John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Jobs’s Biographer to Page: What Part of “I’m Going to Destroy Android” Didn’t You Understand?

Original photo by Andy Hertzfeld

Photo illustration by AllThingsD

Google CEO Larry Page’s revisionist approach to Steve Jobs’s infamous ire over the company’s Android operating system isn’t sitting well with the late Apple CEO’s biographer, Walter Isaacson. According to Isaacson, Jobs’s outrage over Android was very real and certainly not “for show” as Page claimed in a Bloomberg interview earlier this week.

During a lecture Wednesday evening at the U.K.’s Royal Institution, Isaacson took issue with Page’s remarks, stressing that Jobs was hardly kidding around when he threatened to destroy Android, which he lambasted as a stolen product.

“[Apple's iOS] is almost copied verbatim by Android,” Isaacson said as reported by Macworld UK. “And then they licence 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.’”

It would seem, then, that Page in his comments to Bloomberg really is attempting to rewrite history here and downplay the contention between Apple and Google over Android. Which is a silly exercise given all the related litigation and Jobs’s original comment, which totally defies Page’s interpretation.

To refresh, here’s what Jobs told Isaacson:

“Our lawsuit is saying, ‘Google, you fucking ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.’ Grand theft. 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 to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death, because they know they are guilty. Outside of Search, Google’s products — Android, Google Docs — are shit.”

That’s a rant uttered for show? A little anecdote to give Apple employees an “obvious competitor … to rally around”?

Hardly.

If you want to talk about turns of phrase that are for show, Larry, here’s a good one: Don’t be evil.


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