Steve Jobs: “Not a chance” for Google to Leapfrog Apple


After the exciting Google I/O keynote last Thursday, we learned two things. Firstly, Vic Gundotra is a great speaker and needs to be recognized as the “face” of Google. Secondly, a lot of heads were turned to Android and people questioned whether or not Apple was now the one playing catch-up.


Being Android fans, I can’t imagine any of you don’t already believe Android is miles ahead of the iPhone OS. As the world continues to question it, however, Steve Jobs has already made his mind up: there’s “not a chance” that Google will match – or, at best, surpass – Apple’s prowess in the mobile phone space.

Those are the three words Jobs responded with when he was forwarded this article from Gizmodo’s John Herrman that suggested Apple had been leapfrogged after Google’s impressive showing with Froyo and Google TV. It remains to be seen if Jobs truly can pull out his trump card this June 7th when the World Wide Developer’s Conference kicks off, but it’ll be interesting to see what they announce that would potentially wipe away the very strong impressions Google left on everyone last week. Do you think Apple will have what it takes to “put Google in their place” in a couple of weeks?

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Grab your ankles, Jobs. It’s time for a new era.

  2. “Do you think Apple will have what it takes to “put Google in their place” in a couple of weeks?”

    Not a chance.

  3. Hmm. Maybe. I mean I dont like Apples control on everything, but you have to admit a couple of things: 1. Apple makes money hand over fist, and developers that get in bed with them tend to as well. 2. Apple does make nice products that work well.

    I love Android though since it’s new and fun to learn, etc. I’ve even made quite a bit of money on the Android market. But no where near as much money as iPhone devs tend to make. I dont know if the money is ever going to be there on Android or not.

  4. not a chance…

  5. I guess i could imagine apple coming with some cool shit. And it’s probably true that android will never beat the iphone, just because there are many more dumb people around than smart ones.

  6. Well lets see what feature he can wow the apple faithful with that has been on feature phones since the turn of the century

  7. What he means is they will still have stronger sales. Sales does not mean better product. Apple is so mainstream right now and they have so many Apple Fan Zombies that they will continue to be strong. I don’t care who sells more, I just want the better product. I have that with android. Also if Iphone goes to Verizon, Apples sales will certainly not suffer.

  8. @ Ben that was funny “There are many more dumb people around than smart ones!!!! OMG! With the HTC EVO 4G dropping in less than 2 weeks now… That’s why apple increased the termination fee last week because they knew a lot of Apple Fan Boys and Girls were jumping ship!!! LOL GO CLEAR!!! for dominating the 4G Network!!!! Yes I do work for CLEAR FAITHFULLY!!

  9. Iphone’s OS has become boring. It’s evident that apple will attempt to brag about sales.

  10. If their launch goes anything like their iPad launch they are in trouble. People were not impressed at all and it took the blogoshpere and news media a bunch of use case inventing to turn around perceptions. They are going to really have to pull out something we haven’t seen in the OS betas but I doubt it since they OS has already had a release event. If the phone is the one that was leaked then its no better than the Evo at BEST. Maybe they can come up with new services but I don’t see what tops the cloud to device service of Google. I really don’t see them catching up and even if they do Google will pass them probably with multiple releases by the time the next iPhone rolls around next summer. The only thing I can see them pulling out right now is some neat stuff around the game center. That COULD make some waves but who knows.

    As a dev thats about to start doing work in the mobile space Android is a much more attractive platform to me. And I believe the money through the market will come IF you write apps worth paying for. There’s certainly not going to be a shortage of users.

  11. Denial

  12. Yea steve we all know why you say this. Of course android leapfrogged iPhone OS already, they offer wireless tethering without rooting or jailbreaking anymore that’s one example. One more thing, how does gizmodo always get steve jobs to reply?!

  13. “just because there are many more dumb people around than smart ones.”

    That’s where marketing comes into play. Apple has that one by the balls and it’s a bigger hurdle than any technical feature.

  14. I thought the keynote was very good and good points were made publicly against apple as they should have. The main stream media and more importantly google themselves, have not taken a direct stance against apple until now really. Android is legit and is gaining serious momentum. Kudos Google.

