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Android came before iPhone: Schmidt hits back at Jobs

Google was working on its Android smartphone operating system long before Apple's original iPhone was released, according to comments made today by the search giant's chairman, Eric Schmidt.

Speaking today in South Korea, Schmidt responded to claims made in a recently published biography of Steve Jobs, in which the late Apple co-founder is quoted as describing Android as a "stolen" product, and vowed he would "spend [his] last dying breath" - and Apple's considerable fortune - destroying Google's OS.

"I'm willing to go to thermonuclear war on this," Jobs is said to have added.

Schmidt told Reuters "I've decided not to comment on what's been written on a book after his death. Steve is a fantastic human being and someone who I miss very dearly. As a general comment, I think most people would agree that Google is a great innovator and I would also point out that the Android effort started before the iPhone effort,"

The Android platform was created by Andy Rubin in 2003, two years before his company was acquired by Google and Rubin was hired to head up continued development on the OS.

Apple released its first iPhone in 2007. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.