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Google: Jobs' Android accusations are "rewriting history"

updated 10:15 am EDT, Fri July 9, 2010

Google denies trying to kill iPhone

Google during its time at the Allen & Co. Sun Valley media conference said that Apple CEO Steve Jobs' claims about Android being a response to iPhone were spin. Co-founder Larry Page argued that Jobs' view of Android coming afterwards was a "little bit of rewriting history" and reminded guests that Google had been developing Android for a "very long time" before the iPhone was introduced in early 2007. The company had always wanted an Internet-aware phone with strong web browsing, according to Page.

"I think that [Jobs'] characterization of us entering after is not really reasonable," Page said.

The statements are largely accurate. Google acquired Android, Inc. in July 2005 at a time when it was known to be making mobile software and more than a year before Google CEO Eric Schmidt joined Apple's board. While it didn't outline its full plans until late 2007, rumors had been circulating for much of 2006 that Google was developing its own phone and later just its own OS. It's unclear whether Jobs was aware of the acquisition of Android or Google's plans for it before formally accepting advice from the executive.

Schmidt at the conference nonetheless tried to soften any perceptions of complete animosity and stressed his view that the smartphone market wasn't a zero-sum game for Apple and Google, where one had to fail for the other to succeed. Both could succeed in the same space, he said.

Whether or not the perception holds is still uncertain on its own. Android took a small share from the iPhone earlier this year, but the record-setting iPhone 4 launch and the possibility of an iPhone launch on Verizon by 2011 could undermine Google's rapid growth. Many have attributed Google's success to Apple's absence on Verizon and, to a lesser degree, other US carriers besides AT&T; the move has let Google monopolize Verizon's marketing attention and take a prominent position on Sprint and T-Mobile as well.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. NeXTLoop

    Senior User

    Joined: Aug 2002

    +20

    Except for Google's own comments...

    Where one of their VP's said that Android was a response to Jobs vision of the future of computing.

  1. Roehlstation

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +15

    That may be so, but

    Does the interface have to look so much like the iOS? Internet aware phones have been around before the iPhone, but none of them looked like an iPhone....it seems they all do now. This is where I give the Kin some credit as well, at least the hardware didn't try to look like an iPhone.

  1. anthology123

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2000

    +19

    Apple develops too

    This article states that the Android was being developed years before the iPhone was issued in 2007, but it sounds as if Apple just pulled it out of a hat in 2007. What, they don't think Apple spent years developing the iPhone, too? I guess it's hard to nail down the exact date that Apple started work on the iPhone, but they seem to make it sound like Apple copied Google's idea for a phone.

  1. c4rlob

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2009

    +6

    Apple did its homework

    Of course Apple did their homework on Google and they did their homework on carriers too. For all of AT&T's woes, the iPhone would be in far worse shape on a network as weak as Sprint and T-Mobile; and its killer apps would've been crippled by relying on a Verizon network that doesn't allow simultaneous voice and data transmission. Of course Apple could've opted to use more than one GSM carrier, but perhaps they didn't feel like sharing the spotlight with Sprint's Palm phones, or perhaps maybe only AT&T said yes. Either way, looking at the overall results and course of events I don't think anyone could wisely conclude that Apple wasn't fully prepared for where we are today.

  1. macwisdom

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2010

    +24

    Folks Think Again, Who is Rewriting History Here?

    Never mind the Newton

    Eric Schmidt was on Apples board of directors August 2006 to August 2009

    Google was founded in 1998...
    Open Handset Alliance announces Android
    November 5th, 2007

    Apple worked on the iPhone in secret ( sorta ) for 3 years before revealing it in Jan 2007

    iPhone Dev time line outlined below...

    1999

    December
    Dec 14: Apple acquires the domain name www.iphone.org, which to this day directs visitors to the main corporate page. Article
    2000


    2001

    April
    April 16: Infosync posts a photo of what many believe to be the iPhone. Forum

    In 2002, shortly after the first iPod was released, Jobs started thinking about developing a phone.

