(Reuters) - A new biography of late Apple Inc
co-founder Steve Jobs hit book stores Monday, offering
arguably the most comprehensive, insightful look to date at the
life and times of the revered technology visionary.
Below are key excerpts from the tome, penned by Walter
Isaacson, relating to Apple and Jobs' sometimes stormy, often
difficult relationship with Silicon Valley, partners and
rivals, and how Jobs communicated his key business beliefs.
JOBS' RESIGNATION AS CEO:
Jobs was wheeled into a board meeting on August 24, 2011,
the day he handed Apple's reins to Tim Cook.
As Jobs' health deteriorated, he wrestled with the decision
for weeks, discussing it with his wife, board member Bill
Campbell, design chief Jonathan Ive and attorney George Riley.
When he finally made up his mind, arrangements were made to
have him driven to 1 Infinite Loop and wheeled into the
boardroom as secretly as possible.
"One of the things I wanted to do for Apple was to set an
example of how do you transfer power right," Jobs told
Isaacson. He added later that evening that his hope was to
remain as active as his health allowed.
MAKING AN ENEMY OUT OF GOOGLE INC:
Isaacson's account of Jobs' blow-up over Google's entry
into the smartphone market underscores the subsequent animosity
he bore toward former Apple board member Eric Schmidt.
Jobs felt betrayed because Google founders Larry Page and
Sergey Brin had treated him very much as a mentor. In 2008, he
got into a shouting match with the pair, as well as with
Android chief Andy Rubin, at Google's headquarters.
Jobs had offered Google an icon or two on the iPhone's home
page; but in January 2010, HTC released a phone with
multi-touch and other iPhone-like features that prompted Jobs
"Our lawsuit is saying, 'Google, you f***ing ripped off the
iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.' Grand theft. I will spend my
last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of
Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm
willing to go to thermonuclear war on this," Jobs told Isaacson
the week after the suit was filed.
"They are scared to death, because they know they are
guilty. Outside of Search, Google's products -- Android, Google
Docs -- are s***."
Schmidt met with Jobs for coffee days later, but Jobs
remained enraged and nothing was resolved.
"We've got you red-handed," Jobs told Schmidt. "I'm not
interested in settling. I don't want your money, If you offer
me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money. I
want you to stop using our ideas in Android."
ON APPLE'S INTEGRATED APPROACH:
Jobs' infuriation stemmed partly from a fundamental
conflict between Android's open-source approach and his own
belief in a closed, carefully controlled ecosystem.
"We do these things not because we are control freaks," he
Addressing users' concerns, he said: "They are busy doing
whatever it is they do best, and they want us to do what we do
best. Their lives are crowded; they have other things to do
than think about how to integrate their computers and
"Look at the results -- Android's a mess .... We do it not
to make money. We do it because we want to make great products,
not crap like Android."
FLASH TIRADE GOT PERSONAL
Jobs' well-known tirade against Adobe Systems Inc's Flash
multimedia software may have had its roots in the 1980s. Apple
had invested in Adobe in 1985 and they collaborated to
popularize desktop publishing.
But in 1999, Jobs -- after returning to Apple -- had asked
Adobe to make its video-editing software available for the new
iMac but the company refused, focusing instead on Microsoft
Windows. Soon after, founder John Warnock retired.
"I helped put Adobe on the map," Jobs told Isaacson. "The
soul of Adobe disappeared when Warnock left. He was the
inventor, the person I related to. It's been a bunch of suits
since then, and the company has turned out crap."
APPLE'S CONTROL OVER APPS, AND CENSORSHIP
Isaacson describes an exchange with Ryan Tate, editor of
the tech gossip site Valleywag, that offers glimpses into Jobs'
steadfast belief in carefully curating the types of
applications available for downloading on the iPhone.
Tate emailed Jobs decrying Apple's heavy-handedness and
asked: "If (Bob) Dylan was 20 today, how would he feel about
your company ... Would he think the iPad had the faintest thing
to do with 'revolution'? Revolutions are about freedom."
According to Tate, Jobs replied after midnight: "Yep ...
freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom
from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep,
freedom. The times they are a changin', and some traditional PC
folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is."
When Tate mentioned pornography was just fine with him and
his wife, Jobs got snarky. "You might care about porn when you
have kids. ... By the way, what have you done that's so great?
Do you create anything, or just criticize others' work and
belittle their motivations."
Tate told Isaacson he was impressed by Jobs' willingness to
spar one-on-one with bloggers and customers.
ANTENNAGATE ... AND REED
"Antennagate" -- a faulty iPhone 4 antenna design that
caused occasional dropped calls -- received a mountain of
publicity, and Jobs came out publicly to acknowledge the
mistake and announce a fix. But one little-known incident came
to light in Isaacson's book.
Jobs, alerted to the possible defect while in Hawaii, first
became defensive, then anguished in a conversation with
director Art Levinson. Jobs brushed him off. But where Levinson
failed, then-COO Tim Cook prevailed -- by quoting someone as
saying Apple was becoming the new Microsoft.
"Let's get to the bottom of this," Jobs apparently said the
next day. After reviewing AT&T Inc data, he realized there was
indeed a problem and flew back from Hawaii, while marshaling
his defenses: public relations guru Regis McKenna, admen Lee
Clow and James Vincent -- and his son Reed, then a high-school
"I'm going to be in meetings 24/7 for probably two days and
I want you to be in every single one because you'll learn more
in those two days than you would in two years at business
school," Jobs said he told his son. "You're going to be in the
room with the best people in the world making really tough
decisions and get to see how the sausage is made."
THE NEW 'SPACESHIP' HQ PLAN:
Jobs' wanted a showcase headquarters, something that no
West Coast technology company had, according to the biography.
To achieve that, Jobs hired the architectural firm of Norman
Foster, which he considered to be the best in the world.
The final design resembled a spaceship, a four-story,
circular building with a massive interior courtyard on a
150-acre piece of landscaped land. The design was finalized
after multiple iterations as Jobs got very involved in the
planning, both in the vision and details.
Foster's firm assigned 50 architects to the team, and every
three weeks throughout 2010 they showed Jobs revised models and
options, Isaacson wrote.
The building was initially shaped like a winding race-track
made of three joined semicircles around a large central
courtyard. But when Jobs showed off the design to Reed, the
teenager joked that the aerial view reminded him of male
genitalia. While Jobs dismissed his remarks as reflecting the
mind-set of a teenager, he did mention it to the architects.
"Unfortunately, once I've told you that, you're never going
to be able to erase that image from your mind," he said.
The shape was then modified to a simple circle.
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