Jobs nearly zapped apps, new authorized biography reports

Oct 23, 2011
Tech

The new authorized Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson on the late Apple co-founder, reveals that the visionary Jobs initially opposed the concept of apps, now an anchor of the smartphone ecosystem. The book is scheduled to be released Monday. Bianca Bosker at Huffington Post, who obtained a copy of the book, reported that Apple […]

The new authorized Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson on the late Apple co-founder, reveals that the visionary Jobs initially opposed the concept of apps, now an anchor of the smartphone ecosystem. The book is scheduled to be released Monday.

Bianca Bosker at Huffington Post, who obtained a copy of the book, reported that Apple board member Art Levinson told Isaacson that he phoned Jobs “half a dozen times to lobby for the potential of the apps.”

But the biographer said, “Jobs at first quashed the discussion, partly because he felt his team did not have the bandwidth to figure out all the complexities that would be involved in policing third-party app developers.”

The book also examines Jobs and his war on Google. Jobs and Apple famously lifted the mouse and other tech after seeing them at a Xerox research center in 1979.

Ironically, Isaacson reports that Jobs considered Google guilty of “grand theft” for coming out with the Android OS for smartphones and taking on the iPhone and Apple.

HuffPo said Jobs told Isaacson: “I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this,” with a patent suit Apple filed against cell phone manufacturer HTC in 2010.

“Our lawsuit is saying, ‘Google you f***ing ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off,’” Jobs said, according to Isaacson. “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. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product.”

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Jobs tried to persuade Google not to develop Android and promised Google access to the iPhone. Android phones overall have eclipsed iPhone in sales.

Research firm Gartner reported that in the second quarter that Android had 43.4 percent of the global smartphone market while Apple had 18.2 percent.

Jobs told Isaacson that Apple’s approach stemmed from the company’s desire to “make great products, not crap like Android.”

Phil Goldstein at Fierce Wireless said a few months after Jobs told Isaacson about his anger over Android, he met with Eric Schmidt, then Google’s CEO and a former Apple board member, at a cafe in Palo Alto, Calif. He told Schmidt that he did not intend to settle the lawsuit. “I don’t want your money,” Jobs told Schmidt, according to the book. “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 did not resolve anything between Apple and Google, according to Isaacson.

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