“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.

Postscript: Liedtke tweeted to me that the meeting happened after Page became CEO this year, at the home of Jobs, which was three blocks away from where Page lives.

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.

The Jobs bio goes on sale on October 24 in various places — here’s a link to it at Amazon, where it’s currently number 1 in best sellers, based on pre-sales. See also related coverage at Techmeme.

Related Topics: Apple | Channel: Mobile | Google: Business Issues | Top News


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • timjones17

    Steve Jobs could have used his favorite: Microsoft Bing, or WolfaArfaWhatchamacallit?

  • TimmyTime

    GrandTheft Android by the truck hijackers at Google. They hijacked Oracle’s trucks, Microsoft’s trucks, book publisher’s trucks, webmaster…advertiser’s trucks …grand-theft all the way. They are even using a Panda to carry the heavy stuff from the webmasters truck. Next year the Elephant update will kick in.

    Danny, IIRC from the Senate hearing, the search deal was around $100 million. For the year or life of contract I’m not sure. Maybe Steve felt Google was better as an option, I doubt $100 million was the determining factor considering his personalty.

  • http://www.superrankings.com Kerr

    Google is well known for “copying” what it can and buying what it can’t.

    However, Apple’s product was innovative and a leader in the industry, you have to know companies are going to copy you….to get so upset over it is pointless and to threaten to spend 40 billion fighting it makes you wonder how he lead a business when he was so emotionally invested.

    It happens to every company but first to market rule dictates that they will always dominate, as long as the second to market doesn’t have a better product. The fact that they don’t allow flash hurts them, the fact that Android has quickly caught up in apps and tech hurts them. Apple needs to stay alert and innovative to stay ahead of the android invasion, and we’ll see just how much Jobs brought to the table now that he’s gone.

  • http://www.maparu.com Matt Ruby

    Continuing to use Google despite Steve’s hatred for Android just shows how extremely focused on the customer Steve was. Google is clearly the best search tool out there. Jobs would never sacrifice product quality for the customer. Awesome guy.

  • http://www.googlemarketingguru.com/ Menchie

    Maybe Steve Jobs just kept Google as the search default in Apple products because he wants his friends close and enemies closer? Agree with you Kerr: Google is well known for “copying” what it can and buying what it can’t. Well, that’s how business is…

  • http://www.stanleyoppenheimer.com/blog Stan Oppenheimer

    After hoping for some redeeming feature of Steve Jobs, from his bio. He comes across as the most selfish man on the planet. Even the Simpsons parody of Mr Burns could not match his character.. He may be a great technologist…but he’s a poor excuse of a human being..apparently this seems to be an acceptable trait we tolerate, with greatness..

    . The only thing Steve Jobs cared about was his grand vision at the expense of everyone else
    If this is the price of greatness?. Look up Anitta Rodick, Paul Newman.. (Human Greatness)

    Job’s arrogance cost him his life, after using that arrogance daily to make living hell for those who did not meet his standards…

    What I find strange is how everyone immortalizes him and is willing to excuse sociopathic behaviour. apple to me has become the image of a mad abbestos manufacturer, with Jobs on board yelling how we should all be thankful. The curtain is revealed and its ugly as hell…its more comfortable to believe the lie.

    Has apple murdered anyone, ask the people in china who make his appliances?
    Has apple made the world a better place?, (Zero Charitable contributions)
    Even the oil companies are more giving.

    The company apple should purge the culture that is Steve Jobs. And restore some humanity to a company that is free of marketing and religious fanatics who believe apple can do no wrong. I pray to g-d that we never see this kind of person in political power, think of the damage a cult like individual could do..

    Well I guess that at the end of the day, there will be new technology and new toys.- The legacy jobs will leave behind was a mean selfish little man – who place himself and his toys above the human race, while pretending to serve it..and still laughing at us all beyond the grave, because we want to believe it.

    I don’t want your toys any more Steve Jobs, I value my humanity too much

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide