Apple’s deteriorating relationship with Google is a running theme ‘In the Plex,’ Steven Levy’s new book

“One of the first details to leak out of In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives — the new page-turner about Google released Tuesday — was that when Larry Page and Sergey Brin were pressed to hire a CEO, Steve Jobs was their first choice,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “But Steven Levy — who had previously chronicled the creation of the Mac (Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything) and the iPod (The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness) — has lots more to say about the relationship of Apple and Google in his latest book.”

Among the highlights:
Android’s OS becomes more iPhone-like: “It took a while for Jobs to understand that Google was becoming a competitor… By 2008, however, the trajectories of the two companies, at least with respect to phones, was less a merger than an impending collision.”

• Android: “As he learned more about how the benign competitor he had envisioned was actually a full-blown alternative to the iPhone, Jobs became increasingly upset. … From all accounts, Jobs prided himself as a canny observer, not only of business but also of human character, and he did not want to admit — especially to himself — that he had been betrayed by the two young men he had been attempting to mentor… In the summer of 2008, Jobs ventured to Mountain View to personally judge the extent of the violation. He was reportedly furious. Not only did he believe that Google had performed a bait and switch on him… but he also felt Google had stolen Apple’s intellectual property to do so.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

27 Comments

    1. Google has moles in every nooks and corners. It has burrows itself inside the Obama administration and has a cosy relationship with the security apparatus of the state.

    1. It’s called Apps in the post-PC world. Instead of a benign shift, a new paradigm has been created. Google can only watch as their bread and butter engine is quickly being rendered obsolete, and nothing they can do but to join the party.

      Right now, their entire future is hanging by the small thread/strategy/gamble that future users on the go, will put up with Ad supported content for much longer. All mobile platform are now also rendered young, and none but Apple may claim in the first upper hand. Google and MS will have to wrest it away, and there aren’t any gimmies. Unless, of course, you can buy a few moles, I’d say that’s the only best strategy going forward. Bloodbath indeed.

      1. Google certainly isn’t sitting around wondering if ad revenue is going to keep them alive.

        They are working double time to be a major presence in “the cloud” and are making major inroads.

        They sell services and software directly to the enterprise.
        They offer ‘cloud’ services and are integrating multiple applications together.

        They offer a lot of services and ‘cloud’ based information management to the enterprise. You can use google apps and integrate their services into your existing corporate directory. I’m sorry but that’s awesome.

        They also sell information, or raw data and they provide the delivery mechanism in many cases: My company just payed them a boat load to get very specialized data from a custom build of Google Earth.

        Android itself is tightly tied to google and google is able to pull all sorts of information from Android. You can’t use android without data touching google in some way or form. They also make it very easy to integrate all of your data on Android with Google’s software services.

        Honestly after having both an iPhone and an android phone I can say that Google has done a better job of integrating Android into the ‘cloud’ than Apple has done with iOS at this point.

        Google is setting itself up to be a big provider of ‘information’ and ‘information services’ to governments, companies and individuals and they have some solid products.

        I’m not saying they will bury Apple or anyone else, I just wouldn’t write off Google as some half @ss competitor cause they are putting big things together on many fronts, and much like apple the stuff ‘just works’.

        1. Maybe you’ve missed the point that Google’s current model is under threat (as the OP had hoped for), and as you have painstakingly tried to explain, they’re busy at work thinking up future strategies (cloud, mobile and everything in between). Regardless of the outcome, once you’re forced to enter a new paradigm, you run the risk of entering a level playing field (as opposed to, say, a monopoly on search before the modern mobile world). In other words, spin t any way you wish, but disadvantage Google.

          1. Maybe you don’t get the obvious here.

            Google isn’t being forced into a new paradigm, they are one of the companies that is pushing it!

            The stuff I talked about isn’t even things are they planning, that is what they are doing right now.

  1. as an aapl and goog investor (stopped buying goog when android came out: since then aapl about tripled, goog sort of flat) this is what I think Google should have done:

    not deploy Android. Google guy would still be on Apple’s board. Google and Apple joined at hip : Google search and services default on iOS. Google would have inside track of Apple the most innovative tech company on earth.