  15. I haven’t felt a heated rivalry like this, since I was a Nintendo fan-boy raging against Sony. Android ftw!

  16. Well if Android keeps up the pace, they will give Apple stiff competition for years to come. They have proven that they are a worthy contender. However, it would be nice to see Mr. Jobs and Apple knocked off its high horse.

  17. Jobs belief that there is no other option than his/apple’s superiority will be their downfall.
    How many times do we have to see this to know the outcome.

  18. There seem to be more Android users among the locals at my local pub than iPhone users. People who had been thinking of getting iPhones have now purchased Moto Droids or Incredibles and others are waiting to see what Apple will release this summer.

    Some of the iPhone users are fascinated by the whole Google cloud idea and not having to sync the phone with iTunes. Others are still fascinated with the ability to listen to Pandora and text at the same time.

    The momentum for Android devices is insane. While I’m sure the upcoming release of the iPhone OS and the new iPhone itself will will mitigate this somewhat, Android is certainly a major worry for Apple.

  19. What will happen is Apple will release a new iPhone that has almost all the cool things that Androids do, then he’ll rant and rave that Android ripped them off and stole “their” ideas.

  20. Steve Jobs is starting to sound a lot like Steve Balmer…

  21. Nope, Apple is fast becoming the drunk uncle that nobody wants to invite for Christmas. They are closed source and and it’s their way or the high-way. Nobody wants to be forced into products anymore. With Android, you get to pick your phone, pick your plan, pick your upgrades, write you own code… it’s all win! Speaking of win… what are we going to do about our drunk step-father called windows? Can we please not invite him to Christmas? He’s even more opinionated and drunk than is brother!

  22. @Herston I was told by and AT&T rep that the termination fee will stay the same if you already had a contract. Once you renew however, it gets jacked up to their new fee. The new fee seems to be right around what Verizon charges to get out of their contract.

    Now if Google can get someone to make a phone with industrial design half as good as Apple, then there is no doubt Android will be king. But talking to people I know and listening to reviews, they still love the iPhone look a lot better than say the Motorola Droid or even the Nexus One with its trackball.

  23. What’s the point of harassing Steve Jobs with this kind of mail ?

    The average iPhone user is satisfied with his iPhone and likes Apple stuff, why would he switch to Android instead of upgrading the iPhone ?

    The next iPhone will probably be a worthy upgrade as was the last one, hi-end stuff.. And migrating from one OS to another isn’t painless..

    Yes all of this reminds me of the Amiga/Atari rivalry..

    I don’t want to choose a side, I never owned an iPhone and I’m an happy HTC Desire user but iPhone is good too, isn’t it ?

  24. The iPhone is leaps and bounds ahead of anything else on the market right now.

  25. I’d like to think Apple will amaze the world once more, as they did in June 2007.

    I believe Apple will maintain its “luxury” item status, and won’t be too bothered by all the Androids.

    Google wins. Apple wins.

    A rising tide floats all boats.

    Personally I’d only be blown away by this year’s WWDC if iPhone went unlocked, carrier free, homescreen widgets, low cost, 16:9, HDMI out, FM transmitter, dockable displays, yadda yadda – not gonna happen so I’ll be content with FroYo on my Nexus One which works the way I like to work.

  26. really steve jobs. what fantasy world are you living in. this is pathetic and just plain arrogant. its one thing to be confident in your company and believe in your product. but to completely disregard your strongest competitor is just being plain arrogant.

  27. Too bad it isn’t up to Steve Jobs if Android has leapfrogged Apple or not.

  28. Ya know… at first this hit me as denial of reality… but after thinking about it, he may be right. The same rules apply as to why I haven’t gotten rid of my iPod yet… I simply have too much money invested into it, it was the first of its kind to have such an all-encompassing user experience, from buying music to playing it. While I’ve bought my freedom for the most part, not all of my music has gone DRM-free yet, and I just can’t justify burning CDs just to rip them back, then having to rename all the music and get album artwork…

    Further to the end of my investment, I installed a Kenwood deck w/ a car-adapter to my car… and bought an iHome for work. If I could find an actual adapter, iPod to Zune or iPod to straight USB, I’d be overjoyed. Instead, I’m faced with all these DIY remedies where I need to splice wires to create a new end, without any guarantees of it working when I’m done. I’m just not willing to take that step.

