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Monday, February 01, 2010, 06:50 am PT (09:50 am ET)

Steve Jobs disparages Google, Adobe at company meeting - reports

Numerous reports have alleged that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs discredited Google's "don't be evil" mantra as bogus and predicted the demise of Adobe Flash at an internal company meeting.

A number of outlets received supposed second-hand reports from Apple's "town hall" style meeting with employees last week. While exact quotes vary depending on the source, the message Jobs had about Google remained essentially the same.

An anonymous source who contacted Wired claimed Jobs used an expletive to refer to Google's "don't be evil" philosophy. But that quote was disputed by someone who reached out to Daring Fireball's John Gruber. The exact quote from Jobs, the source alleged, was "Don't be evil is a load of crap."

Wired also reported that Jobs believes Google, which is behind the Android mobile operating system, wants to "kill" the iPhone.

Though there have been rumors of tension between Google and Apple for months, last month Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who formerly served on the Apple Board of Directors, downplayed any perception of a rivalry between the two technology giants. Schmidt said he has a "special spot" in his heart for Apple.

It was Google's entrance into the mobile phone space with Android, as well as its forthcoming Chrome OS for netbooks, that forced Schmidt to resign from Apple's board. Apple and Google were the subjects of an investigation from the Federal Trade Commission over potential antitrust ties.

As for Adobe, Wired's source said Jobs called the company "lazy." He allegedly said most Mac crashes are due to Flash, and "the world is moving to HTML5." The latter comment is consistent with Apple's own public moves toward HTML5. Even Google has dabbled with Flash alternatives for YouTube.

"They have all this potential to do interesting things but they just refuse to do it," Jobs was paraphrased as saying. "They don't do anything with the approaches that Apple is taking, like Carbon."

But Daring Fireball's source also said that Jobs was not entirely negative on the subject of Adobe. The executive was reportedly "nostalgic" about the old days of the company.

Finally, MacRumors received a number of additional details from a source who claimed to be in attendance in at the meeting. As with all other reports, the details come from an anonymous source:

  • Apple will deliver aggressive updates to iPhone that Android/Google won't be able to keep up with.
  • iPad is up there with the iPhone and Mac as the most important products Jobs has been a part of (this is consistent with a previous quote attributed to Jobs).
  • Regarding the Lala acquisition, Apple was interested in bringing those people into the iTunes team.
  • Next iPhone coming is an A+ update.
  • New Macs for 2010 are going to take Apple to the next level.
  • Blu-Ray software is a mess, and Apple will wait until sales really start to take off before implementing it.