Steve Jobs considered Android "grand theft" of iPhone ideas

Steve Jobs considered Android

According to the latest excerpt from Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Steve Jobs, HTC's introduction of what Apple considered iPhone-live made Jobs "livid" and were equated with "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 reportedly told then Google CEO and former Apple board member, Eric Schmidt:

"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 issue is still unresolved and Apple has filed high profile patent infringement suits against a variety of Android ODM's, including HTC, Motorola, and Samsung.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is available for pre-order now, and it wouldn't surprise me if we got more fiery - and marketable -- excerpts as the release draws near.

Source: AP

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Steve Jobs considered Android "grand theft" of iPhone ideas

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he INVENTED AND CREATED THE APPLE COMPANY AND PROBABLY THE PHONE, IPOD, OR IPAD THAT UR USING RIGHT NOW

He was trying to give them a taste of their own medicine, beside nofifications and widgets have existed on windows laptops FOR YEARS. If anything android stole that idea from them.

In tech world is there really "anything new under the Sun?" Here again is this foolish battle about two platforms. You don't have anything better to do. These companies make money and are laughing all the way to the bank and you fight over who stole what.
We need innovation. We also need to improve on existing ideas. We need both. What we don't need is wholesale theft and no compensation. That is just not good. Google did not invent mail, maps, or many things. They try to do it in a way that maximize their bottom line: drive search revenue.
There really isn't anything new here. The battle used to be and still is between Apple and Microsoft. Now it is iPhone and Android. Where was the Android before the first iPhone?

Lol like what because notifications and widget existed on android from day 1 and jailbreak tweaks did not bring anything useful until 2009

After all imitation is the best form of flattery...... until said person makes money off that poor imitation.

How about that drop-down notification menu in iOS5? Didn't apple invent that and android stole it from them and used it since like 2009??
And no wonder apple doesnt have widgets. They were stolen by google! :-)

You are wrong. iOS jailbreak is the first to get the notification and apple did not steal even that functionality. Android stole it. Be truthful.

LOL seriously? You think Google stole the pull down notifications from a jailbreak developer? Wow some of you guys have crazy blinders on! Wow!

Truly disappointed at TIPB for posting AP story before the book is public, and adding a link to the book for sale. Please dont turn into one of THOSE sites.

A little over the top.....Apple also stole Palm patents. For the consumer, it's great. Android/Apple competition ensures that consumers will get the latest ideas and best device experience......

Seems bit sad and psychotic and also seems he failed to destroy Android....oh yh hypocritical aswel as if apple has never taken other peoples idea...oh well typical.

Maybe android copied LG I mean they did have a touch screen phone before the iPhone or maybe the Samsung f700 umm oh nope apple was the 1st phone to be all touch right lol

So he should! Android is basically a cheap Chinese fake iPhone! I'd be livid too! Imagine if you had all these genius ideas and they kept getting ripped off and sold for $100 which would have lessened the sales of iPhones too
Android is a DISGRACE
And they need to be stopped
Anyone who owns an android should be hereby hated (they always have been by me anyway) and deemed supporters of counterfeiting. Thats basically ALL android is! I don't think they have EVER had an idea of theif own. It's steal, steal, steal - make a cheaper crappy clone - sell, sell, sell.

How do you like the new android notification or wp7 swipe to photos from the camera or the bbm rip off lol or were the all original...its people like you that give apple fans a bad name....

How can you compare the borrowing of a few features here & there...as compared to the utter theft of an ENTIRE PLATFORM?
There is a difference between copying 1 or 2 plays versus ripping off an entire playbook.

A whole platform like what ..before you reply try to think if any of it appeared on phones before the iPhone lol I mean what is wrong with apple fans seriously. .its just a bloody phone,your not fighting for your child

Your an idiot. All companies steal including apple. So please keep your dumb fanboy idealism to yourself

Taddi, you do realize iPhones are made in China too? Sure they may be designed by an American company, but most of the components in them were designed and made in China or Japan, and the phones manufactured in China.

