Skip to comments.What Really Made Steve Jobs So Angry at Google?
Posted on 09/12/2012 4:22:36 AM PDT by ShadowAce
With so many fanboys spinning Silicon Valley history, it's sometimes easy to forget about the real chain of events that led to the ongoing Apple-Google thermonuclear war, how the romance turned to hate. This timeline presents an interesting case about why, despite patents and prior art, Steve Jobs had plenty of personal reasons to despise Schmidt, Page, and Brin.
The simple answer is Google's leadership profoundly betrayed the longtime personal trust and friendship of Apple's leadership in stealing what Steve Jobs believed were Apple's most prized possessions. The fuller answer is below, in a telling timeline of the once exceptionally-close Apple-Google relationship.
This discussion is timely given Google's current PR effort to convince the public and the media that Google and Apple are likely to negotiate a patent "truce" and make Google's Android's patent liabilities go away. Thus it makes sense to drill down to learn more about the real likelihood of Apple being party to any patent-litigation "truce" or grand Apple-Android patent-licensing settlement.
Many are familiar with Apple's Steve Jobs' strong views about Google-Android's infringement of Apple. In Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs famously said " 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 thermonuclear war on this." However, few are familiar with the story of what actually made Steve Jobs this angry. Moreover, few are familiar with the length and closeness of the Apple-Google relationship that explains the depth of the betrayal Steve Jobs felt about Google's theft.
In 2001, when Google was a three-year-old start-up with roughly $50 million in revenues, Google's co-founders met Steve Jobs and wanted him to become Google's CEO. Already CEO of his own highly-consequential, 24 year-old tech company with $8 billion in revenues that had just developed the iconic iPod, Jobs demurred and generously took young Larry Page and Sergey Brin under his wing and mentored them.
Per Steven Levy's In the Plex, "Jobs was excited by the opportunity to hook up with a business whose activities were entirely complementary to Apple's there seemed to be no competitive overlap." Jobs went so far as to encourage his personal life coach and best friend, Bill Campbell, to become an executive coach to Google's leadership to help them succeed. Concerning the closeness between Apple's and Google's leadership team, Steven Levy wrote: "There was so much overlap that it was almost as if Apple and Google were a single company."
In secrecy, Apple started development of the iPhone in 2004. In August 2005, Google quietly bought the Android start-up, when no one outside of Apple was supposed to know that Apple was working on the iPhone. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt joined Apple's Board in August 2006.
Apple launched the iPhone in January of 2007. Eleven months later, in November of 2007, Google showed a video that effectively juxtaposed Google-Android's original pre-iPhone "before" prototype which looked and operated more like a Blackberry button-driven phone, with Google-Android's post-iPhone-launch "after" prototype that heavily-resembled the look-and-feel of the iPhone and incorporated many of Apple's signature touch-screen inventions. In October 2008, T-Mobile released the G1, Google's first Android phone.
According to Steven Levy's book, Jobs "concluded that he was a victim of deceit." He felt "he had been betrayed by the two young men he had been attempting to mentor. He felt the trust between the two companies had been violated [ ] Not only did he believe that Google had performed a bait and switch on him, replacing a non-competing phone with one that was very much in the iPhone mode, but he also felt that Google had stolen Apple's intellectual property."
In January 2009, then Apple COO Tim Cook told investors: "We approach this business as a software platform business. We are watching the landscape. We like competition as long as they don't rip off our IP. And if they do, we will go after anyone who does."
In May of 2009, the FTC indicated that it viewed that Google and Apple sharing Board members was anti-competitive, but Eric Schmidt defiantly publicly represented that Google is not a "primary competitor" to Apple's iPhone. Under pressure from the FTC, Schmidt resigned from Apple's board in August 2009. In November 2009, Google outbid Apple to acquire mobile advertising leader AdMob. Then Google launched its first smart phone, the Nexus One, in January 2010, just seven months after Google's Schmidt publicly represented that Google did not compete with Apple's iPhone.
Apple launched the iPad later in January 2010. At a late January 2010 Apple town meeting, Steve Jobs reportedly said: "We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business. Make no mistake they want to kill the iPhone. We won't let them. This "don't be evil" mantra is bullshit."
In March 2010, Apple sues Google-Android partner HTC for patent infringement of the iPhone. At that time, Steve Jobs explained: "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."
In October 2010, Apple filed two patent lawsuits against Motorola over six multi-touch OS patents that make up much of the signature touch-screen inventions of the iPhone. In April 2011, Apple sued Google Android partner Samsung for patent infringement of the iPhone and iPad.
