It’s fair to say that Eric Schmidt’s relationship with Apple is complicated. He joined Apple’s board of directors in 2006, but left in 2009 following increased competition from Google (where he was chief) in the smartphone market place. In fact, many think his position at Cupertino is what inspired the sudden change from BlackBerry-like prototypes running Android to the more iPhone-esque designs that we’ve become accustomed to. Read in to that what you will. My thoughts: competition is good.
Having removed Maps and YouTube from iOS’ default apps list, it obviously wasn’t going to take long for Schmidt to respond with some not-so-kind, and poorly disguised digs towards Apple. WSJ quotes:
Obviously, we would have preferred them to use our maps. They threw YouTube off the home screen [of iPhones and iPads]. I’m not quite sure why they did that. The press would like to write the sort of teenage model of competition, which is, ‘I have a gun, you have a gun, who shoots first?’
The adult way to run a business is to run it more like a country. They have disputes, yet they’ve actually been able to have huge trade with each other. They’re not sending bombs at each other. I think both Tim [Cook, Apple’s CEO] and Larry [Page, Google’s CEO], the sort of successors to Steve [Jobs] and me if you will, have an understanding of this state model. When they and their teams meet, they have just a long list of things to talk about.
He was also asked whether or not Apple and Google had spoken directly regarding any of the lawsuits, but Schmidt didn’t give a direct or clear response. He simply stated that the two companies are aware of each others’ plans, and that he was unsure as to why Cupertino was suing manufacturers instead of Google directly.