    I’d be willing to wager, through all these paid apps people have in iPod Touch/iPhone formats, that many people are in the same boat with those. Why start again from scratch, when you’ve already made a huge investment? It may still happen over time, just as Windows overtook Mac OS… but I can’t imagine that it would happen as quickly as that did.

  29. I wonder if palm has a small community like “phandroid” that talks shit about android. maybe once google becomes like apple there will be another revolution.

  30. Technically, no; but Steve Jobs is the P.T. Barnum of our time. He seems to have some Svengali effect on tech writers. He tells them they need something or don’t need something, and they lap it up. He seems to make everyone believe that Apple created the smartphone. All Apple did was put a pretty bow on it.

    Back to Android. The real strength of Android is that it is open source. I keep seeing all kinds of ROMs coming out for Android and Google for the most part encourages it. These developers along with Google’s developers are pushing it forward. It would be tough for Apple to match that kind of momentum.

  31. Of course Steve Jobs is going to say that. This is a competitive market and the last thing you want to do is compliment or praise your biggest rival. I’m not a fan of him or Apple personally but I do appreciate him feeding into the competitiveness of the mobile market so to each their own.

  32. hahah #1, awesome.

    honestly, how much more denial does he need?

    he’s starting to remind me of Ballmer already.

  33. Steve Jobs is delusional. At Google I/O, Google proved they are the premier technology company. Not Microsoft & certainly not Apple. Who gives a damn about what Steve Jobs says. At Google I/O, Google made Apple irrelevant. Google has the clout & the shot callers. Steve’s living in a dream world just like he was in 1985, when Apple fired his butt. History is repeating itself. Steve, Bill Gates was right! “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

  34. I only hope that Steve Jobs contiues his view of this alternate universe. Better for Google.

    And for all the naw sayers, here’s just one example of catchup: MULTI TASKING.

    Stevie boy, you ARE playing catch up!

  35. Jobs is worried and doesn’t know to shit or sneeze right now. Great article laying out the simple fact that history can repeat itself ;) http://www.pcworld.com/article/196702/android_invasion_the_next_phase_begins.html
    So… 5.6 MILLION Android handsets sold in the 1st Q 2010 and jobs says, NOT A CHANCE… hahahaha, yeah, ok. That’s compared to 570k sold the same Q 2009. He better WORRY! But hey, I’m sure ONE company, making ONE PRODUCT can compete against dozens… ;) hahahaha, and oh??? How many of those OTHER products also have limited equipment solutions like Apple Provides such as irremovable batteries and memory!?!?!? Jobs, just keep stealing innovation and calling it your invention, there’s still 1 or 2 who believe you. GO ANDROID!!!

  36. @Dean
    “Technically, no; but Steve Jobs is the P.T. Barnum of our time. He seems to have some Svengali effect on tech writers. He tells them they need something or don’t need something, and they lap it up. ”

    It’s called pulling your advertising from the site.

  37. I love reading what inside geeks have to say concerning topics such as these. You people really think the avg. buying public think like you do. LOL!!!! Try to get serious boys.

  38. I’ve followed and used Apple products for a long time, and if there’s one thing that can be said about Apple: Jobs is a great visionary. A lot of Apple products have failed short term that have had a technological impact long term. People listen when he speaks, and that’s powerful. That said, I’m a HUGE Google/Android fan, and I really want them to succeed. This whole feud has similarities to the Windows/Apple battle I grew up with. Apple controls hardware, Windows/Android writes for all different shapes and sizes. I think Google’s footprint in size and telco providers has more potential than Apple, so they definitely have a chance. I think Android will rule supreme very soon, because of the scalability and multiple uses/integrations of Android. But I reserve judgement until the new iPhone comes out. It will definitely be a better product than if Google wasn’t barking on their heels. Regardless of the outcome, we all benefit from this feud. I think that’s already obvious.