    2002

    July
    July 20: Apple CEO Steve Jobs downplays the prospect of an Apple PDA by explaining that Apple decided about 3 years ago, they felt that PDAs would eventually evolve into next generation cell phones, and that PDA's will become a smaller market. Article
    August
    Aug. 18: The New York Times discusses Apple's future plans for an Apple-branded Phone (aka iPhone): “But analysts and people close to the company say that the plan is under way and that the evidence is manifest in the features and elements of the new version of the Macintosh operating system.”Article
    Aug. 28: Wireless Week reports that Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple, and his former partner, Steve Wozniak, are said to be developing a "smart" phone in an attempt to kick-start the market for next-generation mobile phones in the same way that the company's computers popularized personal computing. Article
    September
    Sept. 11: Perhaps the first time Jobs fields the question: The International Herald Tribune interviews Steve Jobs and asks about the iPhone directly. Q: Will there be an iPhone? Jobs: "One never knows. We don't usually discuss products we haven't announced." Article
    S
    Oct. 9: T-Mobile USA CEO Robert Dotson also spoke quite favorably of Apple, singling out the Mac maker's efforts on the desktop as a "great precursor" of where he thinks the marketplace is headed with 3G, leading to speculation that T-Mobile, not Cingular, will host Apple's much-rumored iPhone project. Article
    Oct. 16: AppleInsider reports that Apple has filed for another trademark for the "iPhone" term on September 15th with "a Far Eastern trademark office.” The filing describes the iPhone as under "handheld and mobile digital electronic devices for the sending and receiving of telephone calls, faxes, electronic mail, and other digital data; MP3 and other digital format audio players." Article

    2007

    Dec. 15: Gizmodo runs a cryptic one-line report: “Gizmodo Knows: iPhone Will Be Announced On Monday I guarantee it. It isn't what I expected at all. And I've already said too much. –Brian Lam” Article
    Dec. 16: Sources report that the iPhone will be a GSM/EDGE (2.5G) phone and not a UMTS (3G) device. Apple's decision to go with 2.5G lies in the technology's advantages over 3G: physically smaller components and more reliable communication. Article

    Dec. 18: Linksys releases the iPhone, a VoIP handset with no affiliation to Apple. Cisco, which owns Linksys, has owned the trademark on iPhone since 2000 when it took over a company called Infogear, which registered the name in 1996. This iPhone was the one Gizmodo was referencing on December 15, hence the “It isn’t what I expected at all” comment. Article
    2007

    January
    Jan. 9: Steve Jobs announced the "iPhone" at MacWorld

    Open Handset Alliance announces Android
    November 5th, 2007


  1. Ryszard

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2010

    +19

    The real timeline

    The iPhone was introduced to the public on January 9th, 2007 and as others here point out, in development for years before then (while Eric Schmidt was on Apple's board and privy to Apple's strategic discussion and development progress reports).

    This is what Android OS and hardware prototypes looked like as late as November and December of 2007 (i.e., a glorified Blackberry):
    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/android-hardware-in-the-wild/google-android-prototype-in-the-wild-334909.php

    http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/12/a-visual-tour-of-androids-ui/

    It's not Apple that is rewriting history, but Google.

  1. garmonbosia

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2002

    +16

    we should remember

    that Android started out as a clone of the Windows mobile system. Jobs was more than happy to partner with Schmidt to promote an OS that was only marginally better than M$'s but was free. It was a dagger in the heart of Windows mobile and really didn't compete with Apple. But where Schmidt screwed up was by sitting on the board of Apple and having access to the new iPhone and suddenly changing the look and feel and the touch capabilities similar to Apple's product. That is directly competing with Apple and made Steve really mad. Steve doesn't like it when other people copy his s***. Can't really blame him.

  1. WaltFrench

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2003

    +1

    "...A Draconian future..."

    First, Kudos to Electronista for the most fact-filled, on-subject discussion I've seen on almost any topic, and certainly on any aspect of the smartphone wars.

    Second, for those who would like a link to Google's Vic Gundotra reciting how Google was pushing Android to counter Apple, it's about 2mins 47 seconds into this Google video, which has been viewed a quarter-million times:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89xc_1Vv69k&feature=player_embedded

    There are other clips of the same speech. Probably several million people have seen a Google exec, in mid-May, voice the exact history that Schmidt accuses Jobs of trying to invent.

    Hmmph.

  1. mytdave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2000

    0

    hogwash

    Google's the one making revisionist history here. Apple was working on iPhone development long before they shipped the product in '07. Furthermore, Android was just a knock off OS destined for Blackberry type phones. Today's phone interface, form & function was all Apple, not to mention they had an actual shipping product first, not just 'talk' or 'ideas'.

  1. ggirton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    the iPhone could use Android

    and things would basically be pretty much the same as they are now. Except there would be flash on the phone, of course. Not sure what the BFD is supposed to be, they're all pretty much the same one way or t'other.

    That's the problem when you get execs going to a ski area in the summer. Nothing better to do than shoot they doggone mouth off.

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