Apple hid iPad from Google's Eric Schmidt?

Nilay Patel, formerly of Engadget writes on his personal blog that, according to Steven Levy's new book, The Plex, after believing Google copied the iPhone with Android, they hid iPad development from Google CEO and former Apple board member Eric Schmidt.

The acrimony was so deep, we’re told, that Jobs kept the iPad a secret from Eric Schmidt even though Schmidt was still on Apple’s board of directors while it was being developed. (Schmidt would later step down, of course.) It’s juicy stuff, and it nicely feeds right into the current iOS vs. Android narrative of the day.

Prior to the iPhone's introduction, Android more closely copied the BlackBerry or Windows Mobile Standard look and front-facing QWERTY feel but by the time it launched, post-iPhone, it was a full screen capacitive touch device. What's not clear is that Apple began work on iPad (reportedly as Safari Pad) prior to iPhone before deciding a smartphone was the better product to introduce first. If Eric Schmidt was in on iPhone, how could he have not been briefed on the Safari Pad/iPad that preceded it?

Patel also delves into the "murky" issues surrounding Google's strange journey towards multitouch support:

  • Did the first build of Android Steve Jobs saw actually have multitouch frameworks and pinch-to-zoom? The answer, according to Levy, is yes.1

  • What happened during the development of Android 2.0 and the original Droid that made Google think shipping multitouch frameworks was okay?

  • Similarly, what happened on or around February 2010 that made Google decide that shipping pinch-to-zoom in Android was okay? Did Andy Rubin suddenly decide that using a phone with two hands was cool, or was there a legal reason?

Interesting stuff to say the least. Maybe Steven Levy could write a sequel called "The *Droid"?

[Nilay Patel]