“I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
The point isn’t whether he said it or not. Nor is it whether it is admissable in court (it is).
“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.”
The real issue with Apple versus Android is a much more important point about their underlying business model. Both rely on market dominance. Some may call it an abuse of a dominant position. I prefer to call it the “give away” model.
Here is Google’s version: “we spend millions developing a cutting edge telephone OS. We give it away to any phone manufacturer that wants to use it. Guess what? Android phones are cheaper that way! We spend billions buying companies and developing Google Maps. We give it away for free and even include navigation in Android phones. Who cares if we destroy an entire industry, it’s not our industry! We spend billions buying, developing and running YouTube, Gmail and loads of other services. You know what? You can have them all for free! And everyone along the chanel can do what they please and make money anyway they see fit. All we ask of you is that you click on an advert now and then on Google search, YouTube, Gmail or wherever else we put one in front of you.”
And Apple’s version: “We spend millions selectively buying cool companies or those that have developed some technology we need because we don’t really invent anything. We package them as cool as we can and charge as much as we can. We squeeze everyone in our supply and distribution channel dry. We drop prices or add features only when the competition forces us or Steve Jobs isn’t around to persuade Apple fans that whatever we have done is cool.”
Put that way, which phone OS do you think is heading for global dominance? The philosophy of free with Android extends to apps of course. Forget Apple style scaremongery about locked devices. Rooting an Android phone is almost included in the package and applications that unlock any app you find are almost automatic. Android 5.0 might include a “crack that app” in the OS…
Steve Jobs was right to feel threatened about Android. Not because they “stole” some iPhone features. He, of all people, knew very well that the iPhone was never about features. It is Google’s business model that is the real threat. If Apple wants to beat Android it should be spending it’s money not on law suites, but on buying more companies with new features to give away. They have done it before in other sectors when they felt desperate. Apple’s involvement in the digital video is a good example. Final Cut came out of nowhere to become the darling of a new movement (it’s always a “revolution” or a “movement” with Apple, isn’t it?) mainly through features they added by buying up companies. Buy a company that makes a 4000 dollar color management software and throw it in the next version….
The real problem with Google’s threat however for Apple, is that Google hasn’t got to worry about hardware. Chinese workers killing themselves, the cost of components and copycats will find it hard to beat Google at its game. Not even Microsoft has managed to mount a credible threat to its search monopoly. Facebook’s floppy IPO shows just how little anyone really believes that sexy newcomers, no matter how big, can really effect Google.