In early August 2011, Google's Chief Legal Officer blogged that: "Android's success has yielded a hostile campaign by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies waged through bogus patents." Later in August 2011, Google buys Motorola and its 17,000 patent portfolio to vigorously "defend Android."
In August 2012, Apple wins a $1.05b patent infringement suit against Samsung for copying many distinguishing features of the iPhone and iPad. Google responds by encouraging the media to expect a patent truce which it knows is not likely.
Google's Chairman Eric Schmidt made a potentially incriminating admission at Motorola's new phone launch in publicly admitting that "we were late to tablets" and that only 70,000 of Google's 1.3 million daily Android activations are tablets. That's potentially incriminating because during 2008-2009, when Mr. Schmidt was still on Apple's board, Steve Jobs made sure to keep Eric Schmidt in the dark about development of the iPad. Isn't it interesting that when Mr. Schmidt was on Apple's board and aware of the iPhone, Google was not "late" to the smart phone market (Google-Android now has dominant market share), but when Google's Schmidt was out of the loop as a board director on the existence of the iPad, Google is somehow "late" to the tablet market?
The big overall takeaway here is that if Google's leadership is willing and comfortable stealing from longtime personal friends and colleagues who have given generously to them and greatly helped them succeed at most every stage, Google could be expected to have no compunction stealing from people they don't know. This also helps explain why Google has by far the worst intellectual property infringement record of any major American corporation and why so many companies and people are suing Google around the world for intellectual property infringement.
To sum it up:
They out-Jobs Steve Jobs.
I could care less.
Both sides are turds in my book.
Jobs for his cult
Google for sleeping with the Chicoms.
I’d love to see Apple and Google both go down in flames, lost jobs, and bankruptcy.
Throw Bill Gates into the mix and we can hear more about intellectual propoerty spats.
Jobs stole from Xerox and now karma has come to bite him. What comes around, goes around, Stevie!
I don’t like either company, either. I don’t use any Apple product, and I use Google as little as possible.
Thew funny thing is, Jobs, Gates, and the Google troika are the kind of pimply-faced sissy marys I used to beat up and push into lockers when I was in high school.
Too bad they stopped getting the treatment geeks and nerds deserve.
WTF is wrong with you?
Ping to read later.
This article is a pretty pathetic Apple fanboy article. Bottom line, poor Steve Jobs got his feelings hurt that a close business partner decided to play in his sandbox. It ignores that fact that Microsoft was already producing touch screen phones that predate the Iphone. The form factor of a rectangular, touch-screen data phone is not original to Apple. I hope Apple loses big in this whole thing.
I’ll never understand why Jobs trusted the Googlers that much in the first place. It was clear they abandoned their “Don’t be evil” mantra at the point where the company got serious. Oh well, copying Apple’s innovations is a long-standing tradition in the high-tech business; it’s been going on since the 1980’s... ask Microsoft for example...
Jobs stole from Xerox and now karma has come to bite him. What comes around, goes around, Stevie!
Man, for some reason this thread really drew the creepy-crawlies out of the woodwork.... I think I’ll just step aside and let them stew in their own juices. See ya later.
Oh, you cant say anything bad about Steve Jobs! The Apple fanboys still worship his corpse. Apple/Jobs can never do any wrong.
Jocks always rule and always will.
A 1 BILLION DOLLAR JUDGEMENT in APPLES FAVOR so far kind of puts the lie to your suppositions.
You think SAMSUNG is the only player who’s going to have to pay up to Apple?
I am no Apple Fan Boy, but Apple developed and patented much of what is now considered common in the touchscreen arena, gesture interactions etc... NOT MOTOROLA. Google partners will continue to lose law suits because they are infringing on those Patents, pure and simple.
What this means in the longer haul is that Microsoft if they could get a decent phone out in the market and get it to sell could take advantage.. I am sure they were wise enough NOT to blatantly break patents in their OS.
The fact APPLE is going after manufacturers and not Google directly tells you their strategy, and that strategy is NOT to get licensing agreements, but to let manufacturers know, you build an android device, you are going to be sued and lose big time. If Apple just wanted money they would have sued Google directly, or negotiated licensing deals with them... instead they are pushing manufacturers away from Google or trying to anyway, which would be an opening for MS to step into the fray in a meaningful way....
Time will tell.
“a rectangular phone with a touchscreen on which 3rd party apps can run”
Not to mention I’m pretty sure I already had one of those in 2005, an HTC 6700 Windows Mobile phone from Sprint.
how many sci-fi shows from the 60’s to present used the same tech? hardly original.
