Steve Jobs’ reputation as a hard-edged competitor surfaces in stark detail in the only biography written with his cooperation. The book, Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson is due out next week but excerpts are already starting to be published.
Issacson is also slated to appear on the 60 Minutes TV show this Sunday in an interview about the book.
The book details Jobs’ anger at Google’s Android software project for mobile devices which he felt stole many of the popular features of the iPhone. Google CEO Eric Schmidt quit Apple’s board after it became apparent the two companies would be competing in the mobile space.
"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, in an excerpt published by the Mercury News. "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
Apple never did sue Google though it has been involved in a number of patent suits against smartphone manufacturers who use Android.
Through it all Apple has maintained a collaboration with Google who’s Web services are available on Apple devices. Jobs was seen meeting with Schmidt at a Palo Alto restaurant months after he left Apple’s board.
The book also recounts that after Jobs first expressed his anger over Android, Google co-founder Larry Page came to Jobs for advice. Jobs said "my first thought was, 'F--- you.' But then I thought about and it and realized that everybody helped me when I was young, from Bill Hewlett to the guy down the block who worked for HP. So I called him and said sure."
Oracle, run by Steve Jobs’ close friend Larry Ellison, is suing Google over what it claims is a misuse of a Java license in the development of Android. Oracle inherited Java as part of its purchase of Sun Microsystems.