"Anyone who owns an android should be hereby hated"
Wow, should Andoid users hate iPhone users as well? Perhaps we should have a religious war over it?
You like iPhones. I like iPhones. I just prefer my SGS2. I find it somewhat disturbing to think that means I deserve your hatred.
Come on. Its a phone. We can discuss our preferenes 'til we're blue in the face. We can discuss who borrowed what UI element from who if you like. But hatred? I think there's already too much of that in the world alreay without our tech preferences being factored into the equation.

Hate people because they use a certain kind of phone... I guess haters gonna hate.
Feel free to steal this idea: That's the dumbest thing I've heard in a long time.

You said it! Lets take Android users in the streets & summarily execute them! No more screwing around here! Time to take a stand & cleanse the world of this evil! God hates Android! He is punishing you for your sins of allowing Android to exist! Kill Android! Kill sinners! God hates both!
It seems westboro baptist church membership is on the rise in the forums.

well if thats the case.. apple should be stopped from stealing ideas and incorporating things into their ios that have been created by developers for jail broken iphones that apple for some reason never saw fit to use until they realized that people actually do want and love to use..such as the so called new drop down menu. hmm as i recall that was an app developed for cydia a few years ago.. pretty sure it was being used before android came along as well.. (for all the haters crying foul)..but anyways..im an iphone user..former bb and android user..and every once in a while i will switch back and forth just for some diversity..but if your going to cry foul on android.. lets be real..ALL tech companies have stolen from each other.. ALL OF THEM...so let people like what they like.. use what they want..

oy I own an android device I love it and I get made fun off but u don't judge someone by a phone or tablet u judge by the person. plus I'm 13 own a android and yet am more mature rthan u adults to respect people for what they are

Gotta love the iSheep heard. Fake yPhone ok, then ford is a fake chevy and honda is fake toyota.

It shouldn't really matter anyway. People with class buy iPhones.. And cheapskate nerds will by androids. Those cheap nerds wouldn't have bought an iPhone anyway. So let the losers have their cheap knockoff android cake and eat it too!

wow, what an educated comment. I'm very impressed by your knowledge and culture. God, I hope you say more

You do realize the top-tier Android phones cost as much as an iPhone, right? And for that matter the 3GS, now free with contract, costs less than many feature phones.

YoU do understand that the top-tier android phones are not the ones that are giving the platform it's market share, right? It's the bottom tiers ones.

That's simply not true, according to latest platform data (http://developer.android.com/resources/dashboard/screens.html) 72% of all android devices has hdpi/normal screen (that is WVGA or FWVGA screen which are all highend devices - there were maybe two lowend phones with such screen), 2.6% are tablets and 3.0% are small tablets (dell streak, galaxy note which are hardly lowend). So less than 25% of devices can be considered low end.

Android phones are priced around the same as the iPhone. Speaking of knockoff Samsung has the patents for dual antenna.. Android was the first to use drop down notifications.. Android is far from junk just watch the drop test iphone vs Samsung..

As a 'cheapskate nerd', I have both (one provided by work). And I prefer my SGS2. But hey, what do I know, I clearly don't have 'class', I've just used both and made an informed decision...

End of the day everyone copies eachother I mean just look ICS and IOS5 but apple cries foul when someone copies them yet nothing wrong when they copy...I don't think you can get anymore hypocritical

Original Android was a rip off of Blackberry and then for whatever reason they chose to copy apple. I honestly don't really care because either way everything is copied in a way. Look at headphones, how many companies have identical looking headphones??? Too small compared to phones?? What about TVs, stereo systems. Go to best buy and look at some of this stuff its REDICULOUS. Bottom line is regardless of what it looks like you are going to buy what you feel fits your needs best.

