Apple's Jobs Willing to Go to "Thermonuclear War" Over Android
Apple (NAS: AAPL) co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs was so incensed with Google's (NAS: GOOG) Android platform and what he perceived as Android's copying of the iPhone that he threatened to go to "thermonuclear war" with Google over it, according to an excerpt from an authorized biography of the late executive.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, to be published Monday, reveals a portrait of the Apple co-founder as someone who was passionate about Apple's innovation and invention of the iPhone and angered that Google has chosen to follow Apple into the mobile market. Jobs was apparently deeply angered after HTC introduced the Nexus One in January 2010, arguing that Android's features 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 in the book, according to The Associated Press, which purchased a copy. "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
According to research firm Gartner, Android captured 43.4 percent of the global smartphone market in the second quarter, and Apple had 18.2 percent of the market.
Apple filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against HTC in March 2010. The two companies are still locked in a court battle over patents both in federal court and before the U.S. International Trade Commission. Apple has also sued Samsung and Motorola Mobility (NYS: MMI) over patents, and the disputes are largely seen as proxy fights between Apple and Google (Google has since agreed to acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion, in part for its patent portfolio, which it hopes will give Android licensees protection from patent lawsuits.)
A few months after Jobs told Isaacson about his anger over Android, he met with Eric Schmidt, then Google's CEO and a former Apple board member, at a cafe in Palo Alto, Calif. He told Schmidt that he did not intend to settle the lawsuit. "I don't want your money," Jobs told Schmidt, according to the book. "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 did not resolve anything between Apple and Google, according to Isaacson.
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