Mr Jobs told author Walter Isaacson that he viewed Android’s similarity to iOS as “grand theft”. Apple is suing several smartphone makers which use the Android software. Apple enjoyed a close relationship with Google prior to the launch of the Android system. Google products, including maps and search formed a key part of the iPhone’s ecosystem. At that time, Google’s chief executive, now chairman, Eric Schmidt also sat on the board of Apple.
However, relations began to sour when Google unveiled Android in November 2007, 10 months after the iPhone first appeared. In subsequent years, Apple rejected a number of Google programs from its App store, forcing the company to create less-integrated web app versions. Android has subsequently enjoyed rapid adoption and now accounts for around 48% of global smartphone shipments, compared to 19% for Apple.
Apple has waged an aggressive proxy-war against Android, suing a number of the hardware manufacturers which have adopted it for their tablets and smartphones. Motorola was one of the first to be targeted, although it is Samsung that has borne the brunt of Mr Jobs’ ire. The South Korean firm is currently banned from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia and Germany because of a combination of patent infringements and “look and feel” similarities. A smartphone ban is also pending in the Netherlands.
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