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“Grand Theft” Android: Jobs Bio Reveals Intense Anger At Google, But Didn’t Block Search Deals
We already knew that Steve Jobs felt betrayed by Google’s launch of Android but wow, was he really mad. But oddly, despite vowing nuclear war against Google, as his forthcoming bio reveals, he kept Google as the search default in Apple products.
The AP obtained a copy of the authorized Jobs bio that comes out next week. In its story, the AP details tidbits of Jobs being so angered by Android:
Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features of the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson [his biographer] in an expletive-laced rant that Google’s actions amounted to “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,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
Jobs wasn’t happy with Google Docs either, using an expletive about it, apparently calling them sh*t.
No Détente From The Calafia Meeting
As for a famed meeting at Palo Alto’s Calafia Cafe in May 2010 (picture above from Gizmodo), between Jobs and his former board member, Eric Schmidt, who was also Google’s CEO at the time, there was to be no rapprochement:
“I don’t want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.” The meeting, Isaacson wrote, resolved nothing.
Yet The Search Deals Continued
The bizarre thing is that Jobs was almost certainly taking Google’s money after that. In June of this year, Schmidt touted the fact that Apple had chosen to renew a deal that puts Google search as the default on iOS devices like the iPad and the iPhone.
Apple is almost certainly earning off that deal. However angry Jobs was over Android, it clearly did not prevent his company from renewing with Google.
If it’s just a case of enough time passing, Schmidt also said in September 2010 — just four months after the Calafia meeting — that the two companies has recently extended their search deal. That deal, where more details weren’t given, probably was for making Google the default on Apple computers, rather than iOS.
Google-competitor Bing was added as a native choice within the iPhone, and just a month after the Jobs-Schmidt meeting, in June 2010. But Google remained the default, despite earlier rumors that Apple might ditch Google for Bing. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had called these rumors “wild stuff” after they came out.
Jobs Gave Advice To Page, Despite Wanting To Say “F You”
AP reporter Michael Leidtke also tweeted some additional things relating to Google that aren’t in the AP write-up. In particular, he says that while Jobs never seemed to like Schmidt, he had “mended the fences” with Googe cofounder and current CEO Larry Page:
The bio says Page came to Jobs for advice on how to be a good CEO and Jobs evidently gave Page advice that he has taken to heart (see here)
The bio quotes Jobs telling Page: “Figure out what Google wants to be when it grows up. It’s now all over the map.” (see here)
Jobs told Page Google had been putting out too many products “that are adequate but not great. They’re turning you into Microsoft.” Ouch (see here)
Jobs says he initially wanted to say “f-you” to Page, but remembered how Bill Hewlett advised him when he was young (see here)
Page was originally Google’s CEO before handing over to Schmidt in 2001, then resuming the role earlier this year. He’s known to have spoken to Jobs during the early years at Google. But I’m pretty sure the references above are all about Page and Jobs talking after Page resumed the CEO role this year.
The New York Times has also obtained a copy of the bio, but its review so far in terms of Google hasn’t shed any new details in its story, other than in 2008, Jobs had a shouting match with Page, Schmidt and Google cofounder Sergey Brin.
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