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Ivan's picture

Jobs: I'm going to destroy Android

Read this provocative quote by Steve Jobs from Walter Isaacson's book that is coming out in the next few days. We would of course need to know the context to be able to judge the sentiment, but I think he really meant it.

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. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this. — Steve Jobs

I think Apple's core business is user interaction design. That's what Apple is selling and that's what makes them successful. The Windows Phone, Blackberry or Nokia didn't steal the iPhone experience. Android did.

Artists in heart understand the issue and side with Apple and Jobs. They feel that the design process behind a product is as important as the product itself. That's why we prefer original products even if there are cheaper duplicates out there. We honour the profession through the purchase and ownership.

Google is in business of selling ads. That's what makes them successful. Android is a way to sell more ads through mobile. For Google user interaction is just a necessary unimportant element to achieve their goals of selling more ads. They don't stealing the GUI is evil because they don't consider the it as much of value in the first place.

They would be pissed the same way if somebody copied their search algorithm. Remember when Bing copied Google? They were as angry as Jobs.

Most Android users don't feel bad about using a copycat Android system as they don't see it as a serious issue. Others know something is not right, and to calm their conscience find all kinds of excuses to justify their decision.

But at the end of the day the truth remains. Android did steal the iPhone but it's not the end of the world. Companies should build on each other's innovation. iPhone had a few years of glory until Google managed to catch up.

Use whichever system you find more useful to you and always remember to credit those who deserve it.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

ItalianMike's picture
303 pencils

Can't wait to read this book.'s picture
532 pencils

Didn't Jobs copy the mouse from Xerox?

Ivan's picture

He did and I think he never denied it, which is the right thing to do.'s picture
532 pencils

Alright - fair enough. He did make a lot of money with it though (I believe) - and I don't think we can expect Android to announce that they based their OS on Apple's. Jobs could have said that about Xerox cause they where in different markets.

Also, there are a few things from Android implented in iOS5 as well, although they're little tweaks.

But still, yeah Jobs still has a good point. (apart from thermonuclear war, I mean wtf?)

Ivan's picture

That's obviously figure of speech. He probably said it with a grin on his face joking. :)

He meant that he will compete aggressively by trying to out innovate google. :)'s picture
532 pencils

Well I understood that he wasn't actually going to drop a nuclear bomb on the Google Office - but why reference to Hiroshima? He could have said just war. Meh.

Art D. Rector's picture
3162 pencils

Couple points about Xerox - the most important being they ALLOWED Jobs into the company to see what they were doing. It was a friendly gesture between corporations. The second point being they had absolutely no plans on using the mouse or the limited gui they developed - the company did not believe there was any future in the idea even though the actual developers knew what they had and didn't want to give it up (at least not that easily).

So far as the Android, my brother was Mr. Android for a couple years there - everytime we had a conversation he was telling about whatever great feature had just came out on the Android (he has this weird obsession with cell phones and which one is going to knock off the iPhone - otoh, I don't even know where my cheap paygo phone is right now). Then all of a sudden... nothing. A couple weeks back it came up for some reason and I asked him why he wasn't giving me regular updates anymore and he said he wasn't using it - he switched to something else about 6 months ago. That - more than anything - tells me the Android can't be anywhere near as good as the iPhone. ;-)

The guys at Best buy also slammed Google TV when I was buying my new flat screen. I saw the display there and asked about it and their exact words were "The one TV you DON'T want to buy is Google TV." Guess we can look forward to the iTV one day.

Krad-Eelav's picture
1 pencil

I respectfully disagree.

I'm a design student who uses both android (phone) and apple (laptop that was given by the school) with no compunction - but at the end of the day, I'd side with android because their whole package gives me one thing that apple is notoriously sketchy on.


Practicality over design.

I love design, and it definitely does have its place, but I need a phone that won't drop on me every other second, or one that has decent coverage. Likewise, for the laptops, I can't install half my usual games (or art programs) that Windows can, despite the much prettier package that apple offers.

I hate google's love for ads too - don't get me wrong - but it's actually not that bad on the android if you take 2 minutes deleting some of rubbish apps. But they still offer you a much more reliable (and cheaper, I think) overall package.

This is one thing that bugs me so much about my fellow designers - is that they believe design trumps the actual product at every turn. Design can sell a product, yes - but can it keep the buyer for a lifetime?

-Krad's picture
532 pencils

I don't think that's the point of Jobs' statement. It's not about who's the better OS but about Android apparently copying it.

Craig Michael Patrick's picture
65 pencils

Interesting take, if not slightly off-topic. Let's explore this.

DISCLAIMER: I've been a working designer and communicator for over 20 years. I own an Android phone because I believe the carriers charge far too much in monthly fees for an iPhone. It's adequate for my needs, but by no means would I say, in any sense, it is well-designed. It has good build-quality, but the infra-structure is infected with 'open' and all the pitfalls of open no one likes to discuss because the advantages are far more in tune with the word 'freedom' and we Americans really seem to dig that word (a word which, I posit, often blinds us to uncomfortable truths).

'Design' is an often misunderstood and misused word in the world. I'd posit 'practicality' is built INTO the umbrella term of 'design' as Apple seems to use the term. It's a liberal definition to be c I suspect most designers are drawn to Apple because Apple products have shown, time and time again, to sweat the details, the little things that elude most people. We obsess about these things, from .003" in trapping print media to a three pixel anti-aliased curve on a window in an operating system. We sweat the small stuff. God is in the details.