Actually if you look at the OS then you will see it is still based on Blackberry and Symbian. Android has an app drawer in addition to its home screen that it keeps all the apps in Blackberry has this also iOS is only an app drawer. What you need to realize is Google saw the changing consumer demand and shifted their product to be competitive in the new market.
Do you think they should have left it as a blackberry-Symbian like OS and just been lost in the shuffle. They adapted the product to make it more competitive they did not copy.

My only statement to this...
Lets take away the cross licensing and see how many "borrowed" ideas are in there...
Lets put out the iPhone with ONLY Apple created tech.
Moral of the story: Everyone steals. It just seems Android did a successful job of it. Palm and Microsoft didn't, so Apple ignored/is ignoring them.
God rest your soul Jobs and you're forever an exceptional business man.
But a man of morals you were not. Quit it.

“Good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” - Steve Jobs

“Good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” - Steve Jobs
...and so was Google. They just haven't shown the the ability to follow through like Apple has: steal a great idea, then continue to make it BETTER. Jobs/Apple are MASTERS at taking something great and making it MIND BLOWING.

The quote from Steve above says it all. He shamelessly stole from Xerox. I'm willing to wager it was him personally who authorized the Photoshopping of the pics used in the EU court cases. But the world will never know. He was an Einstein after all & his legacy must be protected (note the sarcasm).
Oh & tipb needs to quit using that pic showing Androids app drawer & comparing it to iPhones HOME screen. Try & be honest like you claim Android should be.

Seriously I thought I was the only one who noticed that too!
Really adds some class to the integrity TiPb. AC would atleast keep it honest.

“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.”
Like pull down notifications? Direct ripoff of Android.
Like swipe to move between applications? Direct ripoff of webOS.
You're dead, Steve. Shut the fuck up already.
btw, how long does tipb keep Steve's face up there? It's starting to creep me out a little.

"You're dead, Steve. Shut the fuck up already."
How much more disrespectful could you be? He made these comments long before he died and no matter what you feel about Apple, he was one of the greatest innovators of our time and had more knowledge in the tip of one of his pinky fingers than I'm sure you have in that entire brain of yours or even mine for that matter... he was a GENIUS! I'm not trying to jump into the Android vs Apple debate, but seriously dude, your comment made you sound like a total 110% certified a$$hole and if you are not already, you should be embarrassed for even posting something like that!

I think what Jobs meant here was that they stole the MAIN ideas and concepts of the iPhone: such as the icon layout of the home screen and how the apps launch and move around. When the iPhone came out, it was the first phone to have a launch screen that looked like that, and to me, if anyone uses the same type of launch screen, it is copying. You can see it everywhere, the messages app, the phone app, all look the same on all smartphones. And what about the App Store!!! Nobody can say that all other smart phone companies such as BlackBerry and Windows Phone are not copying Apples original App Store.

Didn't Motorola invent the cellular phone? Is that not Apple copying someone else's idea?
Very, very little is original these days, including all the features of iOS 5. Whoever executes an idea best should get the kudos, and Apple generally does.

The icon layout was not an iPhone original [http://www.liveside.net/wp-content/images/archive/2007/02/pc_capture6.jpg]. Neither was a dedicated row of "favorite" apps [http://www9.pcmag.com/media/images/164759-windows-mobile-6.jpg?thumb=y].
The main thing is the "launch screen" isn't the same on Android. You have a "desktop" on Android where icons, folders, widgets, bookmarks, contacts, etc can go...not just icons.
The App Store isn't even original. lol. Ovi has been out for yearsssss and don't forget GetJar.
Apple innovated for sure but not everything in the iPhone is original. It mostly builds off old concepts.

Wow. So if he vowed to destroy Adroid, why has Apple become complacant in their competition with Android? Why not lead the way and destroy them instead of sitting back on old ideas and letting them pass iOS by? I love iPhonr but it feels so much is starting to come little, late, abd following Android or it's hardware makers.

Ideas can't be stolen. If only all the anonymous whiners here could understand that.