  39. Yr quote could apply to Google and Froyo as well. I prefer to stay humble and not take anything for granted. You know what Jobs could reveal that would impress me? A super new phone battery that lasts a long time like the iPad’s. Since it’s been developed for the latter already, who’s to say it can’t be scaled down for the new iPhone? That’s an item Google can’t make, and from what I see, the phone makers have not really pushed the boundaries of the tech in this area. Also, don’t forget Apple has great marketing, and the fact that right now, it’s probably easier to make more money on the AppStore than the Market, esp since Google still hasn’t opened paid apps to a large part of the world.

  40. oops, I’m referring to the quote in Jose G’s post.

  41. IF you really want to SUPPORT ANDROID, here in the early stage. 1. Don’t use an adblocker. 2. Click on ads you find remotely appealing. 3. Buy full versions of apps. The more Devs can make on the Android platform the more they’re willing to commit. It will also help get better apps, thus getting more non-tech people to the platform. Once that happens, block ads all you want, there will be enough other people to make up for it.

  42. Apple is playing catch up. This year I am sure Apple will come out with their new phone and an OS that comparable. But since Apple is playing catch up, the OS will be very buggy of course and won’t be better than Android. Just comparable.

  43. Fred:
    The geeks pushed PC’s over the proprietary Apples, Ataris and Amigas. Despite a beginning of fiddling autoexec.bat files and CGA graphics, PC games ended up smoking the competition.
    The geeks pushed internet over the closed AOL: “So easy to use, no wonder why it’s number one!”
    The geeks pushed firefox to the point where it is a household name today.
    The geeks pushed android and it is already beating iphone in US sales.

  44. While Apple dominates (mostly) the smartphone market now, the explosive growth of Android, plus the multitude of carriers and form factors, it is really only a matter of time before the sales of Android really start to trump Apple. As they cling to their proprietary model, they will see their marketshare stay stagnant. Gee, where have we heard that before? At one point in the PC wars, Apple had a very sizable bit of marketshare. However, the closed system just couldn’t compete with the openness of their rivals.

    If history repeats itself, pretty soon it’s going to be Google (instead of MS) that bails out Apple.

  45. errr android already leapfrogged iphone since 1.6… DENIAL

  46. I own the HTC Deity. It’s how I created the world in 6 days. I tried making it with an iPhone, but Steve didn’t want the animals to reproduce (he said it would lead to porn), so I had to switch to Android.

    Oh, and I’m on release 7.0 (Ambrosia). It RAWKS.

  47. I will admit to being an Apple fan boy, but over 2 years ago when the iPhone came out to only run on AT&T’s system, I was pissed. My thought back then was, I hope that the iPhone will spur enough competition in handsets that I won’t really care whether I buy an Apple handset or a Motorola. That day is here, now. Competition is a good thing and it forces innovation and loosens initial restrictions. As an example, look at RIM. Who would have thought that RIM would eventually release a handset without a physical qwerty keyboard? I am waiting to see if Apple announces a CDMA phone for Verizon on June 7th. If Verizon doesn’t get it immediately, I will probably go ahead and get a Droid Incredible to replace the crappy Winmo Samsung Omnia that did everything an iPhone did and more.

  48. Lets face it Droids are taking over. The Iphone is old news and boring until it makes the proper improvements to catch up to what the droids can do and will do in the near future. Google is on the top of the cell phone industry and is going to pass Apple sooner than later. I will forever be a droid user. Plus I’m loving the fact that Google is putting up statues representing the new software updates for the Droids. If no one knows what i’m talking about it just look it up online.

  49. I use a Motorola android phone and I also have an ipod touch. I enjoy my phone but the ipod touch still has a better touch screen, browser and email client. Apps look more professional on ipod. I love my phone though cause it gets things done and i like moto blur.

  50. @Chris

    The only reason Steve Jobs is given any credibility for being a great visionary now is that Bill Gates retired. Bill Gates was a greater visionary and he executed his plans flawlessly. Under Gates’ leadership; Microsoft dominated the operating system, browser, and productivity markets. Bill Gates was the guy that spoke about what computers could do. Apple and Jobs have never dominated like Microsoft and only dream of it.

  51. Agreed with @44

    The Non-Geeks may not know what is going on, but the Geeks are very good at getting their friends, family, and others that the know on to the new tech bandwagon – even with free support! When it comes to tech, the Geeks really decide in the end. (For example, I told my parents to use firefox and installed it for them, etc.)

  52. Here’s the thing… apple is just one company. With Google’s deep pockets and exceptional software development in combination with partnerships with almost every other high end hardware manufacturer it would seem impossible that Google wouldn’t be able to eventually surpass apple (assuming they haven’t already).

  53. Is this the new Baghdad Bob? Baghdad Jobs?

    “Google are going to surrender or be burned in their tanks. They will surrender, it is they who will surrender.”

  54. Android apps are far superior to iphone apps. I don’t care how much more money iphone devs make, android apps are still much better. Its game over for steve jobs. But ya can’t expect him to actually say that to the stockholders lol.

  55. Of course he HAS TO say that try selling a product you don’t believe in and you will fall faster than rollercoasters. Apple sales compared to google are receding like his hair line haha. What google is going to do is what jobs is too stupid enough to.

    Make our cell phones interact with every part of our lives. From tv to cars. Google has a better vision than apple of which is why android will surpass apple mac. Its an Android take over.

  56. Apple is going to need more than a new OS to put google in their place. They are going to need a new device that ISN’T reminiscent of a product already supplied by them. iPad = giant iPod touch how the hell is everyone going to carry it ? its size isn’t really practical to me. Either that or I just hate apple could be both.

  57. Wait, deja vu? Didn’t apple feel this way when they were battling microsoft? What happened with that fight again? Oh yeah…..

  58. Apple and Android will both live on for a long time. They both have the plus and minus, one is not better than the other. You may like one better than the other but that is only your opinion. Competition is good and I hope Apple comes out and blows Android away because that will make Google come out with a better OS next and hopefully it keeps going back and fourth and that will make us all winners. Apple didn’t have any real competition until this year, now they do and things are going to get really interesting over the next two years.

    If you only want Android to win or Apple to win they no one wins. Its like the 90s all over again with MS. Competition is good for everyone.

  59. I tried telling little Stevie that his reign was over but he didn’t listen…Maybe when the new I Phone flops and the I Phone continues to lose market share to Android, he’ll listen to his mother.

  60. Its official, Apple has reached “Evil Microsoft from the 80’s/90’s Era” status.

  61. Sorry Stevo..Its time!! You have screwed over many a people with your inferior phone…..Yes you might have the best UI but if you cant provide a flash player, 3 phones later still no flash for the camera, low mega pixels, 3 phones later you FINALLY have MMS and video how sad is that? Should I go on? All people do is complain about what your phone does not have and what people really want in a phone and yes we still keep buying it but times have changed yes you are behind the times playing catch up to what other phones can offer now.

  62. For the sake of free and open markets and competition, it is important that there is no monopoly (or near monopoly) in the mobile phone and devices market. Same as we don’t want Apple to win, I wouldn’t want Google to totally win either. They may be trying not to be evil now, but what happens if they corner most of the smart phone market? The best would be both continuing to push each other. I also think we should not underestimate WinPho7, nor the 2 OSes that are more fully open source than Android: SYmbian and Meego. There may be people that don’t want their open source phone OS laced with Google’s proprietary threads and their control. And note that I’m speaking as someone who uses a lot of Google’s services on my Android phone. I do like them, but there is no harm in continuing to be cautious.

  63. I just did some quick research on Vic Gundotra and he can surely win developers for Android. This guy actually gave the idea about .Net to Microsoft. Imagine what MS would look like without .Net Today


  64. Hi squirrel,

    That right, the competition is always good for consumer point of view. It force companies to put innovation and creativity and at the end, we all get benefited.

  65. Maybe if Android drops half of its features, stops wasting time building a real browser that delivers the best content on the web, and comes out on shiny pretty phones – you know, the kind of things used for fishing lures and to entertain babies in their cribs – then they might have a chance at pulling some of the lemmings from the ranks of the iNdoctrinated.

    Until then, they’ll have to be happy with that niche market of people who actually research things and like a system that does more than just claim to be “open.”

