Despite growing rivalry, Google CEO Eric Schmidt still has a special place for Apple in his heart

Sat, Jan 23, 2010


Following a report that Apple is considering making Microsoft’s Bing the default search engine on the iPhone, Jim Goldman, citing a source familiar with the situation, said that Steve Jobs hates Google CEO, and former Apple board member, Eric Schmidt. And given Apple and Google’s growing rivalry over the past few months, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering Jobs’ short fuse when it comes to people he feels played him or stabbed him in the back.

On the flip side, though, Google’s Schmidt, at least in public, has nothing but glowing things to say about Apple and his time spent there. During Google’s recent earnings conference call, Schmidt was asked about his company’s relationship with Apple and rumors that Apple might abandon Google search in favor of Bing. Schmidt refused to take the bait, responding:

I, as a former board member, have a special spot for Apple in my heart, but I will tell you Apple is a very well run company. They have a lot of very good stuff coming. We have a couple of very good partnerships with them, and we also compete with them in a couple of areas. My guess is that is a pretty stable situation for awhile.

We are not going to speculate on the marketshare of Apple mobile products. That is for Apple to discuss with you. As far as I can tell, our business structures with Apple are quite stable. I am not going to speculate on any deals of any kind — rumored, true, not true, you name it. We are not going to talk about it.

In the blink of an eye, Google morphed from a company focused on search into a company with its own smartphone, web browser, mobile OS, and soon to come, its own desktop OS to boot. Meanwhile, Apple has also been expanding its business into areas traditionally seen as Google’s territory, evidenced by its recent purchase of the mapping company PlaceBase and the mobile ad agency Quattro Wireless.



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