Google Android’s very existence drove Steve Jobs into a fury, according to Walter Isaacson’s upcoming biography of the late Apple CEO.
The book, quoted extensively by the Associated Press ahead of its Oct. 23 release, features Jobs pledging “thermonuclear war” against Google Android, which he termed “a stolen product.”
In a meeting with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Jobs supposedly refused to accept any sort of Android-related payout: “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.”
Apple announced Jobs’ death Oct. 5. A decade of technology hits-including the iPad, iPod and iPhone-had transformed the struggling company into one of the most respected and valued enterprises in the world, and elevated Jobs to superstar status. Apple stores closed Oct. 19 so employees could watch a memorial service held on Apple’s campus.
The biography covers the entirety of Jobs’ life, including his long-term battle with cancer and attempts to revive Apple in the late 1990s. The book currently tops Amazon’s bestseller list, and is widely expected to move quickly off store shelves upon its release. Jobs granted Isaacson dozens of interviews.
Although Apple’s iPhone continues to dominate much of the general conversation about smartphones, Android has managed to swallow a healthy portion of the market over the past two years. One reason for the latter’s success stems from its presence on multiple networks, something Apple has countered by rolling out the iPhone on more carriers in the United States. The recently released iPhone 4S, featuring upgraded hardware and a “digital personal assistant” named Siri, managed to sell some 4 million units by the end of its first weekend of release.
In keeping with Jobs’ words, Apple has also fired off lawsuits against Android device manufacturers. Its worldwide courtroom battle against Samsung extends from Europe to Japan and Australia, with both companies accusing each other of intellectual-property violations. Apple’s other lawsuit targets include HTC and Motorola, and it recently settled a dispute with Nokia.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is now tasked with keeping the company’s reputation and notable sales run intact. According to former U.S. Vice President and Apple board member Al Gore, Jobs advised his executives to follow their own instincts rather than ask, “What would Steve do?” with regard to strategic decisions.