I was hesitant to comment because of sensitivity and respectfulness for Steve Jobs passing, and also because of all the comments already posted that are sadly so unkind to others who's posted. I understand the zeal to make emotionally provocative statements because of our own passions, sentiments, and strongly held opinions...and I've crossed the line too, I'm sure. Who knows, I may yet in this post, depending on your viewpoint.
At first I was bothered just a little bit that this article was posted in such close proximity to Steve Jobs' passing, because the content is so...harsh...and ultimately, possibly depending on your viewpoint, I think it reflects poorly on Mr. Jobs. But it does shed light on some of the less comprehendable lawsuits Apple has filed to keep certain competitors products out of consumers' hands rather than receive royalties.
When I look at the picture above, which is intended to illustrate Android copying iPhone, I recognize that grid of icons and remember that iPhone copied Palm. In my opinion, Apple didn't so much create with the iPhone as brilliantly build upon already existing ideas (of others), refine them, elevate them, improve their implementation, and deliver them in a highly polished and elegant user experience that is more than the sum of its parts -- that was their innovation, and it is truly remarkable.
The legal stuff is what it is, but it seems it's become such a mess and not in the consumer interest, where competition fuels innovation and creates opportunity. Nonetheless the legal issues (patents and such) have to be dealt with and should be. It does, however, sadden me that someone who has had such a remarkable impact on the technology landscape, who was such a great leader with so many wonderful qualities and achievements, would so passionately want to simply destroy a thriving competing platform that so many consumers are choosing.
Some of the patent issues at play seem ridiculous to someone like me who just wants all my favorite features, functionalities, capabilities, and best ways of doing things all on one device, better yet every device!...you know, just the best of everything. ;-) But, then again, if I created something valuable, I certainly wouldn't want someone to be able to just steal it and start using it to compete with me either...so it's important to try to relate to that point of view and admit that it would rile us up too.
Yes, of course there's hypocrisy in it as well, but Mr. Jobs can have been an admirable man and great technology innovator without being perfect. I'm thankful for his impact that has made the tech that I use everyday better, whether it has an partially eaten apple on it or not. I want all of the players to innovate, improve on each others ideas, and deliver maximum value to the consumer. My hope is that they will challenge each other, not destroy each other, so that the competition can thrive and innovation happens at the hands of many.

It is most peculiar that Jobs did not see the hypocrisy of stealing from Palm, as you pointed out.
Another huge leap in GUI was the mouse interface, stolen from Xerox PARC. Steve did not acknowledge that stolen IP either.
While Steve had several weaknesses such as these, he was still one of the most innovative and inspiring tech managers of all time.
This illustrates how successful strong leaders came be - if their weaknesses don't take them down.
I really miss him.

Didnt apple base their "innovation" on existing products? Windows, PC, mobile phones, mp3 player? Those are all same devices with dumb-down interface, cleaned design and insane restrictions.
It seems like Jobs realized where it was going with android, and he was scared. Rlly scared for the upcoming competition

This is all so silly. Here's what I want.
I want iOS to copy all the good stuff from Android and make them better. I want Android to copy all the good stuff from iOS and make them better. I wand both companies (and any others who care to join the mix) to completely copy each other's ideas and improvements and make them all better...and keep doing so year after year.
In the end, I, the customer, get better and better products. I really don't give a hoot about who did what first.

I agree it is about the customer experience, All iphones should have all the great things us android users have enjoyed for awhile. Like the pull down notification bar, google voice (siri) maybe next you can have widgets and Flash.

if Apple never came up with the iPhone all you will have are what we used to all have. Give credit to great execution even if you will not call it innovation. They did a masterful job at making a leap for our benefit.
Simply sitting by and waiting for the next person or idea to copy is not going away. But that does not make it good for anyone. At the very least contribute something substantial. All Google wants is to drive traffic towards their adds.
you all fight on and give them your money, i the consumer reward execution and the evolution and maturation of great ideas. I don't reward simple copying of other ideas, i just don't.

