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Jobs Wanted To Destroy Android 988

hype7 writes "It's clear Steve Jobs didn't pull any punches from the interviews for his forthcoming biography. In the latest release from the book, hosted over at AP, 'Isaacson wrote that Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features of the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson in an expletive-laced rant that Google's actions amounted to "grand theft." ... "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this." ... In a subsequent meeting with Schmidt at a Palo Alto, Calif., cafe, Jobs told Schmidt that he wasn't interested in settling the lawsuit, the book says. "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 meeting, Isaacson wrote, resolved nothing.'"
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Jobs Wanted To Destroy Android

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  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki.cox@net> on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:00AM (#37790054)

    Don't forget what Android looked like pre-iPhone []

    If Android had launched like that, the iPhone would've destroyed it. Yes, phones before the iPhone had capacitive touch, but no one was doing multitouch. Or at least, not on a wide scale like Apple did.

  • by aXis100 (690904) on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:01AM (#37790058)

    What features were stolen?

    Icons in a grid? Nokia phones had those for years.
    On-screen keyboard? Palm had those since day dot.
    Multipoint touch gestures? I remember seeing those in Minority Report

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:03AM (#37790090)

    If by "stole" you mean "bought and used with permission" then yes, you are correct.

  • by julesh (229690) on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:03AM (#37790094)

    Apple did not steal from Xerox. Apple was already developing a GUI back in the late '70s.

    The first GUI computer, the Xerox Alto, was designed in 1973, 2 whole years before Jobs & Wozniak started developing the Apple I, and 5 years before work started on the Lisa, Apple's first GUI computer.

  • by Dragon Bait (997809) on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:04AM (#37790114)

    Keep repeating a myth and people believe it. Apple did not steal from Xerox. Apple was already developing a GUI back in the late '70s.

    And yet Xerox PARC [] had it in '73. Wikipedia also has an interesting read on the history of GUI [].

  • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:08AM (#37790184)

    "Stolen" implies that a bunch of masked bandits from Google raided Apple's Cupertino HQ and pilfered the vault of all the valuable iPhone widgets and touch screens.

    Spring-boarding off of the iPhone (and doing some things better) is what Android did. Jobs sounded like he didn't want competition from something that might lap his phone. Rather than innovate ("great artists steal"), he decided to throw down the lawsuit hammer (or at least try to), thereby making Apple nothing more than Microsoft or IBM with a hip wardrobe fetish.

    Everything these days comes from previous innovations.... there are a few exceptions, but most of the time true progress comes from expanding or improving an existing product or idea. Jobs did that with the iPhone, but it seems he didn't want anyone else to do so... That's what's broken here. (And I do agree that patents need reform just as much as copyright.)

  • by itsenrique (846636) on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:10AM (#37790200)
    Seems like the grid icons are actually from palm pilots, at least they have lots of prior art. Yeah, it was a stylus, and they went to heat based touch.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:13AM (#37790234)

    Keep repeating a myth and people believe it. Apple did not steal from Xerox. Apple was already developing a GUI back in the late '70s.

    Awe....aren't you cute. Can't deal with the truth about St. Jobs? Dude - dudedette, for those of us who were around back then, in the early '80s, Jobs himself admitted to seeing PARC's GUI and basing the whole Mac GUI on that.

    At the time, Xerox was your typical complacent big corporation that had a R&D arm. And as such, they're managers were too short sighted to see the potential of their GUI OR felt that it was irrelevant to their business and therefore let it slide. Jobs saw the potential and ran with it.

    BUT....unlike Google, Jobs didn't borrow/steal from a product being currently marketed - it was just a prototype in PARC's lab at the time and absolutely no indication from Xerox that they'd be using it. So, St. Jobs' reputation is still intact as the wizard of technology and marketing.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:16AM (#37790282)
    REMEMBER what the Iphone looked like pre-LG Prada. [] So, do you want to admit that:
    1. Ideas develop simultaneously.
    2. Apple stole the LG Prada designs.

    Either way, it proves your point is full of crap.

    I'm sorry that you're upset that Android it better, but please you're just embarrassing yourself here.
  • by SlippyToad (240532) on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:22AM (#37790386)

    What's more pertient is that Apple didn't invent those things any more than Google did.

    Jobs was a giant fake. Better at using the work of others than at coming up with a single thing on his own.

    As I recall, there was this guy they called Woz who did most of the heavy lifting for Cult Of Steve Jobs.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:23AM (#37790392) Homepage

    From those of us that have used touchscreens for 20 years. Yes tapping an icon is the same as clickong on an icon. It's not revolutionary in any way.

    I had the first Tablet PC, a Dauphin DTR-1 it ran windows 3.11 and acted just like a iPhone except for swipes and gestures.
    Honestly, you think tapping an icon is revolutionary?

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:23AM (#37790408)
    You are both incorrect and correct. Apple was working on something back in the 70s. But Steve Jobs saw what Xerox was doing and liked it better. The OP though is repeating a myth about Apple stealing it. Apple got permission and paid Xerox for what they got from them. Xerox didn't really see the potential of it and let them have it.
  • by joh (27088) on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:26AM (#37790458)

    This cancer is not "perfectly treatable". It grows slowly, yes, but it has a habit of invisibly metastizing, recurring and finally killing people.

    And Jobs seemed to have waited with surgery only until it was clear that the tumour wouldn't shrink. He then had surgery, radiation treatment, liver transplantation and everything scientific medicine could do for him.