No, he didn't. Xerox was paid by Apple (with pre-IPO stock) to allow an Apple team to come in, observe (no notebooks or recording devices), and use whatever the gleaned from that visit.
Xerox eventually sold their stock for modest gain, but it would have been worth billions if they had held onto it long term.
Microsoft had indeed already licensed the relevant patents that Samsung was found to have infringed upon.
Apple’s win against Samsung was against specific developments unique to Samsung that demonstrated they were copying Apple’s hardware and UI in Samsung specific ways, not general Android issues. Apple is trying to make it look like a bigger win in their PR campaign, but this was not a win against Android. Now that they’ve won this case, they’re broadening to Android specific UI features, but they haven’t won that yet. Apparently Apple thinks they were they first to come up with slide to unlock.
Google originally was in league with the Chinese and acquiesced to their demands for censorship on Chinese search engines.
I know they left in a huff, but I hate ‘em for approaching the Chicoms to start with.
We need to boycott and economically isolate the Chinese, not sleep with them.
No business with China, period.
And that includes dog food and cheap TVs.
Do you hate the United States, because the United States is “in league with the Chinese and acquiesced to their demands?” Since before Google even existed.
That is not a true statement.
You're proud of that?
No, I blame Harry Truman for firing MacArthur instead of listening to him.
We had the bomb, no one else did at the time.
We should have used it on both China and the USSR.
I was a jock then, that was our privilege.
Still is in high schools across the nation.
Wake up and smell the coffee.
Apple did indeed get the patent for the slide to unlock feature... a judge ruled it invalid in the UK, but they hold the patent.
And, no, The samsung case was NOT just about look and feel of the device, though that is certainly what the dumbed down mainstream media focused on...
They were found to be in violation of several apple patents that are part of EVERY android device.
Patent Numbers 7,844,915 and 7,459,381 have NOTHING to do with the shape of the device, but are things like PINCH TO ZOOM and the visual bounce effect when interacting with the device.. .these are CORE OS features, not simply shame and look of devices.
You need to read up some more my friend, you are falling for dumbed down news if you think this was just samsung sold rectangles.
Apple won KEY fundamental victories that are part of the android OS in direct violation of Apple’s patent. Right now ANY manufacture producing touch screen android devices with the core android OS on them is in violation of Apple’s patents and apple can go after them.
Don’t kid yourself.
In fact, despite Samsung’s PR team spinning about “rounded rectangles” and the like, those were the Apple claims that wound up not be upheld by the jury as infringement.
You can’t be serious. MacArthur botched the Korean War from the start. Many consider him the worst general in U.S. history, and he probably would have been fired after he lost the Philippines in World War II, except that he was so popular with the public.
What about Nixon?
But I’m a jock, nerd, & geek simultaneously.
he gave us CETA and the EPA. He took us off the gold standard. He wanted to have “detente” with the enemy.
He was a paranoid liar who couldn’t control his own people.
That’s what I think of RINO Tricky Dicky.
The jocks in my high school tried that a few times, till I showed them that a farm boy can really kick a$$ if you make him mad.
The football couch laughed so hard he was almost sick. Told the guys “Don't mess with Red. He castrates 200 lb boars on the farm, and you guys are not that mean!”
Also a funny thing. I have a good job as an engineer, many of those guys ended up working for minimum wage.
This "don't be evil" mantra is bullshit."Heh...
Then why don't you care less?
Everything, Steve, wherever you are, is a “stolen product”, as even Bob Dylan observes in the latest interview accusing him of plagiarism.
The inventor laptop computer died the other day I read somewhere (his name I forgot.) Shouldn’t we have just one brand of laptop computers now?
One car company, one washing machine company, one nuclear bomb company, one refocusable photography company, one healthcare company, OK, OK, I’ll stop!
“Only Wanna Be With You” Songfactsâ¢
This song is a tribute to Bob Dylan. It contains lyrics from various Dylan songs, including a mention of Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue.” Some of the words come directly from Dylan’s track “Idiot Wind”... Apparently, Dylan felt the “tribute” infringed too closely on original work, and he sued the group for unauthorized use of his lyrics. According to VH1, he received a large, out-of-court settlement in 1995.
The iPhone is better because of the competition.
To be a perfectly good American: So f****ing what? I got some really cool toys, cheap.
How do you steal something you PAID FOR? Apple paid Xerox for those visits to PARC with pre-IPO Apple common stock shares... and had permission to use anything they learned in two 8 hour visits. You cannot STEAL what you bought and paid for. Please quit spreading lies.