In response to critical comments offered by Steve Jobs in Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography, Google chairman Eric Schmidt has spoken out, claiming that Google’s Android platform actually came before the iPhone.
Jobs called Android a “stolen product,” and said he’d go to any lengths necessary to defeat Android, “I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” I suppose he may have had good reason for saying that, given Schmidt’s claims.
Reuters reports that Schmidt, speaking to Korean reporters, said “I’ve decided not to comment on what’s been written on a book after his death. Steve is a fantastic human being and someone who I miss very dearly. As a general comment, I think most people would agree Google is a great innovator, and I would also point out that the Android effort started before the iPhone effort.”
Define “Android effort,” Mr. Schmidt. Google technically acquired Android from Andy Rubin in 2005, but the software did not appear in an actual finished product until 2008. It’s also unclear exactly how “finished” Android was when they acquired it in 2005.
Besides, it doesn’t matter who started working on their system first (and Schmidt likely has no way of knowing how long Apple was thinking about the iPhone), it only matters who released their product first.
Schmidt’s declaration that “the Android effort started first” is a childish claim that Schmidt actually has no way of verifying, and does not in any way indicate that Google is responsible for the innovative thinking that created today’s modern smartphones.
Grow up, Mr. Schmidt. Grow up.