Apple has been very critical and bitter of Google’s Android platform. This was manifest at a number of occasions when Steve Jobs expressed his willingness to go a long way against Android. However, Google’s Larry Page has now stated that Apple’s differences with Android were only for a show – kind of to deliberately creation an illusion to keep it focused.
The words of Google’s CEO Larry Page do carry a lot of weight in this regard. Digging through the Apple vs Android debate, Page was of the view that Apple’s opposition to Android was only an act of creating an opponent so as to rally themselves around better. Speaking to BusinessWeek, he stated, ‘I think that served their interests. For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better.’
Whereas this seems quite possible and given Google’s close involvement with Apple in the past years, it did surprise a lot of us when Apple went full on against Android. In fact, it would be surprising for some to know that Google’s Eric Schmidt was once on Apple’s board of directors, a position from which he resigned briefly after Android was launched.
However, the other side of the story seems equally compelling. Steve Jobs criticism of Android wasn’t that of a mild nature. In an interview to Walt Isaacscon, the author who wrote his biography, Jobs said, ‘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.’
There is also the possibility that Page is simply down-playing something real since Jobs is no longer around and Page didn’t want to make things sound too bad. But for now, we will take his word on this.
Image courtesy BusinessWeek.