Google's Larry Page Claims Steve Jobs' War on Android Was 'For Show'
In a new interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page claims that Steve Jobs' war on Android was "for show", a move that served as a rallying point for Apple and its employees.
I think the Android differences were actually for show. I had a relationship with Steve. I wouldn’t say I spent a lot of time with him over the years, but I saw him periodically. [...]
I think [the fury around Android] served their interests. For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that.
Page goes on to claim that he believes companies should not be looking at their competitors and instead should simply be doing their best to improve the world.
Jobs had mentored Page and Sergey Brin in Google's early days, and Jobs reportedly requested a meeting with Page last year after Page took over as CEO. According to Page, the two discussed the business of running a company during that amicable meeting. But Jobs made clear in his authorized biography that he intended to "destroy Android", threatening to wage "thermonuclear war" in an attempt to bring down what he viewed as a stolen mobile platform.
At least publicly, Page suggests that Jobs' position was somewhat more nuanced, with the two able to maintain a relationship while Jobs' anger toward Android included a bit of posturing to keep the rapidly-growing competitor at the forefront of Apple's attention.