Dropbox CEO claims Steve Jobs vowed to ‘kill’ Dropbox with iCloud

“Dropbox founder and CEO Drew Houston knew he’d arrived with his cloud storage and syncing service when Apple Inc. was interested in talking about an acquisition,” Brian Jackson reports for IT Business Canada. “Not interested in selling the firm, he told late Apple CEO Steve Jobs as much, but Jobs was still interested in a meeting.”

“Jobs struck Houston as a straight talker. He told him he returned to Apple because he was frustrated that a company that convinced customers to pay a total of $7 billion a year to use their products could still lose $1 billion,” Reed reports. “But he was also direct with Houston, telling him that if he couldn’t acquire his startup, was going to come after Dropbox.”

“Six months after that meeting, Houston was watching a Jobs keynote and saw him make good on that promise,” Reed reports. “‘He was calling out by name and saying he wants to kill us with iCloud,’ Houston said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Where did Jobs vow to kill Dropbox during his iCloud unveiling?


  1. If they want to hurt dropbox they need to add and iCloud folder to the finder. Let us decide how to drop in and delete stuff as easy as the other cloud services all offer in most cases FREE. I believe that alone is a major factor in iCloud not being a threat.

  2. Nah, that’s bullshit. Had he wanted to “kill Dropbox” he would have – and he would have done it by making a service that did everything Dropbox could and more. Jobs made a different cloud service.

    If Apple wanted to kill Dropbox it could do so tomorrow. It’s a pretty simple service.

    1. Just like they killed android? Apples bark was/is definitely worse than it’s bite. They elude to destroying the competition or going thermal nuclear on a competitor but all they really do is make slightly less appealing products to compete because they refuse to relent on their arrogance which prevents them from lessening their control only slightly and give users some features that they really want. Then they make statements at keynotes or in interviews or even in the office that then get leaked which only make them look like whining jerks. Bigger screen sizes, being able to see files in iCloud, some type of finder in iOS, setting default apps other than apples on iOS, glanceable information (dashboard for iOS) are all examples of things customers have been asking for and many times very publicly but go on deaf ears at Apple. iTunes Radio, iTunes Match, iCloud, iWork, iWork in the cloud, Maps, heck even ‘multitasking’ (until finally in ios7) are all examples of them attempting to compete with an offering that has less features than it’s competitors. Then they make comments about the competition that make them sound like douche bags. This is annoying as someone who does enjoy some of their products; being affiliated with a company that act like douche bags. What’s even worse though than all of this is the fact that we know apple could fully compete and actually has it in their DNA to blow the competition out of the water however their pride is preventing them to do so.

  3. Trying to build cred, instead of just blowing hot air, they could put that much more effort on their product that seems to be doing well inspite of iCloud. Looks like he wants to go down history and ridiculed just like Michael Dell.

  4. Signs of dementia and paranoia:

    CEO Drew Houston: “He was calling out by name and saying he wants to kill us with iCloud”

    I would have LOVED if Apple/Jobs had enabled iCloud to do as much or more than Dropbox. I’d PAY Apple to do as much or more than Dropbox. I’d consolidate all my cloud storage into iCloud if it could do as much or more than Dropbox.

    But iCloud can’t. Beats me why! But it can’t. So I also use both Box and Dropbox to fill out what iCloud doesn’t.

    1. Not sure why either. Though I have a sense that they haven’t built the team that aggressively wants to dominate that space. Looking at the setbacks from MobileMe days, how did they correct? New talent? Not sure. Maybe that was Steve’s plan with Dropbox!

      Sure Apple’s been serving up the internet since 199x in a real nice machine, but the cloud as software isn’t quite there (yet).

      Though, it fits my needs fine, with some supplement from Dropbox. (Just an average consumer)

  5. Can’t remember which keynote it was when Steve Jobs claimed that significant numbers of people couldn’t handle a file system, but I think the Apple approach has been less attractive since then. iCloud is fine, good even, for things like contacts and Photostream. But I find its (non)folder system and the idiosyncratic way it works with productivity software a nuisance.
    Dropbox, for me, is streets ahead in that respect.
    If Apple ever aimed to kill it or other services like it by moving folks away from their folders systems it looks as if it has been less than successful so far.

  6. “Drew Houston claimed”

    Yeah it sounds like bullshit since these two services are vastly different. iCloud serves to promote Mac hardware, whereas Dropbox is freemium, and obviously available on all platforms. I’m sure if Apple wanted to go that route, they could, and no Mac users would ever need to use Dropbox. These things don’t really compete.

    iCloud, as a storage locker (for example), sucks ass. It doesn’t work that way. iCloud stores files in little compartments for each app that you use. Totally different.

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