: Is Apple evil for "stealing" this aspect of Android UI, or will only get upset when anyone _except_ Apple does it?
      • you have read my mind

        @spark555 I could not agree more. Comparing an OS that in 2011 hasn't got any desktop but just a scrolling menu with a list of applications with one that, supporting pre-emptive multi-tasking can have desktops and guess what ...even widgets on them, well you really need to be an iFanatic to do that. If you believe that the latter stole from the former then you must be brainwashed by Apple's aggressive marketing.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

        What really irks me is that the Mac interface was stolen from Xerox. So, Steve Jobs, and his revolutionary interface was not his own idea. Apple was very good at improving and perfecting ideas. But is anything they've done truly original? You can see the iPad in Star Trek: TNG. Sure, it wasn't a real product, but the idea was there - a touch screen, connected tablet.
        <br><br>And speaking of - multi touch was not an Apple invention either, even though they seek to defend it as such. It was first shown at TED in 2006, and soon after Microsoft released the smart table. Just google jeff han ted.
        <br><br>While I have respect for Steve Jobs, his double standards always annoyed me, that he could accuse others so easily of stealing, but never admit that shortcoming in himself.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

        @spark555 good point, you know that Apple was kicking themselves for not thinking of that... I use that pull down menu 100 times a day, and I find iPhones clunky because they don't have that OR any useful buttons. Sometimes people just want a frickin button.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

        @burn0050 "What really irks me is that the Mac interface was stolen from Xerox".

        Boy, that story never gets old. Do a little research. Yes Xerox came up with the mouse, point and click and such. But the original Mac interface is *very* different from that of the Altos. Just google it.

        Lets put it this way: after all these years, every desktop in use today is still closer to the original Mac than the Mac was to the Altos.

        Not to mention what Xerox plans were for their technological breakthrough: Zerox.
      • Steve Jobs 'Stolen Product'...

        Seems to me that Steve Jobs exercised his right to be wrong regarding Android. Android started with a modified linux kernel, then added a modified java to it. Just how Mr. Jobs could construe that multi-tasking, multi-threading system to be some stolen form of his single-tasking, single-threading C-based OS escapes my comprehension. I can't think of a more 'big picture' difference than that. The UI is a minor, albeit important part of the software system. And even there, there are quite marked differences between the two OSes. I can not find enough similarity between either concepts, core capacities, UI, or technical details to suggest any relationship between the two OSes.
    • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

      @Cylon Centurion

      Yes, it was ... his last dying breath.
    • I disagree - I think Jobs was complaining about a stolen &quot;look and feel&quot;

      @Cylon Centurion<br>I think Jobs was actually raging against HTC "stealing" the iPhone's "look and feel". At least, that's what the link suggests to me. It wouldn't have been the first time Apple had sued another company for such a thing, either. I remember Windows 95... ;-)
      • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

        @Zogg Look and feel? Heck, my Sony Clie and Palm III and Palm Pilot before that had a screen with icons in a row. You tapped on them to start a program. The iPhone looks suspiciously like that did. So did Apple steal that or is a rectangular screen with tappable icons just a common sense interface?
      • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

        @boomchuck1<br><br>When Jobs held up the first iPhone at MacWorld, I thought for a minute he was holding up a Sony Clie TH-55 released in 2004, 3 years before the iPhone - Tablet form, 3.5 inch screen, 480 X 320 screen, minimal buttons on front, and sporting rows of icons for its interface with an option for a more graphical interface. Using Apple's SOP, Sony should have sued Apple for ripping off the form, and feel of the Clie Th-55 three years later.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

        @boomchuck1 exactly. Do not forget the HP palm organizer. Mine had Wi-Fi, icons, rectangular.
      • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'


        And before that, a small obscure British company produced an icon driven multitasking touch driven OS called EPOC. That company was Psion! The year was 1997. After that there was really not much origionality, just functionality.
    • RE: Steve Jobs: Android a 'stolen product'

      @Cylon Centurion

      Well that's a laugh, where did Apple come from ?

      Courtesy of Xerox !
      Alan Smithie