Eric SchmidtIt’s no secret that Steve Jobs – and this is putting it nicely – disliked Google’s Android. In fact, the man held such a passionate personal vendetta against the OS that he was willing to go to “thermonuclear war” over the matter. Plain and simple, Jobs felt Android was a blatant rip off of the iPhone.

New comments made by Google’s Eric Schmidt suggest otherwise.

According to the Associated Press, when faced with questions during his stop in South Korea regarding the comments made by Jobs, Schmidt defended his company by saying that Android was first to the party.

Most people would agree that Google is a great innovator, and I would also point out that the Android efforts started before the iPhone efforts. And that’s all I have to say, Schmidt said.

Google acquired the rights to Android Inc. in 2005 – the company was founded in 2003 – where work began under the direction of Andy Rubin. However, the iPhone was introduced to consumers first in 2007, with plans more than likely beginning well before it hit the market.

It’s a he-said, she-said stalemate, and nothing of significance will be solved at this point in the game. Both OS’s are great in their own right, and both are guilty of “borrowing” ideas from each other with each iteration. With Ice Cream Sandwich soon to hit consumers, and iOS 5 already in the wild, perhaps we can move on from this conversation and start discussing how each OS can continue to innovate.

[9to5mac]