Steve Jobs was no fan of former Android chief Andy Rubin, according to new book

November 12, 2013

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Steve Jobs was not fond of Android. He considered it a copycat of Apple's iOS platform, and infamously declared war on all things Android. That sentiment evidently carried all the way to the top of Android, as a recent book reveals that Jobs was no fan of Android founder, and former chief, Andy Rubin.

In Fred Vogelstein’s new book Dogfight: How Apple and google went to war and started a revolution, Jobs reportedly told friends he felt Andy Rubin was a “big, arrogant f**k.” The book went on to detail how shocked the Android team was when the iPhone came out, and how advanced it ended up being. While they knew it was coming, they had no idea it would be as robust as it was. According to one Android engineer, the consensus shared amongst the team was “what we had looked so ... nineties”. Rubin was in a cab in Las Vegas, watching a livestream of the iPhone launch event. He made the driver pull over so he could watch, and reportedly said “Holy crap, I guess we're not going to launch that phone.”

The Android team eventually built what we saw on the HTC G1, which Jobs was unhappy with, saying he felt it was a “ripoff” of iOS. In a meeting with Larry Page, Alan Eustace, Andy Rubin, and iOS guru Scott Forstall, Jobs reportedly lobbed personal jabs at Rubin. Between saying Rubin was trying to emulate him in every way (down to the haircut and glasses), Jobs also demanded Android make changes to avoid problems with Apple moving forward.

Page and Eustace agreed with Jobs, leaving Rubin on the brink of leaving Google altogether. He didn’t, of course, and Android went on to steamroll the mobile OS space. Rubin is now gone from Android, and working on other things with Google. Jobs, who also once said "good artists copy, great artists steal", passed away in 2011.

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  • digi_owl

    I guess it takes one to know one.

    But i do agree with Jobs for once, Rubin did seem like a Jobs clone in many ways. I suspect it was Rubin that insisted that Android was for phones and not tablets, even tho the basic Android design was flexible enough to handle both even at launch. End result was that Google handed Apple a head start by refusing to certify any device that didn’t have a mobile network radio built in.

  • Jason

    ” Jobs reportedly told friends he felt Andy Rubin was a “big, arrogant f**k.””

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black….

  • Cory Wilson

    Yep, android was designed to be a button os, and no doubt Google copied Apple in those regards. But who cares is my thoughts. Unless its blatant copying like Samsung does, the whole tech industry is based on stealing an idea, improving it, and making it yours. In fact that’s exactly what apple has always done. They didn’t invent the desktop PC, they stole it, improved it, made it theirs. The same can be said about the MP3 player, smartphone, and tablet computer. But whose complaining?

    Tech companies just like to waste money in courts I guess.

    • digi_owl

      Humanity’s history is basically about copying and improving ideas.

      It is only with the industrial revolution that we got things like patents to much up the works. And even then they were not so bad until some asshat US judges managed to apply them to software. End result is that some company can sit on a software patent for 20 years, a glacial length of time in a industry that can change drastically in a quarter of that time.

  • anon

    Sick and tired of hearing about Steve Blowjobs now. He’s dead, can we move on?