I’ve seen a number of comments around the Internet about how Apple didn’t exactly go “Thermonuclear” in its win against Samsung. There’s an important point to remember — Steve Jobs wasn’t talking about Samsung, he was talking about Google.
In Walter Isaacson’s book Jobs recalled a meeting he had with then Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
“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,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
“I don’t want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.”
Because it was so blatant in its copying, Samsung was the most obvious target and allowed Apple to set precedent for its patents. That was the precursor to going thermonuclear.
Google says its not worried about the verdict because “most of these [patents] don’t relate to the core Android operating system.” However, as Seth Weintraub points out, some of the patents relate directly to Google, like the rubber band effect.
Google should be worried. Steve Jobs’ thermonuclear promise is coming.