During a briefing at this weeks Allen & Co’s Sun Valley conference, Google co-founder Larry Page accused Apple CEO Steve Jobs of re-writing the history of Android to make it appear as if Google decided to go after the iPhone out of the blue and out of sheer malice. On the contrary, Page notes that Google began working on Android long before Apple even released the iPhone.
“We had been working on Android a very long time, with the notion of producing phones that are Internet enabled and have good browsers and all that because that did not exist in the marketplace. I think that characterization of us entering after [the iPhone was introduced] is not really reasonable.”
Fair enough, and Google did in fact purchase Android back in 2005. At the same time, Google isn’t above re-writing history itself. At the Google I/O conference back in May, Google stated that it brought Android to the market to prevent Apple from attaining to much power.
“If we did not act, we faced a draconian future. Where one man, one company, one carrier was the future.”
Also of note is that prior to the launch of the G1, Jobs and Scott Forstall had in fact seen Android prototypes that looked more like BlackBerrys than anything else. The form factor of the G1, however, was eerily too similar to the iPhone for Jobs’ liking, according to a former Apple employee.