The iPhone is an improvement on previous smartphones. It's a damn good improvement but it's still based on pre-existing ideas taken to a higher level. My post was not about simply copying. It was about improving upon existing ideas. The iPhone is not the original smartphone and it likely won't be the last. Apple did exactly what I want all these companies to do. Take an idea and make it better. Push the envelope.

From his perspective where he watched all his ideas and hard work come to fruition in a product that took off the way it did, its very understanding that he would be infuriated to see what Android stole from his platform:
Intuitive finger based Touch Interface, Inertial Scrolling, multi-touch gesture interface, a REAL virtual keyboard with self correcting algorithms, first real mobile web browser (Webkit), quality of apps to take mobile computing to the next level, the complete omission of other input methods (trackball, optical pad, stylus, excess buttons, hard keyboard. etc.) which moved touch computing forward faster, etc. We have become so accustomed to these things on cell phones we dont even recognize them as innovations anymore and what impact they had. These were ALL profound leaps that were implemented into Android as soon as Google got word of the iphone...before it was a Blackberry/Treo copy. Honestly go look at prototype Android n read the comments. Anyone remember zoom buttons or menu>zoom>menu>zoom>menu>...WTF! Glad to be out of that. A notification drawer that pulls down is a touch based input that allowed for that to work, which goes back to who REALLY made touch input possible.
http://gizmodo.com/334909/google-android-prototype-in-the-wildhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FJHYqE0RDg (thank the iphone)

You realize they didn't even touch or multitouch, right? Oh and the virtual keyboard was on my Windows Mobile 5 and 6 phones.
I get where Apple has changed the game and give them a ton of credit but let's get real here. If Apple were getting married, they absolutely couldn't wear their beloved white; maybe a medium gray would be more suitable.

hence why i capitalized and said "REAL virtual keyboard"...previous ones sucked hard before iOS...and i dont get your first sentence???

How cute. You went & found an article to try & defend his own theft, that he admitted in Triumph of the Nerds on PBS. Go watch that & get back to me. My statement has not been refuted. Nor can it be.
Now try another personal attack on me while you are too afraid to be yourself & hide behind some fake little avatar & made up name. Who's the one being childish here?

Congratulations to Tanf404 to be the first person on an Apple forum ever to admit that originality is basically impossible with tech! Apple did not invent the chipset, the battery, the back-lit display, touch-screens, cellular technology, metal or glass. We all take an idea that already exists, we apply it, manipulate it, and put it in context etc. I will never deny the fact that Steve Jobs was a great business man, for God's sakes, he is now gone and people are defending his effing cell phone?! However, everyone has something great to offer and all the fanboys and girls need to realize that and move on with their lives.

Oh about that internet privacy... More akin to cowardice when you hide behind fake names & photos then attack me. You still have yet to prove me wrong about Jobs' admission of theft on Triumph of the Nerds so that about sums up this convo. Good day.

Some people just need that hand free feeling that Siri has to offer. I'm sure it comes in handy under the table while your instructors try to teach you how to properly use the English language. Both platforms have amazing capabilities, and if one chooses Android over iOS (like myself), it does not make one any less intelligent. Furthermore, I find it very insulting to my intelligence that they call their in-store employees geniuses. The majority of the lot are not well trained at all.

