And the plot thickens.

The battle between Android and the iPhone has raged for years, with it being unveiled in his recent biography that Steve Jobs was planning to wage “thermonuclear war” on Google and Android. The heat felt between the two companies stems from the fact that Apple confided in Google in the early years of the iPhone’s development before Android was released. Steve Jobs felt that Google stole Apple’s ideas, calling Android “grand theft.”

According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Android doesn’t copy the iPhone at all. Why? Because Android was started before the iPhone…

While in South Korean press conference today, Schmidt was asked about Jobs’ opinion in the bio about Android stealing from Apple. Schmidt said:

“I decided not to comment on comments that are written in the book after his death. I don’t think it’s right…Most people would agree that Google is a great innovator, and I would also point out that the Android efforts started before the iPhone efforts. And that’s all I have to say.”

As AllThingsD points out, Android was indeed founded in 2003 and acquired by Google in 2005. The iPhone didn’t debut until 2007. Apple clearly began work on the iPhone long before then, but no one knows exactly when the times overlap.

What do you think? Who copied whom?

  • Anonymous

    good point. i will be throwing my iDevice in the trash as soon as i get home. friggin copy cats

    • Hey it says they worked on the Iphone long before the android came out technically somehow google got info on iOS and tweaked it here and there to make it seem original

  • I don’t know if I should cry or laugh at this. Schmidt and Google should be ashamed. “And that’s all I have to say”.

  • Point of the matter is, the android design dramatically changed once iOS design was made public. Once android was released it had an uncanny resemblance to iOS. They were first alright, they first to copy as well.

  • Wojciech Zaremba

    Sorry but Android prototype was a copy of BlackBerry until iPhone was revealed. Then, suddenly, Android appeared to be an iPhone copy! So no, Google does not copy Apple. Google copies everyone who has a good idea.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t care. But I seriously think that the whole patent right in the modern world is a thing that slows down the growth in technological and medical knowledge.

  • Anonymous

    As mark zuckerburg stole the Facebook idea, so did Steve jobs. Great founders aren’t inventors. They’re robbers. Kudos to google.

  • Anonymous

    Everybody copies everybody.

  • omG who gives a fuck??? this are fucking mobile phones,i have an iphone and love it because all the free apps and games in installous and apptrackr and thats it,i dont care who was first who likes android more OK like it more it’s your phone,why would i tell you it’s crap and all stuf?!?!?your money your taste your phone.i would also change to android if it would have so much free and cool apps,WHY??!? because in reality android phones are BETTER,better camera better browser,better screens(all apple fan boys will say nah 3.5 is perfectly you can operate your phone with one hand blah blah but they where so desperete when apple anounced this fucking 4s xD)A MILION TIMES BETTER HARDWARE BUT THEY DON’T HAVE iOS AND ALL THIS APPS thats the only problem

  • what a joke! no wonder why Steve wanted to go thermonuclear on google…

  • honestly i prefer apple over anything but i think apple did copy android just the same as the notifications center given the fact that its not exactly the same yet better but still beleive idea was stolen from android then twisted around

  • Anonymous

    Not another chick or egg first argument

  • Albert Nguyen

    If there were the first they would of release it before apple sounds like crap to me.

  • Who Gives A Fuck If Somebody Copies Something?

    iOS copied notification center from Android in iOS 5.
    Google copied Facebook with Google+
    iOS copied WP7 Facebook intergration but went went with Twitter.
    Everybody copies Everyone.
    Everyone relies on everyone else.
    No Samsung, no A4 and A5 chips.
    No Sony, no camera.
    No Google, no Google Maps, Youtube, and Google search.
    No Microsoft, little iPhone, iPad, and iPod users, because everyone knows that Windows OS’s are the most popular.
    No Apple, No iTunes, iPhones, iPods, iPads.

    • this guys got it!!!!

    • Please refrain from using foul language in the comment section of iDB. Thank you.

    • Anonymous

      Actually YouTube was founded and google was no part of it. Google acquired YouTube years after it came out. So no google, yes YouTube.

  • Kiel Wallace

    All the copying comments are disingenuous.

    Aspects are borrowed all around.

    Microsoft and Apple both copied Xerox giving us various incantations of the modern GUI.

    Apple ‘borrowed’ ideas from the jailbreak community, notification center from Android. And I’m sure Android developed to emulate the arguably superior interface of iOS.

    It’s not a cut and dry issue, and to be honest, who really cares? The consumer is ultimately the one you reaps the benefits.

    Trying to divvy up ‘points’ to either side isn’t really about morals. It’s a bullshit paradigm of my team is better than your team that leads to mindless arguing over trivialities.

    Let the courts decide if anyone was egregiously wronged, and enjoy your devices of preference. It’s not a zero-sum game.

    • You are a little wrong, apple went to xerox, and bought the Grafic user interface and mouse device, cause, yes, xerox invented, apple never said this wasn’t true, but no one of the heads in xerox saw this will change the entire industry, and said they will never sell something called “mouse”, I wrote BOUGHT, then, apple, call a small software company called microsoft, to improve the O.S. but far from doing it, they STOLED and reselled… There’s a big difference…

  • There’s no discussion, watch the first iPhone launch keynote on 2007, google CEO Mr schmidt, congratules Steve jobs for ” that magnificent device” at this point, they learned wich was the way to follow…it reminds me, Mr gates, who had acces on GUI and the mouse, on first mackintosh presentation, he learned which was the way to follow… Even in that point, jobs, pointed, in this two cases, who was his Imitator…

  • Anonymous

    Who really cares? Both of them are copying from others, even from each others! Look at some of the features of iOS5, Apple is just as guilty as Google is…

    • Well I think there’s a big difference between coping some spects and copying the entire model of Bussines… (this is my humble opinion)

      • Anonymous

        No it’s the exact same thing, just not at the same scale. Copying is copying and if that statement from Steve Jobs is true then I’ve lost lots of respect for the man because that would make him a world-class hypocrite. He’s the same guy who took pride in saying he picked ideas from others, that’s just the way business goes.

        And Android today is becoming more and more different than iOS, as in more distinctive if you get my meaning. iOS is also picking a lot of ideas from Android (not to mention other operating systems). So really….. why defend any of them at this point?

  • To get a clear result you would have to go to the day before the iphone launched and saw what google had in its labs. There is no way apple copied android because they had the iPhone before the g1. So go back to January 8th, 2007 and walk in to see the android lab area. There is where you will answer.

  • Antonio Castro

    didnt apple have the newton decades ago…maybe some of that work was moved to the iPhone….

  • if google say anroid comeout in 2003 then ios in 2007 then why google need 6 years and in 2003 i think if they started anroid it was i think just link nokia symbian
    it is honestly to say when ios iphone was comeout everymobile campany connot were had that type of operating system to compete with iphone you guys this better know how was the first iphone touch was perfert and anriod seriously you coped ios
    google always copy something

    apple touch screen then anroid comeout
    iphone app store then they copy anroid market

    now siri is comeout anroid trying to copy siri as well as daily news comeout

    now you are better to know who is best

    how many users satifyed with ios or anroid?

    • Haven’t we all heard that imitation is the highest form of flattery?!
      Point being is that in innovation ideas will be borrowed and redesigned the goal of our lives is to improve on the design of our life our society our world it is all productive and what fuels change.

    • Collins Takyi

      Who cares who copied who!!! Seriously guys…look around you man, since when was compitition a bad thing for the end user, and if your slow and don’t understand what end user means, its you and me. TV’S, CARS, LAPTOP’S, DESKTOPS, CLOTHING…etc. There is compitition in these markets, thereby giving you and me better products.
      take a second and think about this, how good would your iphone or iOS be without android and or windows?
      I mean we all know apple has the ability to make iOS the best there is, but without any good compitition like android and windows, to give them the nudge, they rest on their oars. IMO half of iDB readers, read this blog to get new tweaks and jailbreaking tips from Jeff to make their iPhones better. If iOS is the best as all you guys claim, why jailbreak for all the added functionalities?

      Instead of always bashing the compitition, let’s be glad they are there to keep our beloved apple on their toes, because in the end they are helping us get our monies worth.

    • Acctualy a lot of touchscreens were being developed the, not just apple’s, its no were near the same level but android had google voice actions way before as well, I admit that google do copy some things, but what you are basicaly claiming is that it is only google who have stolen from android, which is wrong: apple to the status bar, the HTC lockscreen, back grounding, folders etc. And claimed them all to be “there own ideas”, but at the end of the day everyone copys every one.

      Oh yeah and also: of course there would be an android market, almost all phones have some kind of market on them, yes, even the ones from before the iPhone *sighs*

  • Death to Google, Android, and Evilness!!!!

  • Anonymous

    just to point it out, Eric Schmidt isn’t the CEO of Google anymore. Larry Page is the CEO now

  • Anonymous

    A lot of companies will have ideas and wait for other companies to release their version first so that the idea can be test driven by the public before sinking more money into the idea.

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

    Competition also makes sure that we have current technology.

  • OK, so your saying that if Android was meant to be on a blackberry like device, but released it after the iPhone, because they tweaked it, they still copied someone- apple or not. And all android fan are probably dumb shits that only passed a human test because they copied the cleverest person! And I don’t care about Android because I am going ‘thermonuclear’ on this- and now I know that someone is going to call me a fanboy but I’m only saying what’s right u dumb andung fans.

    • Acctually, you could say I’m one of your “android fanboys”, but at least accept the fact that not all of apples “innovations” are there own

  • ok android may have came out befor iOS BUT big but iOS hasnt copied android nor copied its designs if you look back to when the 1st gen iphone came out android went down in the markets and so did android phone manufactuerers untill they looked at the iPhone design and took a leaf out of apples book and copied it (HTC, Samsung, Sony) anyone notice the phones ironicly resemble the iPhone and the user friendly iOS android revamped it and yes copied it not to the exact but android does have a kind of grid on it for the apps and widgets etc…

  • Android was a copied Blackberry type phone OS. Google is a thief. It’s comical to me how many names you could replace Google with in that sentence and Android lovers the world over would “get it” immediately and despise the thief…but oh no not they’re beloved, and stolen Android phones. Just Ridiculous. Samsung’s memo “Crisis of Design” unravels the whole thing.

    -Shin wrote. “Yet when our UX is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It’s a crisis of design.” Samsung wasn’t saying the design was generic then…which is their entire case.