Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who passed away earlier this month, was critical of most companies and their CEOs. It may therefore be a bit surprising to learn he had positive things to say about Facebook as well as its co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
"You know we talk about social networks in the plural but I don't see anybody other than Facebook out there," Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson in an interview excerpt released online by CBS News. "It's just Facebook - they're dominating this. I admire Mark Zuckerberg. I only know him a little bit, but I admire him for not selling out. For wanting to make a company. I admire that a lot."
If you want to hear Jobs say the quote himself, see the 1:59 minute mark in the video above. This particular clip also shows Jobs criticizing Microsoft and Google, and also touches upon his complicated relationship with Bill Gates.
Let's look at Cupertino and Palo Alto again. Until recently, the Apple-Facebook relationship was widely accepted to be a very strained one. There have been at least three episodes we've heard about that has resulted in hate between the two companies. The first had to do with iOS, the second had to do with Ping, and the third had to do with the HP TouchPad.
Facebook was supposed to be integrated into iOS 4. Cupertino wanted to code its own Facebook features because it lacked confidence in Palo Alto's ability to build a great app, so it built the social network into its mobile operating system. Facebook said no and negotiations broke down. Apple then went with Twitter in iOS 5.
When Apple debuted Ping, it announced Facebook integration as a feature, but did not get permission from the social networking giant. Facebook denied Apple from using Facebook Connect in Ping because Cupertino didn't give Palo Alto any warning about the feature, which would have cost a lot of bandwidth for Facebook. Apple was forced to remove the integration.
Before the HP TouchPad was released, Steve Jobs learned about the webOS Facebook app during his summer visit to Palo Alto. Jobs was furious since Mark Zuckerberg had previously promised him that its first-ever tablet app would be for the iPad. Fearing his company's relationship with Apple would be ruined for good, Zuckerberg vowed to get the app pulled, but Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm and then the GM of HP's webOS division, refused to halt its release. Facebook responded by restricting HP's access to its APIs.
The relationship between the two technology giants started to turn around this year, however, possibly because they both share a mutual enemy: Google. Earlier this month, Facebook finally released its official iPad app. At the same time, when the company ported the Facebook Platform to the mobile world, it chose to start off with support for Apple iOS.