Steve Jobs Biographer: Jobs’s Android Rage Was Real

    April 5, 2012

Yesterday we brought you news of interesting claims by Google CEO Larry Page about Steve Jobs’s feelings about Android. When asked about his relationship with Jobs in light of Jobs’s frustrations over Android, Page said that he felt “the Android differences were actually for show.” When pressed to clarify, Page suggested that the rivalry between Apple and Google over Android served mainly as a rallying point and served Apple’s business interested, rather than being based in any personal animosity.

Now, however, Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson is disputing that. Speaking at the Royal Institution of London on Wednesday, Isaacson discussed Jobs at some length. He talked about the process of writing Jobs’s biography, and about the kind of person Jobs was. He also discussed Jobs’s feelings about Google and Android.

According to Isaacson, Jobs saw the Android situation as a repeat of Apple’s rivalry with Microsoft in the 1980s. Jobs was angry enough that Microsoft had stolen Apple’s graphical user interface. When Microsoft then turned around and licensed that interface “promiscuously” – exactly the opposite of Apple’s closed system philosophy – and gained a dominant position in the market, Jobs was furious. Then, two decades later, Google did the same thing: takes Apple’s interface, “rips it off” and licenses it “promiscuously” in order to gain a dominant market position. Again, Jobs was furious, to the point that he wanted to “destroy” Android.

Apple’s new CEO, Isaacson said, has somewhat more of a level head in this regard. Isaacson concluded that “Tim Cook will settle that lawsuit.”

Here’s the full video of Isaacson’s talk:

It seems, then, that Page was wrong when he called Jobs’s hatred of Android “for show.” Though Jobs and Page seem to have gotten along well, Jobs was nevertheless angry at what he perceived as Google’s blatant copying of Apple’s innovations with iOS.

[Hat tip, MacWorld]