    If you look at the surgery he had you will see that this is the most drastic rearrangement of your anatonomy that is routinely done during cancer treatment. Hesitating here is perfectly understandable.

    But yes, maybe he would have lived longer if he hadn't waited. Maybe not.

  • by beanpoppa (1305757) on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:28AM (#37790490)
    Funny. I felt the same way about the iPhone when I switched to an iPhone 4 from my Droid1. Although the interface was pretty, and 'satisfying' to use in how it was responsive and animated, I felt the functions that would make it a good PDA and phone were lacking. I have now switched to a Samsung Galaxy S2. I like it, but what I dislike most is the Samsung Touchwiz interface, which tries to be more iPhone like than the standard Android. I'm looking forward to rooting it, and putting a proper Android interface on it.
  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms&infamous,net> on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:40AM (#37790684) Homepage

    Apple paid Xerox (in stocks) for the GUI and the mouse. Apple did not steal them - Xerox gave (sold) them away willingly.

    Where does this ahistorical gibberish come from? Xerox sued Apple in 1989 [], claiming that that Apple ''intentionally and purposefully concealed'' the derivation of the Lisa and Macintosh software from Xerox software and that Apple's copyrights were invalid. (Xerox's suit was barred for technical reasons of standing.)

  • by lachlan76 (770870) on Friday October 21, 2011 @09:50AM (#37790888)
    LG had released a similar phone before the Iphone, the Prada [].
  • by VeryVito (807017) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:17AM (#37791410) Homepage

    Speaking NOT as a fanboy, but as a gadget fan:

    In hindsight, it's easy to say the iPhone is just another smartphone, but at the time it was introduced, it was nothing like any phone that came before it. Yes, its individual features -- touch screen, icons, internal antenna, multitouch UI, etc., all existed -- but until the iPhone came along, they had not been put together quite like this before (To use the hackneyed "car" metaphor: wheels, internal combustion engines and axles predate the automobile, but this doesn't mean the car was nothing new when it came along).

    Just look at marketing materials from the major carriers in 2006 -- flip phones and candy bars were the typical (practically only) form factors available before the iPhone was revealed in January 2007. It took very little time for all that to change, but when it comes right down to it -- there was nothing akin to the modern smartphone before the iPhone.

    It's pretty silly to suggest today's wide array of multi-touch handheld computers have nothing to do with its design and success.

  • by goombah99 (560566) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:25AM (#37791594)

    You sir are a dupe. The Macintosh and Lisa projects were well underway before Jobs Ever heard of the PARC XEROX project. You should google Jeff Raskin who created the mac and learn he was planning it well before 1979. Here's a bit of history: []

    the real issue here however is not that but rather, the fact the Schimtt was on apple's board of directors. This is why it is stealing not copying.

  • by An dochasac (591582) on Friday October 21, 2011 @10:44AM (#37792076)
    Jobs and Apple are the modern equivalent of Edison and Edison electric, they invent a few things but far more often then steal other people's ideas and perfect them. Nokias had multitasking, youtube videos... in 2006 if not earlier, Velo 1, Palm and similar devices had grid icons, touch screens years earlier. But there is one area where iPhone is far ahead of Android. [] I hope Apple patented this method of planned obsolescence.
  • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Friday October 21, 2011 @11:11AM (#37792676)

    That is the least of it. This article about multi-touch [] from Bill Buxton at Microsoft Research shows lots more. Things to note; Capacitive interfaces in 1985; touch based smart phone in 1992; Starfire the movie from 1992 (note hand drawn picture showing grid interface)

    "Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal" - Steve Jobs, 1996 - apparently stolen from Picasso

    BTW; apparently there was a commercial deal between Xerox and Apple related to the WIMP interface; that becomes a contract issue rather than a theft issue.

  • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Friday October 21, 2011 @11:14AM (#37792760) Homepage
    "Good artists copy, great artists steal" and "We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas"- Steve Jobs from a 1994 interview [].

    Hey Apple, the kettle just called. He said "you're black."
  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday October 21, 2011 @11:27AM (#37793014)

    Nope. Cisco's trademark of the name iPhone had been lost through non-use. Cisco tried deception to claim they had still been using it. See the outrageously amateur mockup of a box with the word "iPhone" on a sticker outside the shrink-wrap. []

  • by Ost99 (101831) on Friday October 21, 2011 @11:36AM (#37793180)

    Multitouch and pinch zoom predates the iphone with at least a decade. Apple bought a multi-touch specialist (FingerWorks) in 2005.
    Touch frienldy UI? try two decades (IBM Simon)
    Proximity sensors? Nokia 7650 in 1997-1998

    Apple didn't "innovate" any of this stuff.
    They polished old ideas and let their marketing department do the rest.

    There was never anything *new* in the iphone.
    Apple was/is good at chosing the right stuff to polish and combine, and have a kick ass marketing department.

  • by jmcbain (1233044) on Friday October 21, 2011 @01:38PM (#37795346)

    Stop rehashing the same myth over and over. Jobs paid Xerox PARC $1M in pre-IPO Apple stock for the right to look over their technology [].

    "So Jobs proposed a deal: he would allow Xerox to buy a hundred thousand shares of his company for a million dollars—its highly anticipated I.P.O. was just a year away—if parc would “open its kimono.” A lot of haggling ensued. Jobs was the fox, after all, and parc was the henhouse. What would he be allowed to see? What wouldn’t he be allowed to see? Some at parc thought that the whole idea was lunacy, but, in the end, Xerox went ahead with it."

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