The highly anticipated release of the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson has gathered even more steam in the last 24 hours as excerpts of the book have begun to leak out. The revelations in the 630-page book are wide-ranging and in some cases quite surprising, but some of the most interesting passages are devoted to Jobs’ views on the rivalAndroid operating system from Google.
While many observers had long assumed that Apple, riding high on the success of the iPhone, had a mostly dispassionate and detached view of Google’s smartphone operating system, Isaacson reveals that exactly the opposite was true. The book quotes Jobs as saying, “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.”
And when Jobs met with the executives at Google to discuss the matter directly, he apparently went even further in expressing his distaste for Android, telling them, “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.” According to the author, the meeting did little to cool tensions between the two companies.
Then in early 2010, when HTC released a phone that appeared to mimic many of the iPhone’s features, Jobs said he would do everything he could to annihilate iOS’s chief rival.
This early peek at the Android comments in the book came by way of Associated Press, but others like The New York Times and The Huffington Post also managed to get their hands on the book, uncovering other choice bits of Jobs lore. Huffington lifts a tale from the book recounting a private meeting with President Obama in which Jobs offered to help with the incumbent’s next campaign. The Times shares troubling details about Jobs’ fight with cancer in which the Apple co-founder attempted to use alternative therapies before finally undergoing surgery.
Isaacson is scheduled to appear on 60 Minutes this Sunday to discuss the book at length, and the book itself goes on sale next Monday.