In an interview with Businesweek’s Brad Stone, Larry Page:
I think the Android differences were actually for show. […] I think that served their interests. For a lot of companies, itâ€™s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that.
Why would Apple rally its iPhone efforts around Android? That sounds brain-dead. Karen Haslam, MacWorld UK:
Isaacson continued: â€œIt’s almost copied verbatim by Android. And then they licence it around promiscuously. And then Android starts surpassing Apple in market share, and this totally infuriated him. It wasn’t a matter of money. He said: ‘You can’t pay me off, I’m here to destroy you’.â€
To be even more clear, here’s what Jobs told Isaacson in Steve Jobs:
â€œOur lawsuit is saying, â€˜Google, you fucking ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.â€™ Grand theft. I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Appleâ€™s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. Iâ€™m going to destroy Android, because itâ€™s a stolen product. Iâ€™m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death, because they know they are guilty. Outside of Search, Googleâ€™s products â€” Android, Google Docs â€” are shit.â€
That’s as clear as you can get: Steve Jobs wanted Android annihilated.