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.