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Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,189 ratings  ·  187 reviews
Behind the bitter rivalry between Apple and Google—and how it’s reshaping the way we think about technology

The rise of smartphones and tablets has altered the business of making computers. At the center of this change are Apple and Google, two companies whose philosophies, leaders, and commercial acumen have steamrolled the competition. In the age of the Android and the iP
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published 2013)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,189 ratings  ·  187 reviews

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Nicholas Moryl
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
The first half the book is an interesting recounting of the development of iOS, the iPhone, the iPad, and Android, and the people surrounding it. The second half is wordcount filler that doesn't say anything you haven't ready 10 times already in the tech press. (Tablets and smartphones are changing the world! Cable companies are doomed! Content is king!)

The excerpt published in the NYT--about the development and launch of the iPhone--was one of the more compelling parts of the book. The descript
Julio Ojeda-Zapata
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The recent history of Apple and Google is filled with odd, semi-explained incidents. Why did Apple, shortly before releasing its first iPhone, switch from a plastic to a glass screen (and even issue a press release to announce that fact)? Why, when the first Android phone was being released, did CEOs Brin and Page make a surprise appearance on ... Rollerblades? Dafuq? This book fleshes out these and many other stories. The tome is at its most interesting when delves into the birth of the iPhone, ...more
Mirek Jasinski
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I put this book aside when it was first published, as it had negative reviews. Big mistake!

Only on reading it, did I realise my error. I thought I’d read all there was to read on Google and Apple so this came as a surprise. The most valuable part is the most obfuscated- concealed in the last chapters and in-between words - the future of patents (ch.8), the future of media (ch.9) and more which, save for an inflated management consultancy fee, I will not divulge here :)

I’d recommend this book to
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Just like when a trailer shows the best bits of a movie, the excerpt of this article featured on The Atlantic ( is really the best bit of "juicy" detail as far as that stuff goes, otherwise, Vogelstein trails off very quickly from reporting or even composing prose of critical insight and instead seems to opine in a series of unrelated chapters.

Worse, however, like Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson, Vogelstein at points seems to get some facts incorrec
Dec 27, 2013 rated it liked it
A decent but not a great book with a flawed conclusion

As someone who has followed the subject matter of this book closely for as many years as the author, if not more, I found this to be a decent book, but far from a great one. It tells the story from both sides, and that was pretty well done as far as it went, but nothing new or extraordinary emerged. One of the central themes in the book is that the winner of any patent wars nearly always becomes the dominant player, and numerous historic exam
Fawaz Abdul rahman
This book tells the story behind Android and iPhone, and their success and fights. This book released in 2013, so you should not expect much of recent stories, therefore the end of the book kind of useless because, most stories were not success or failure and we can know it exactly in 2018.
In general it is great to know about those products which we use or see daily, how they founded and changed the world.
Viet Nguyen
Apr 08, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is good until the first half, when it talks about the tempting war between Apple and Google, or the war between their two famous mobile platforms: iPhone/iPad vs. Android. Many good stories have been told about people behind those two platforms, how Apple and Google competed with each other in design, advertising, technology features, patents.

I am really impressed about how disruptive the iPad is. Must thank the author for giving me many insights about it.

Some nice excerpts:

- [When A
Navin Prakash
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is a very good focusing on the History of the Smartphone right from the beginning as a prototype within Apple to a device which has conquered the World. Moreover it emphasizes on Google has competed with Apple on this front. How Android evolved over time to rival iPhone. Also never known insights are known about Steve Jobs and how he perceived the smartphone. The walled garden of the telecom carriers are broken by Apple and this has also been discussed.
Peter C
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Vogelstein is best when he writes about the efforts of both Apple and Google when developing iPhone and Android respectively. The inside view, both from a product development and design perspective is quite interesting. The final part of his books isn't that engrossing, since it contains most of what you can find in many tech magazines. However, it does complement the book quite well. ...more
Matt Neithercott
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
An interesting look at the fight between Apple & Google!
Mihir Kumar
New book . extremely interesting - reads like a novel
Sandro Felipe
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you read this book you will see that nothing important are built with just kindness even those products from Google Inc.
Onder Guler
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great way to understand how the world has changed by the friendship turning into a competition between Jobs and Sergei-Larry Duo
Oct 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Review: Fred Vogelstein's Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution - 3 out of 5 stars

Warning: minor spoilers follow.

Despite the fact that I normally stray away from nonfiction, the premise of this book was interesting enough for me to read it. I wasn't disappointed - this book is quite solid - but at the same time, the book left me with a sense of incompleteness, and I kept feeling like something was missing from the book that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

Let's st
Scott Holstad
Feb 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
Rarely has a book incensed me the way this one has. First of all, let me announce that I am an iPhone lover and Android hater. No need to take pot shots at me. Just the facts. If you don't like it, read something else. Anyway, I thought this book was going to be a reasonably objective look into the war between Apple and Google on smart phones and tablets. Boy, was I wrong. The author lets us know right away where he stands. He starts by mocking Apple and Steve Jobs as they get set to introduce t ...more
Nov 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: technology
I have seen this stated in other reviews and it held true for me after reading the book myself, that the first two-thirds of the book is the best part of the book and that it tails off after that. I read the first two-thirds of the book over the course of five days and it took me another week to finish the last third of the book. The first seven chapters make up the telling of the creation of the iPhone, Android, and the iPad and the battle that takes place between Apple and Google once Apple le ...more
Dec 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Some good insights but Vogelstein insists on arguing that Market Share, instead of Profit Share is what matters in Mobile. That may have been true for the PC market of the 90s and early 2000s, but technology companies have learned that healthy platforms exist where healthy margins exist. Yes, Android may have a significant market share lead over iOS, but many of those phones are sub-$100 phones in developing markets without a dedicated data plan. Another large set of devices are ones without Goo ...more
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
A generally dry book with a couple of very entertaining parts. I believe this book is a collection of earlier articles. At least, it reads that way. As such, there isn't an overriding narrative on how different players at Apple felt about moves at Google, and vice versa. Instead you get an Apple focused piece, then a Google focused piece, then an Apple focused piece. How the executives at each company reacted to what the other did in the previous section is only lightly touched on.

