The relationship between Steve Jobs and Google chairman Eric Schmidt soured over Android
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."
He is also quoted as saying: "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion [£25bn] in the bank, to right this wrong."Sour times
Apple enjoyed a close relationship with Google prior to the launch of the Android system. Google products, including maps and search formed a key part of the iPhone's ecosystem.
However, relations began to sour when Google unveiled Android in November 2007, 10 months after the iPhone first appeared.
In subsequent years, Apple rejected a number of Google programs from its App store, forcing the company to create less-integrated web app versions.
Android has subsequently enjoyed rapid adoption and now accounts for around 48% of global smartphone shipments, compared to 19% for Apple.