  66. the only reason Apple succeeds is because its consumers noobs. Apple uses should be called iNoobs

  67. Unless Apple catch up on hardware on the iPhone and develop it while lowering their costs no chance. The only thing Apple now have thats better, is the iphone market, which frankly google is snapping around the heals on in the graphics of it’s apps. And that is all down to developers.

    Also no one likes a boaster.

  68. yeh, so the Iphone will finally have a dual led flash….big whoop You still need to carry a charger with you everywhere you go, oh and still no removable memory but you do have over 200,000 apps which really amounts to maybe 50,000 since most are absolutely useless and duplicates with different names. And you still charge big dollars for the useless apps, where droid apps are mostly free….. THANKS GOOGLE KEEP UP THE FIGHT AGAINST THE MALITIA….

  69. The good thing is that both Apple and Google are domestic companies. The ecosystem called “Android” is advancing faster than anything we’ve seen in the tech world ever. Because of this and the open system Google is promoting, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible for Apple to keep up. This is keenly evident by what the devices were capable of prior to Froyo. Arguably, Android was a more compelling device pre-Froyo with the 2.1 release. Post Froyo, it’s not even close. Areas where Apple could have led (such as Flash), they are now behind. Apple should have taken Flash. The web isn’t ready for HTML5 or at least it’s not ubiquitous and Flash is the here and now. In this corporate spat, only Apple loses. During the Post Mortem a year or so from now, this will be one of the reasons Apple will have lost it’s dominant position.

    The analysis is simple, Apple can’t keep up… it’s simply not possible with their current business model and the Flash debate could only have served to extend the demise a bit longer had they taken it. But of course not taking it only serves to enhance Android devices and hasten the end result.

  70. Funny that without Apple developing the iPhone in the first place, Droid would not even be around. The first commercial was nothing more than touting the upgrades from the iPhone. If it was so easy, why didn’t Motorola just develop the Droid first. Keep in mind that before the iphone, Motorola was still pushing it’s flip phones.n (okay, this was my defense of Apple . . . sorry about the rant . . . the important stuff is below)

    It’s good to have company’s out there that push each other to develop smarter, and better products. Either company in this “race” would fail the consumers miserably without good competition. The problem is trying to develop a technologically advanced type of bipartisanship . . . since the days of Apple vs. Microsoft it’s been a battle. Thankfully, we have companies out there that continue to push the envelope . . . all the better for us.

  71. This is how it will go on June 7; Jobs will get on stage and announce a new iPhone, it will be inferior to the N1, Desire and EVO in almost every way but everyone will praise it. He will announce some new features in the OS, features that should have been there to begin with like multitasking, nothing “revolutionary” and things Android has already had and everyone will praise it anyway.

    Sadly, Apple seems to have this grip on the media which, to me, seems to be very Apple biased and because of that, the not-so-new stuff JObs will announce will seem greater than it is.

  72. Okay, since I’ve had both an iPhone AND an android phone I feel I can be a bit more objective. There are plus and minus’s to both. The main minus with the iPhone is AT&T. The comment about lack of tethering has nothing to do with Apple but is an AT&T thing. The iphone OS has had a tethering feature in the settings for awhile not… just can’t use it because of AT&T. The plus side of the iPhone is the apps. You really can’t beat them no matter what anyone with an Android phone says. Then there is the open source versus closed Apple app store issue. There are pluses and minus’s there as well. One thing I experienced with my Android was that a lot of apps were coming out for it (still very far behind the iphone though) but most were garbage apps. Just stuff someone wanted to slap together real quick to bump up the app count for Google. Being a free for all in the android market also opens up for garbage apps and apps that could brick your device. The main apps on the android platform were typically the home grown ones produced by Google themselves. I remember when I was trying to decide between computers OS’s a long time ago and a very wise person told me that the computer is only as good as the software available for it. I think this is the case with Android. Who cares if the hardware is powerful if the apps are crap. Just my 2 cents.

  73. GOOGLE 4.0 > Apple 4.0

  74. LOL Apple better do something more then ichat and a NEW cellphone with a smaller screen…..

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