Prior to Steve Jobs unfortunate and untimely death, Steve took up a massive lawsuit against Google. In the lawsuit Jobs claimed that Google basically stole the iPhone from Apple and was presenting it to customers under the Android name. The lawsuit has been going on for a while now and still no signs of it ending even with Steve Jobs’ death. Steve Jobs addressed this touchy issue with Walter Isaacson in an interview – Walter Isaacson published the recent Steve Jobs biography. In the interview with Walter, Jobs bluntly stated:
“Our lawsuit is saying, ‘Google you f***ing ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off. 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.”
In response to those strong allegations and harsh words Eric Schmidt, who is Google’s executive chairman, had very little to say until recently. Eric Schmidt stated to Korean reporters that “I’ve decided not to comment on what’s been written on a book after his death. Steve is a fantastic human being and someone who I miss very dearly. As a general comment, I think most people would agree that Google is a great innovator and I would also point out that the Android effort started before the iPhone effort.”
While that statement is short, it does speak volumes. Google is well known for its impressive innovation and its ability to keep delivering new and exciting products for consumers. On top of that common knowledge facts do speak for themselves: Andy Rubin founded Android Inc. in 2003 and it was then bought by Google in 2005 who hired Andy to work on the Android operating system. This was all done prior to Apple’s launch of the iPhone and validates Google’s claim that they were the first.
While this key piece of information seems to refute Apple’s claims Google however was not the first to actually produce the smart phone. If fact it was Apple who launched the iPhone in 2007 with the Android based phones hitting stores a full year later. On top of that Eric Schmidt was also on Apple’s board prior to the release of the iPhone yet he now resides completely with Google.
Eric Schmidt did officially resign from the board because of the potential conflicts that might arise with Apple and Google competing, however after his resignation there were speculations that him and Steve Jobs were not on friendly terms. Eric refutes those by saying that him and Jobs were indeed on decent terms and that he was even invited to exclusive dinner parties with Apple even after his resignation.
Based on what little information is provided to us it is hard to make a determination on who actually created the idea. Whether Google or Apple will rise as the victor in this tough lawsuit is hard to say, so we can only await eagerly for it to end.