Did Andy Rubin "Steal" Android?

Did Andy Rubin "Steal" Android?


(picture from PCS Max)

Here's a fun fact for you that a lot of people might not know: Did you know that Andy Rubin (founder of Android) worked for Apple as a manufacturing engineer for 3 years? It's true! He actually worked there from 1989 – 1992, and 11 years later he founded Android in 2003. He then went on to became Senior VP of Mobile at Google in 2005. I have always had a great respect for Andy Rubin, and it honestly came as a surprise to me to find out that he used to work for Apple. Not really a big deal, as many people from Google and Apple bounce between companies. But it did open my eyes a bit as to why Steve Jobs had such an intense hatred for Android.

The reason I found this so interesting was when I found out that Apple is arguing that Andy Rubin used to report to the inventors of a specific patent known as the 263 realtime API patent, a patent that Apple is currently suing HTC over. Steve Jobs was known for saying that Android is a "stolen piece of software“, and I now understand more where that hatred comes from.

To say that Andy Rubin stole Android, in my opinion, is simply unrealistic. At the time that Andy worked for Apple, the iPhone was still over a decade away. And even if the idea of creating a mobile OS was inspired by his time at  Apple, the differences between Android and IOS are as different as apples and oranges. It's pretty safe to say that Android is everything Apple is NOT, and vice versa, as one is closed, the other is open source. One puts the user in control, and the other keeps the user from changing much (if anything) about the OS itself. Android users have the advantage of having root access, allowing them to theme, root, overclock, and customize the OS to their liking. IOS does not allow any of those things to happen, as they have taken the road of deciding what they feel is best for the consumer, and to much success. So why exactly is Apple getting personal now?

What do you guys think? Is Apple hitting below the belt because they have legitimate arguments to prove that Android was indeed stolen, or is it something they are doing simply because they feel threatened?

Latest articles at NextPit

Recommended by NextPit


Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • My thoughts exactly :-D

  • @Eric mcBride - Thats true, he might have just based his idea on a concept Apple was working on at some point, and then saw potential behind it, and used Applel's concept to create a different type of OS.

    Then it would make sense that Steve Jobs would have been disgruntled, because he could have had success from Android, which was based on something he might have once initiated.

    Anyways like you said, well never know.

  • @Deliah - good point...but I think theres a difference between working at a company and being inspired from the technical knowledge you have learned vs straight up stealing something. Sure, Andy may have known of Apples plans, but maybe in his mind he thought "there idea is good but too closed. My mobile OS would be so much different and more efficient" . That I really dont view as stealing.

    But yeah, theres probably a lot to this story that we dont know and may not ever know unfortunately.

  • The fact that they are So different is what makes it possible that the android might have been stolen. If Steve Jobs knew that Andy Rubin had stolen the idea for Android, then it's very likely that he would have wanted to create something to compensate for the stolen idea. And it's a known fact that Mr. Jobs always wanted to be innovative and different, so he would create a phone that wouldn't be a duplicate of a "stolen idea".

    And even if this wasn't the case, and he hadn't known that Mr. Rubin had stolen the idea for Android, he would still build two completely different phones, for maybe
    One of these two reasons:
    1) Not wanting to do the same thing twice
    2) the Android could have been a "project" or simple idea that he hadn't yet developed.

    Either way, their are many ways to explain why its is an accusation worth considering, and that it is in fact very possible.

    But I'm only theorizing though...

  • My thoughts exactly. How can anyone steal something thats completely different?

  • He did not steal Android. He may have borrowed some of the innovative procedure and approaches he learned at Apple. But during the time he was at Apple they were about close to going under.

Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing