This is some good news during Maunday Thursday. Speaking to Bloomberg Businessweek, Google CEO Larry Page says that the "Android differences were actually for show" and that Steve Jobs didn't really hate Android, but made it out to look like he did so he can rally his troops around it.
Despite the battle for mobile supremacy of Android vs. iOS both in courtrooms and fanboy forums, Larry Page has a lot of kind words for Steve Jobs. "I had a relationship with Steve. I wouldn't say I spent a lot of time with him over the years, but I saw him periodically. Curiously enough, actually, he requested that meeting. He sent me an email and said. 'Hey, you want to get together and chat?' I said, 'Sure, I'll come over.' And we had a very nice talk. We always did when we had a discussion generally."
One would think that this was way before Steve Jobs made that infamous quote to his biographer Walter Isaacson where he said he was willing to go "thermonuclear" on Android, but Page maintains that the Apple boss was quite sick when they met and that he "took it as an honor that [Steve] wanted to spend some time with [him]. I figured he wanted to spend time with his family at that point. He had a lot of interesting insights about how to run a company and that was pretty much what we discussed."
So what's the real deal with the Android-iOS rivalry? Page says that it served Apple's interests and that for a lot of companies it's "useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that."
He ends with, "I personally believe that it's better to shoot higher. You don't want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what's possible and how to make the world better." We understand this from a Google X point of view, but not from a Google+ point of view. One is making top-secret, life-changing innovations, and one is trying to be the go-to social network.
About the Android loathing being all artifice, let's remember that this isn't the first time Steve Jobs has done this. In 1997, Apple was on the brink of closing when Microsoft came in with a $150 million investment that saved the company. Does anybody remember this TIME Magazine cover of Steve Jobs thanking Bill Gates saying that the world is a "better place" with Apple in it? Years later, Steve Jobs would call Bill Gates an "unimaginative" person who just "ripped-off" other people's work. Sound familiar? Don't even let us get started on all those PC vs. Mac ads.
Steve Jobs was a marketing genius and a cunning businessman, so this may all be true. At least we can rest easy in the back of our minds knowing that there isn't really hating going on, it's all just showbiz.