Here is the deal! Imagine if you're the leader of a team of innovators who came up with everything that Apple executed so well, from the box, the packaging, the feel, the sexy styling, marketing, etc. Then you go on-line and see your Logo, design, model numbers, exact copies of what you spent your time and R and D developing, being knocked off and for sale by China. I would be livid ! Wouldn't you too, if you saw something that was like a baby to you, being knocked off.
Come on guys, let's say you sell Pharmaceuticals, I know that's not a very popular area, but you spent millions of dollars developing a medicine that cured something. Then immediately you see the same formula, with your logo and box design copied right down to the wording on the box. How would you feel.......ripped off, I'd imagine. Sure, few of us like the pharmaceutical Companies, and if it were a cure for cancer, we would want everyone to be able to get it at a reasonable cost, for the sake of mankind. That's just humans caring for others, but this is not a life saving product, it's a device to communicate and much more. It's a relationship, really. It's an intangible type of scenario.
Take Sony for example, if you were the CEO of SONY and China flooded the market with Exact copies of Sony Bravio HDTV's, same box, same model number, same everything. Wouldn't you do everything in your power to seize and desist this blatant slap in face? I think so.
Steve Jobs did not invent everything, but he was "the father figure" of the iPod, iPhone, iTunes, etc. And he changed the way the world listened to music and communicated with his insistent focus to make it perfect. It was HIS BABY. A proud Father doesn't like to see his baby abused, mistreated, and copied poorly, so sure he was upset, and I think most of you would be too, if you felt that your family was in danger. It's more about an emotional bond, than a patent or money issue, it's personal!!...........Not business.
MRHIFI
West Texas
P.S.
It occurred to me how short of a time, say 4-5 years since the first IPhone was unveiled, and how vast technology has changed in that short period of time!
It's like The Beatles, they were only together for 4-5 years, but executed a vast and similar game changer in music.

Yup you got it. Android copied widgets, mobile hotspot, copy and paste, MMS and so on from Apple. Oh wait....

But he stole ideas from companies, he stole from Xerox and tried to sue Microsoft when they implemented the same idea. Bill Gates even told him "You and I had a rich neighbor called Xerox, who always left their door unlocked, then one day I went in to steal the TV and you came in shortly after and said that you planned to steal it first."
And in an interview in the 1980s he even said that he and Apple were shameless for stealing ideas. Steve Jobs was a brilliant man, but seriously needed an ego check.

Steve died, he lost the battle. The karma of stealing ideas and claiming them as his own - death. Now, Android will rule the Galaxy with Samsung. I will be counting the remaining days of iPhone before it goes extinct.

A family lost a husband and father...his death has nothing to Android winning or losing. Have a little class about yourself.

The point is not to make them all the same...the point is to "improve upon ideas". What I want is for these companies to keep "1-upping" each other. We'll all get better products out of it. For example, voice actions on Android is wonderful and I made heavy use of it. Siri is better and I'm making heavy use of it. I want to see what either company will do with voice interaction over the next few years.

Very poor reference.
I'm specifically talking about his death being a lost tech battle and he died because karma from stealing ideas. The Android battle goes on since it was Apple vs Android and stealing ideas doesn't cause cancer.

Very poor reference.
I'm specifically talking about his death being a lost tech battle and he died because karma from stealing ideas. The Android battle goes on since it was Apple vs Android and stealing ideas doesn't cause cancer.

Agreed,Its obvious how android operates like "garbage" to apple. Its the poor mans iphone and I hope samsung gets its ass handed to them in time for its thievery...

great submit, very informative. I'm wondering why the opposite specialists of this sector don't notice this. You should continue your writing. I'm sure, you have a great readers' base already!

Then why do all my coworkers and friends who could program your life away with RedHat or any other Linux distro use Android over iOS? These people's careers depend on the success of their platforms so I am sure they would be well informed. P.S. I run Ubuntu & Mac OS and when I leave the house, it's with a Nexus in my pocket. Fox News must do your fact checking.

Apple stole it's computer design from xerox(also Linux check you're facts) stole it's touch phone from LG when it came out with the LG Prada 2 or so years before Apple in 06 who's the real thief? It's scary that someone could fool so many people rather so many people are ignorant they can't find the truth for themselves.
The IPhone is an exact replica of the LG Prada same touch screen same smartphone compatibility eerily similar OS features...
People are idiots if they choose to believe that anything Apple created was ever its own innovation and yet it mercilessly attacks Google for attempting to join the gravy train shame on them what a bunch of crooks.
LG should have sue'd them into the ground when they were just small weeds in the grass of innovation taking root apron the backs of others...
I'm not q Microsoft fan I'm not a android fan I just rather hear the truth then be told what the truth is by a bunch of liars