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Jobs: bruising, brilliant, betrayed?

india Updated: Oct 25, 2011 23:04 IST
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The biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs hit bookstores on Monday, painting a candid portrait of a technology visionary who could be as bruising as he was brilliant.

The 630-page book, titled simply Steve Jobs, is already number one on the list of best-sellers for Amazon’s Kindle.

Written by Walter Isaacson, a former managing editor of Time, the book is the result of 40 interviews Isaacson conducted with Jobs since 2009 and with over 100 family members, friends, business rivals and colleagues. Excerpts.

As his health deteriorated, he wrestled with the decision for weeks, discussing it with his wife, board member Bill Campbell, design chief Jonathan Ive and attorney George Riley. When he finally made up his mind, arrangements were made to have him wheeled into the boardroom as secretly as possible. “One of the things I wanted to do for Apple was to set an example of how do you transfer power right,” Jobs told Isaacson.

GOOGLE as enemy
Jobs felt betrayed because Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had treated him very much as a mentor. In 2008, he got into a shouting match with the pair, as well as with Android chief Andy Rubin, at Google’s headquarters. Jobs had offered Google an icon or two on the iPhone’s home page; but in January 2010, HTC released a phone with multi-touch and other iPhone-like features that prompted Jobs to sue.

“Our lawsuit is saying, ‘Google, you fucking ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.’ Grand theft. I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs told Isaacson.

Antennagate — a faulty iPhone 4 antenna design that caused occasional dropped calls — received a mountain of publicity, and Jobs came out publicly to acknowledge the mistake and announce a fix.