The highly expected release of the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson goes on sale on Monday which is less than three weeks after Jobs’ long battle with pancreatic cancer culminated in his Oct. 5 death.
The issues in the 630-page book are wide-ranging and even quite surprising, but some of the most interesting passages are devoted to Jobs’ views on the rival Android operating system from Google.
Google has nothing but hope that Steve Jobs’ final vendetta doesn’t haunt the Internet search leader from his grave. In his book Jobs discusses his belief that Google stole from Apple’s iPhone to build many of the features in Google’s Android software for rival phones.
Many observers thought that Apple, riding high on the success of the iPhone, had a mostly detached view of Google’s smartphone operating system, Isaacson assures 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.”
When Jobs set an appointment with executives at Google to discuss the matter directly, he 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.
Isaacson also noticed that he had never seen Jobs angrier in any of their conversations, which covered a wide variety of emotional topics during a two-year period.
Jobs used quite a rood word to express his opinion about the matter, “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 told Isaacson.
“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.”
Android now is one of the main threats to the iPhone. Although iPhone is one of the most popular and best-sold phones on the market, Android devices sold twice as well in the second quarter.
Nevertheless, Android’s market share grew 2 1/2 times to 43 percent, compared with 17 percent a year earlier. The iPhone’s grew as well, but by a smaller margin — to 18 percent, from 14 percent.
Jobs’ attack is troubled in some ways for Google. First of all, iPhone may try to derail Android in court, even if Google obtains more patent protection through its proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of phone maker Motorola Mobility Inc.
But the main danger for Google is the possibility that the Android brand can be damaged by the withering criticism of a revered figure whose public esteem seems to have risen as friends, colleagues and customers paid tribute over the past few weeks.
Moreover, Jobs’ criticisms of Google may be seen as hypocritical: some of Apple’s computing breakthroughs were based on technology developed by others. The Mac’s easy-to-use interface and its mouse controller, for instance, came out of Xerox Corp.
“Like Apple, Google is very focused on innovation and we think Eric’s insights and experience will be very valuable in helping to guide Apple in the years ahead,” Jobs said. Thereby, Jobs’ critics on can appeared to be a serious problem for Google.
The biography “Steve Jobs,” by Walter Isaacson, hit bookstores on Monday but was released earlier than expected on Apple’s iBooks online store and Amazon’s Kindle late Sunday. The book is the best-selling book on Amazon.com and is also listed as the top-selling electronic book on the company’s Kindle eBook store.
“The way things are trending, it could very likely be our top-selling book of the year,” Amazon spokeswoman Brittany Turner said in a statement. Turner did not say whether eBook versions of the biography are out-selling physical versions.
However, James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research, said that on average 50 percent of best seller books are digital and in some cases that can go as high as 70 percent. “It’s very likely for the next six months this book will outperform the physical version,” he said. [via CS Monitor, Washington Post ans The New York Times]