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Steve Jobs Was Ready to Go "Thermonuclear" on Android Threat

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In the new biography of Steve Jobs written by Walter Isaacson, Jobs is quoted as stating that Android's use of Apple's ideas equated to "grand theft," and that Jobs was "willing to go thermonuclear war on this."

steve-jobs-book-walter-isaacsonJobs made no secret of his dislike for the Android operating system, but the true extent of his anger wasn't apparent until Walter Isaacson – Jobs's biographer – tapped into the topic. In addition to the claims that Android's use of iPad and iPhone ideas was "grand theft" and that "thermonuclear war" was a viable solution, Jobs directly indicated that he was willing to lose money in the process of destroying Android.

As reported by the Associated Press, Jobs stated, "I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank to right this wrong." He even stood against any possibility of settlement, reportedly telling Google Chairman (then CEO) Eric Schmidt that, "If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money."

His objective, as he told it to Schmidt, was to have Android "stop using our ideas." However, Jobs stated it a different way to Isaacson: "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product."

Jobs had previously made public statements about Android's breach of what he perceived to be intellectual property. As Jobs told the BBC, "If Apple doesn't want the iPhone and iPad to be marginalized the way it happened to the Macintosh at the hands of the Wintel duopoly, it has to use the full force of its intellectual property to fend off the commoditization threat that Android represents."

Jobs's vendetta against Android began when the first HTC Android phone was released in the beginning of 2010. Describing his response to the release, Jobs reportedly became livid and went on an "expletive-filled rant" to Isaacson.

The biography written by Isaacson is simply titled "Steve Jobs" and is available today and is already the No. 1 book on Amazon.com.

The biography comes less than three weeks after Jobs's death, on October 5. Jobs was 56 when he passed away after an 8-year fight with pancreatic cancer. He retired from Apple, where he'd been working in short stints between medical leaves, on August 24. Apple's lawsuits against Android and Android hardware manufacturers continue.

"60 Minutes" aired an interview with Isaacson last night.


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