Your words:

"I love design, and it definitely does have its place, but I need a phone that won't drop on me every other second, or one that has decent coverage. Likewise, for the laptops, I can't install half my usual games (or art programs) that Windows can, despite the much prettier package that apple offers."

I'm afraid that's likely a carrier issue rather than a phone issue. That's due to the 'design' of your carrier's network. If you're interested in games, you're probably better served using a Windows PC. It has far better infrastructure for gaming than a Mac. Me, when I play games, I use a console (a PS3, in fact), because I use my Mac to make money. For myself, Mac = revenue, gaming = console. It works for me, but only because I like that sort of taxonomy.

I don't, however, design on a Mac because it's 'pretty' and suggesting that does disservice to your fellow designers. A few examples: I design on a Mac because, generally speaking, the user interface gets out of the way. That's GOOD UX design (again, generally). I use a Mac because beneath it rests a massively robust and secure infrastructure called Unix. I use a Mac because the experience of using it is less obtrusive than using a Windows PC, which (no offense intended) is the digital equivalent of working with a spastic boyscout. So these couple of reasons: unix, ui design, unobtrusiveness are all very practical, on not only a visceral, aesthetic level, but a technical one as well. This, too, is 'design.' Practicality IS design. Or at the very least, should be built INTO good design.

As far as keeping consumers for a lifetime, that's also a design component Apple uses, both exceptionally well and very poorly. Apple has clumsily crafted (and by clumsy, I don't mean that in a derogatory context, but it's just a hard, fast rule when crafting new things - growing pains and such) an infrastructure around the iPhone that contains two important components: application environment and culture. Google's managed to simulate the first, but the latter part is a bit more of a challenge for the search giant. As far as keeping consumers, Apple is notorious for it's efforts at locking its constituents into its infrastructure. Jobs is quoted saying so in the book. I do not agree with this. It betrays the worst behavior of Microsoft during the 80's.

But they believe it's good business. And that's a different discussion altogether.

Craig Michael Patrick

virual's picture
1 pencil

Everyone talks about give credit where its due and that android copied apple. If people knew their tech history a bit you'd know that the iphone wouldn't exist if it wasn't for android, since it came out years before apple even thought about making the iphone. Andy rubin (The creator of android) was also the creator of Danger OS and the Sidekick smart phone, which came out in 2002. It had an app store and was the first smart phone to be targeted for normal consumers instead of business people. When Andy sold Danger to microsoft, he took the same APIs and LINUX Kernel that sidekick used to create his next mobile device, Android. So in all honesty, Android and many iphone features came first. Then you have the overall design, Icons on a desktop, THAT EXISTED FOR YEARS !!! So no innovation there, Hell, the first 2 iphones didn't even let you set desktop wallpaper. Just about every feature the iphone has existed either on Windows Mobile, Palm or Danger OS. Even the multi touch gestures pre existed apple, pinch to zoom, etc which apple sued people for was created by Jeff han 2 years before iphone release. HIs company made multi touch screens with 20 figure input and used every gesture that apple has now made popular. If you look back, you'll see that there was tons of tech that apple has made popular that pre existed somewhere else. Apple is a great marketing company not really an innovator and without Jonathan Ive apple would of failed years ago since he's the brains behind any apple design greatness, not steve jobs. So if you want to give credit to the iphone, its not apple or steve jobs... Its Andy Rubin, Jeff han and Jonathan Ive that should get the credit, without those 3 men, iphone wouldn't exist.

Art D. Rector's picture
3162 pencils

Apple's history is tied to Jobs - not Ives. The arc of the company's success is in direct relation to Jobs' tenure - not Ives'. You PC folks are so obsessed with Apple's better design, you fail to see the obvious - that Apple users are also more productive. Studies have proved that forever. And if Apple "stole" anything from anybody - you can bet the house those people would be suing Apple for the tons of cash they have sitting in the bank. It's easy to sit back and make empty claims - it's a lot harder to prove it in court.

Also - it's your service that drops the call - not the phone.

mrcoupon's picture
345 pencils

"You PC folks are so obsessed with Apple's better design, you fail to see the obvious - that Apple users are also more productive. "

So we don't see that Apple is better because we're too busy seeing Apple is better? You should also read the Bible because the Bible says it's true.

"It's easy to sit back and make empty claims - it's a lot harder to prove it in court."

Claims like "Android is a stolen product, I'm going to war over it"? Unfortunately, wars have casualties....

qwertyale's picture
2047 pencils

Samsung and Google must be placed at Death Star and explode!

want to end my Gmail account.

yes I'm brazilian xD

Art D. Rector's picture
3162 pencils

Is it my imagination or is somebody threatening to throw down again? Oh wait... no... that's just a mosquito buzzing around my ear... nevermind.

thegreenlantern's picture
1 pencil

Google didn't "catch up". They copied. Google doesn't care about innovation, just advertising dollars. They just buy up all the up and coming good ideas, or copy them. They make Microsoft look like girl scouts selling cookies.

steveballmer's picture
653 pencils

I have yet to read the book, but I can't seem to find where he said anything about me.
I am not Steve Ballmer pretending not to be me!

StockFuel's picture
11 pencils

I see his point, but the Android is actually pretty nice. *sigh

Brian Weck

Creativebits is a blog about Creativity, Graphic Design, Adobe, Apple and other related subjects.

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