Isaacson to Page: Show? No. War, Thermonuclear War.

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, it’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: “It’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’.”

To be even more clear, here’s what Jobs told Isaacson in Steve Jobs:

“Our lawsuit is saying, ‘Google, you fucking 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 going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death, because they know they are guilty. Outside of Search, Google’s products — Android, Google Docs — are shit.”

That’s as clear as you can get: Steve Jobs wanted Android annihilated.