Jobs Felt Personally Betrayed By Android, HTC

Apple's lawsuits against Samsung and HTC have drawn commentary that the company might be attempting to litigate its competitors out of the market rather than relying on the free market to decide who had superior products. The new, authorized Steve Jobs biography, however, paints the company's legal actions in a different light. Jobs is famous for his blunt commentary—he once declared "We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash," and "We don’t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash," but his anger over Android was an order of magnitude greater.

Eric Schmidt, Google's former CEO, was an Apple board member from 2006-2009. He stepped down due to concern that Google's entrance into the smartphone market was creating a conflict of interest—but Jobs was enraged when HTC debuted Google's Nexus One, in early 2010. Jobs told his biographer, Walter Isaacson, that Android and HTC had engaged in "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," Jobs said. "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."

Jobs met or spoke to Schmidt at one point, but informed him he was utterly uninterested in settling the matter. "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."

Samsung's Galaxy Nexus was designed to avoid accusations of Apple patent infringment

The book sheds light on other aspects of Jobs' personality and life. He delayed cancer treatment for nine months (it's not clear if this delay caused long-term problems that led to his demise earlier this month. Steve told Isaacson, "`I really didn't want them to open up my body, so I tried to see if a few other things would work." When Jobs returned to Apple, he described the company's fall as being the result of "corrupt people" with "corrupt values" who cared only about making money. One could likely argue that Apple's long-term problems by 1997 were equally the result of poor business decisions—former Apple CEO John Sculley once noted that deciding to adopt PowerPC instead of Intel in the early 1990s was his greatest mistake.

Jobs carefully planned the legacy he'd leave at Apple and didn't take HP's decision to dump the TouchPad as a victory lap. "Hewlett and Packard built a great company, and they thought they had left it in good hands, but now it's being dismembered and destroyed. I hope I've left a stronger legacy so that will never happen at Apple." According to Jobs, Jonathan Ive, Apple's design chief, wields more power over operations than anyone other than himself (and possibly Tim Cook). The point, according to Steve, was to ensureWe no one could tell Ive what to do.

We can' help wondering if Jobs' passing will change Apple's willingness to settle over issues of alleged patent infringement related to Android. Thus far, Samsung has been Apple's primary target (the lawsuit against HTC, while serious, pales in comparison to the World War Affadavit Apple has unleashed against Samsung (the latter has begun fighting back and redesigning products, though Apple remains victorious thus far.)