Eric Schmidt Suggests Peace With Apple is Coming, Dismisses Windows Phone
December 5, 2012 12:30 PM
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Schmidt also expresses frustration with patent wars; disdain for Windows Phone
When it comes to Eric Schmidt,
Google Inc. (
) CEO and his company's arch-nemesis Apple, Inc. (
), the ties that bind are almost as strong as the ties that separate.
I. Victims of Smartphone War are the Little Guys, Says Schmidt
During much of Mr. Schmidt's time atop the Google throne; he also
served on Apple's board of directors
. The two companies had a fruitful relationship and Mr. Schmidt
was close friends
with late Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs. That relationship fast deteriorated when Google decided to launch Android, a Linux based smartphone platform that would eventually come to heavily outsell Apple in the smartphone market in unit sales. Mr. Jobs
expressed a feeling of "betrayal"
at the decision, which not only spoke to his
zealous feelings of ownership
of the smartphone market, but also his strange relationship with Google and Mr. Schmidt.
In an interview with the
Wall Street Journal
Mr. Schmidt speaks optimistically that the pair can work out their differences with respect to patent litigation, commenting:
[Google's relationship with Apple has] always been on and off. 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.
[But] 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.
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is not concerned Android will be hurt by the patent wars.
[Image Source: The Sydney Morning Herald]
Mr. Schmidt says that both Apple and Google are "doing fine" and that
has been able to gain ground in the patent war, much like the entrenched empires of the First World War. He says that the real "loser" in the patent wars are small startups, which might look to create an innovative news smartphone operating system as Android VP Andy Rubin did when his startup made what would later become Android back in the middle of the last decade. With all the lawsuits and junk patents, Mr. Schmidt argues such "garage" innovation is simply impossible in today's legal climate.
II. Former CEO Addresses Criticism, Says Microsoft is no Threat
The Google executive admits that his company long lagged Apple in terms of financially compensating developers. He remarks, "Google Play [Google's app store] and the monetization just started working well in the last year, maybe the last six months. The volume is indisputable, and with the volume comes the opportunity and the luxury of time."
As for the perennial question of whether Google
will or should favor new acquisition Motorola Mobility
over its third-party Android partners, Mr. Schmidt says that would be a "terrible mistake". He says that when the deal was announced he personally flew to meet with executives at South Korea's Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) -- the world's largest smartphone maker and foremost Android adopter -- to assure them that there would be no favoritism.
As for Microsoft Corp.'s (
; Mr. Schmidt was dismissive of the operating system. He blasts, "I have not used it, but I think that Microsoft has not emerged as a trendsetter in this new model yet."
Eric Schmidt argues Microsoft's Windows Phone is no "trend setter".
Mr. Schmidt expressed hopes that
current antitrust investigations
Google's involvement in various markets
would wrap up. He says he has no interest working for the Obama administration in a government post, saying Google has always been his "home".
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RE: Interesting, very interesting
12/5/2012 3:03:54 PM
This is somewhat a chicken and egg thing going on since based on the 2006 prototype drawing we don't see the UI only a mockup of one possible device. The speculation was that it would be similar to RIM, but one of the complaints of RIM was that it wasn't touchscreen vs the Windows Mobile Phone. So RIM like with a touchscreen would be the optimal description. Was Apple making a platform that would work with many device designs?
Now, how much could have Eric given to his designers that wasn't already common knowledge? Remember Sony already had the Nishibori Design in 2006 and there were other designs from Nokia including the N95 unveiled in 2006. Eric didn't join the board until August 2006 and Google might have prototypes that predate that time of a similar design. Even then does Apple own all rectangle with round edge smartphone designs? Other than physical design are all the other aspects of iPhone that similar because Eric saw a prototype or just smart development? IE. Bounce graphic?
Did Eric actually attend those meetings where iPhone design and prototype was being discussed? Per Steve Jobs, Eric was excusing himself when there was a conflict of interest.
Based on statements from Eric they new beforehand that there would be conflicts:
There are also probably documented cases where prior to introducing anything iPhone related to the board Eric excused himself, but we don't have this information. All we know is that Eric has not been personally sued for stealing aspects of the iPhone design and would be if there was a direct case. If he did steal designs then wouldn't multitouch be the one aspect he would steal? This design didn't come until the 2.0 version of Android and would definitely be one stolen portion of iOS that came after iPhone was released.
The rest?? I don't know, but there isn't enough evidence.
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