Google’s Eric Schmidt is in Korea this week meeting with senior government and business officials, including South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. During a press conference this morning he was asked, among other things, on his thoughts of Steve Jobs’ claims that Android is a “stolen product”.
While first calling Jobs a “fantastic human being” and saying he is “very sad and recovering from the sense of loss” since his death, he had this to say:
I decided not to comment on comments that are written in the book after his death. I don’t think it’s right…Most people would agree that Google is a great innovator, and I would also point out that the Android efforts started before the iPhone efforts. And that’s all I have to say.
In the authorized Steve Jobs bio penned by author Walter Isaacson, Jobs had harsh words for Android:
Our lawsuit is saying, “Google, you fucking ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.” Grand theft. 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 to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death, because they know they are guilty. Outside of Search, Google’s products—Android, Google Docs—are shit.
The timeline of the two products, Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, is a little unclear. While Google purchased Andy Rubin’s Android in 2005, and the iPhone was reveal in January 2007, it’s unclear when Apple started working on the iPhone. Most estimate put it’s development well before 2005.
9to5Mac reports that Android underwent significantly change around the time the iPhone was released. The OS morphed from a Blackberry-ish type device to a touch centric device. And in the years since, Android’s evolution has, according to some commentators, continued in the direction of an iPhone-likeness.