Steve Jobs said he wanted to destroy Android and would spend all of Apple's money and his dying breath if that is what it took to do so.
The full extent of his animosity towards Google's mobile operating system is revealed in a forthcoming authorised biography.
Mr Jobs told author Walter Isaacson that he viewed Android's similarity to iOS as "grand theft".
Apple is suing several smartphone makers which use the Android software.
According to extracts of Mr Isaacson's book, obtained by the Associated Press, Mr Jobs said: "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
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