Steve Jobs never liked Android, that much has always been known. It is afterall a direct competitor to the Apple flagship product; the iPhone (and iPad).
Walter Isaacson, in his authorised biography of the recently departed Jobs sheds insight into how deep that dislike really went. An extract from his book reports Jobs as saying "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
Very passionate words from a very passionate man.
But who really stole from who?
Apple is in the process of suing several smartphone manufacturers who use the Android operating system, claiming breach of patents. Samsung, one of the biggest Android brands in the world was recently blocked from selling it's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia after Apple was granted an injunction. That case is ongoing, and Samsung are in the process of appealing that desicion, as well as filing counter-claims against Apple, involving claims that Apple stole technology created by Samsung.
But take a trip back in time, to when this all started; the original iPhone 3.
One of Apples biggest claims is that the iPhone style smartphone was their design, and all other similarly designed phones have "stolen" the idea from them. This is one of their arguments against Samsung with regards to their Galaxy Tab 10.1 and also the Galaxy S phone range. In fact, most touch screen smartphones right now tend to have the same slick style, but does that mean they all stole the idea from Apple? Absolutely not.
It's very possible that the iPhone 3 was built on a design ALREADY in use by Samsung on their F700 smartphone (seen below).
The F700 was first introduced in 2006 and went on sale in early 2007. The iPhone 3, using the allegedly Apple designed style was released on the market in mid 2007, almost 5 months AFTER the Samsung F700.
A report on the F700 vs iPhone 3 goes into a little depth about the style of the 2 phones. Both have similar style, both have touch screens, both have a single button and both have an icon display using a grid layout.
So who stole from who? The article best sums it up by saying: "The answer: no one is stealing from anyone. Apple didn’t invent icons, nor did they invent the grid in which they sit. They didn’t invent the rectangle. They didn’t invent the touchscreen. They surely didn’t invent the nice looking button sitting at the bottom. And last, but not least, they didn’t invent phones."
Could Samsung file charges against Apple for the very thing Apple are accusing them of doing? Where does this end? Could Ford take Toyota to court for breach of design because their cars use 4 wheels and an engine? Where does the line between an original design and fair game start and finish?
And then there is the story of Greg Hughes, a third-year computer science student who contacted Apple in May 2010 about an iPhone app he created; a wireless sync system that would allow your phone to sync with iTunes wirelessly. Apple rejected the idea claiming it was a security risk, so Hughes has been selling his app for the last year on Cydia, an online store for "jailbroken" phones.
When Apple recently launched iOS5, WIFI Sync was one of the big selling points that Apple has pimped the hell out of.
Greg Hughes was shocked and upset with the news about the Sync on iOS5. "I'd been selling my app with that name and icon for a year. Apple knew about it as I'd submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that they had pinched it for iOS 5.” Greg Hughes is getting legal advice on the issue and plans to follow this up. "At the end of the day you have to stand up and defend your work," he said.
From hardware to software, Apple have been very outspoken about other companies stealing their ideas, yet it appears that Apple may not be entirely innocent themselves.
Dear Pot, meet Kettle!