    (currently Google makes about 1 billion a year in mobile, about half from iOS. Apple will make about 50 b from mobile)

    Google would have saved a ton on R&D. Could have held Android as a ‘threat’ to stop apple from ever choosing to drop Google for Bing etc.

    IOS would have iPod like domination and Google would now be sitting pretty.

    INSTEAD now some Android devices are being loaded with Bing, Yahoo and Baidu by OEMS. Android hijacked for variants like OMS that don’t run Google search or Apps.

    Google Greed hurt both companies?

    Then AGAIN maybe it’s some DEVIOUS PLOT by Google/Apple : now with Android Apple avoids Charges of Monopoly, unfair competition etc from FTC, European Union (that smacked Microsoft) and STILL apple takes about 40% of world cell phone profits and the old guard Nokia etc in disarray.

    1. Not to mention, Apple is merely placing all the chips where Google Apps will be bested, or rendered unnecessary on the iOS. You know, it’s easy if you redefine your privacy policy on an any given Tuesday morning. I’d like to see the monopoly abuse watchers on the Google payroll win over the consumers voting with their wallets.

      Future has been decided, and Check has been mated.

    2. Google is desperate to break out of the one trick pony they became with advertising. So desperate in fact, they copied Apple. I’m guessing they took a page out of Micro$haft’s playbook. By having Eric T. Mole there, they got a huge head start over Micro$haft in copying iPhone. Good news is that it forced Micro$haft to delay even longer their backward upside down version of mobile.

      The jury is still out, but I just see android as a cost center and Google more dependent than ever on advertising. I think Apple will just kick Android’s but in the tablet space though. So Apple keep the pedal to the metal on iPad. Between Apple’s technology advance and huge influence in the supply chain, Apple is well positioned to compete very aggressively at all pricepoints for the iPad. I pray Apple doesn’t leave any uncovered corner of the market for Google and their co-conspirators to hide.

  2. “he also felt Google had stolen Apple’s intellectual property”

    which begs the question: why hasn’t Apple taken Google to court over this? As an Apple shareholder, I’m incensed!

    1. There are a couple of reasons why Apple can’t directly sue Google. First Google makes no profit directly from the sale of Android so profits cannot be enjoined as part of any damage award, so legally what can Apple hope to effectively and efficiently gain from the employment of it’s legal resources in this case. The second is it’s not a direct copy IOS is a subset of MAC OSX done in C++ code. Android is base on Java Script and works across a fragmented series of hardware platforms. Apple has been through this already with the original Mac operating system vs Microsoft windows. We all know the out come of that Microsoft created a mirror image operating system and the Judge said OK good enough claim denied to Apple. Apple has to be careful how it treads here with so called conservative judges that claim they wish to protect intellectual property and preserve marketplace competition at the same time. It all depends on how the patents are interpreted and whether they were written to cover the device in the broadest sense.

      1. Dude, you should be careful saying stuff like ‘The second is it’s not a direct copy IOS is a subset of MAC OSX done in C++ code. Android is base on Java Script’ when you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about. iOS is based on OS X but largely written in Objective C. And Android isn’t written in JavaScript (which is a language used primarily in web browsers) but Java for apps, and a mix of C/C++ on top of the Linux 2.6 kernel.

  3. Interesting to guess what will happen as the 37 patent lawsuits against Android OS and handsets work their way through the legal digestive system. Guess that’s why Google, with little mobile IP of their own, made a starting bid close to $1B for Nortel’s patent portfolio. Jerks.

    I wonder if Bill Campbell has weighed in on this. Close friend of Jobs, on the Apple board, and also credited as the one who convinced Page and Brin they could make a business out of their search formulae.

  4. Steve, Steve, Steve….*sigh* …First Bill Gates then these two wanna-bes. Stop trusting these guys you co-exist with in tech. When you have the best stuff, people want to take it. That’s a fact. These won’t be the last of the thieves either.

    Steve, you gotta keep those invisible force fields UP!

  5. Because Mr. Jobs is sometimes too trusting. He doesn’t realize that the sleaziest business people out there can be really good liars. Congratulations Google. You are now at the top, and elbow to elbow with Microsoft as douche bags in the tech/business world.

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