Eric Schmidt Suggests Peace With Apple is Coming, Dismisses Windows Phone
December 5, 2012 12:30 PM
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".
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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