Still, the ent
Stephen Murley
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed and appreciated this book. Fred Vogelstein, an experienced journalist covering Silicon Valley, has produced an interesting and succinct narrative focused on Apples's development of the IPhone/IPad and Google's development of Android.

Each of these topics deserve their own exhaustive story but I just don't have time to read 600 page books delving into the depths. What Vogelstein delivered was just perfect--a nice balance of summary history, the important personalities and battles
This book is decent but all the good stuff was excerpted in the NYT article “And Then Steve Said, ‘Let There Be an iPhone’”. It’s a fine account of this period, roughly 2007-2012, for posterity but if you follow technology as I do this is mostly a rehashing of very recent history. And a lot of it is fluff with some broad editorializing about the significance of recent news flare-ups, particularly when Vogelstein trots out the old “Can Apple survive without Steve Jobs” chestnut.

The best bits are
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
If you follow the tech blogs and are interested in the Apple vs Google story you probably know everything that's in this book. I bought the book on the strength of the first chapter which was excerpted in the NYT (I think), however the rest of the book didn't live up to the first chapter and didn't provide much new. And it isn't very well written either. The author bounces all over the place often dropping opinions or statements without any corroboration. I read this book on and off over the cou ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is a must read one if you are an Apple fan, or Jobs fan, but for someone neutral, then it's more like the whole story in detail about how these 2 big giants fought for the leading place.
Each small function on our cell phone that w took for granted today, such as the lock function for cell phone, except key in the pass word, we have drawing pattern one with 3x3 or 4x4 dots..that used to be a battle of property right.
Innovation is very very expensive, but stealing ideas is very common in
Murilo Silva
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computer-science
Interesting, but rather boring sometimes, book about how Apple and Google competed over the mobile industry. It also details that their race against each other was full of botches, deadlines and even betrayals.

Furthermore, the book presents very nice perspectives on how the development and competition happened as the years went by.

My major problem with the book is that it often (especially in the last few chapters) gets trapped on how the internet, TV, cable, magazine and related industries are
Lee Vermeulen
Mar 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Most interesting parts were on how the conflict between Google and Apple started once Android started to take off. Very dramatic and insightful, and a good look at some of the developers who weren’t normally in the spotlight (from both Google and Apple)
Besides that though, this is just a extended version of the online NY times article, with a lot of the material coming from other books like Steve Job’s biography and In The Plex. It completely falls apart in the end when the writer just ran out o
Terrell Sanzone
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-owned, won
I received this book as a giveaway on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I entered the drawing but am happy to say that I have found this book interesting, witty and quite informative. Not only are many questions answered but there were quite a few tidbits which I hadn't even thought to ask. For geeks like us this book gives great insight to how things are done in this highly competitive field. I enjoyed it so much I had my boyfriend read it and he is r
Michael Camilleri
This starts off fantastically well for anyone interested in the early development of the iPhone and Android.

Unfortunately, about halfway through it feels like Vogelstein either ran out of sources or ran out of energy and the reporting devolves into a very general summary of the impact of the iPad on content industries.

If you're interested in the development of Apple and Google's smartphones, it's still recommended; it's just a shame the quality of the first half didn't continue through the secon
Spencer Janyk
Jan 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Decent enough book—covers the issues well. I'm somewhat well-versed with what happened at Apple with Steve Jobs and co, but was good to learn about Gundotra and Rubin and Google's shibboleths. The writing isn't particularly gripping and it doesn't add a huge amount of context to what's going on if you've been following the news and/or read the Jobs biography. Except for some of the Google stuff, which basically is just heaping praise on Rubin and Page for being master spin doctors.

Not a bad book
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read on the iPhone vs. Android battle. Interesting bits include Steve Jobs having to be convinced by his team to make a phone, Google already having a touchscreen based prototype at the time of the iPhone's launch, Microsoft's touchscreen Surface Tablet was already under development in the 90s, and Gorilla Glass was developed decades ago for fighter jets. Not likely to be a great read for the fruit company's fan boys but highly recommended for those who like to understand the challe ...more
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: post-tun
Great inside story of the development of the smartphone and 2 of the world's most powerful and innovative technology companies. First, there were visionaries aside from the CEOs of these companies. Second, you have the sense of how great companies adapt and get in front of evolving technological changes, making them happen earlier and being the ones ready to ride the disruption. For instance, google could have served its ads at a higher price per impression to 500 million desktop users - but pus ...more
Rob Crockett
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Great insight and stories in the first half, but the second half, outside the Apple Samsung trial, turned into a dissertation. Very boring and dry. I feel like I read a broad summary of hundreds of tech stories from 2010 to the present. I've read all those before. I didn't hear any new ideas. Maybe someone who hadn't followed tech news during these years might find it interesting. The author also points out many obvious observations. I will admit, I did not finish it. I was too bored, and I felt ...more
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I'm a contributing editor for Wired magazine in San Francisco. I've been a business and technology journalist here, in New York City, New Haven and Los Angeles for more than two decades. Before Wired I was on staff at Fortune magazine, US News & World Report, the Wall Street Journal, and New York Newsday. I've also written for The New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles T ...more

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