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Google CEO 'occasionally excused' from Apple board meetings

post #1 of 68
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Google chief executive and Apple board member Eric Schmidt disclosed during a speech on Wednesday that his unique situation atop the leaderships of both high tech firms has periodically required that he step away from portions of the iPhone maker's board meetings.

The revelation underscores the increasing sensitivity between Google and Apple now that both are vying for a commanding slice of the booming mobile market with their respective Android and OS X iPhone operating systems, even as they work in concert on many other fronts, including internet search on Apple's devices as well as the promotion of open source web standards.

Speaking at an event in San Francisco sponsored by Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications, Schmidt was asked whether the inevitable competition between Google and Apple in the cell phone area would force him to resign from Apple's board of directors.*

"It has not so far," Schmidt says, although he notes that must 'occasionally be excused' from the room when certain aspects of the iPhone enter discussions. He also downplays the significance of the events by pointing out their rarity; there isn't a regular clash between each other's interests, according to the Google executive.

"I've only done this once or twice, so it's not as common as it sounds," Schmidt adds.

To that end, Schmidt also takes care to distance phones using Android from the iPhone. The offerings should be "quite different" in practice, he explains. While the differences weren't fully illustrated at the event, Android devices aren't required to use a touchscreen and in some cases can have either physical controls alone or even both, in the case of the rumored HTC Dream. The software is also more flexible than for Apple's device and allows handset creators to modify nearly any aspect of the code, including core components like the dialer.

Regardless, the two companies have drawn increasingly closer in terms of interface and even design philosophy, potentially putting either at odds in the long term. Recent demonstration builds of Android have shown cosmetically similar home screens, while Google has also talked of implementing its own software store that would embrace a concept similar to the App Store accessible from Apple's iPhone 2.0 firmware.

Google in the past has de-emphasized the broader potential for conflicts of interest by stating that its goal is to make Google's services, not branded devices, available to as many users as possible. The company earlier this year was surprised but pleased at heavy iPhone traffic to Google , which helps drive the search engine giant's web ad revenues.
post #2 of 68
Alrighty, then...

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post #3 of 68
I'm surprised the AI article doesn't make mention as well of MobilMe as in potential future conflict with gmail/google Docs/Picasso. I could certainly imagine future versions integrating more of the iLife/iWork suite, and then we would have the leading paid and ad-supported options for consumer "cloud" computing.
post #4 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The software is also more flexible than for Apple's device and allows handset creators to modify nearly any aspect of the code, including core components like the dialer.

So Android phones can be incompatible with other Android phones. There will not be any consistency of use between different phones running Android?
Then what's the point?
post #5 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerardj View Post

So Android phones can be incompatible with other Android phones. There will not be any consistency of use between different phones running Android?
Then what's the point?

There are iPods that use click wheels and iPods that use touch screens, does that make them "incompatible" or "inconsistant?"

As I see it, Android is more of a platform than a product. The whole idea is that phones can be made with a great deal of variety to appeal to different consumers while shairing certain core functionaliites.

The more I see of Android, the more impressed I am. I suspect its potential has a lot to do with the dramatic changes in Apple's iPhone strategy--they want as much user base as they can get now, while they have the head start...
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post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerardj View Post

So Android phones can be incompatible with other Android phones. There will not be any consistency of use between different phones running Android?
Then what's the point?

Google is trying to make a holy grail, open source platform for cellphones. With so many different hardware choices and a virtually unlimited combinations, paired with the limited storage capacity of such devices manufacturers will have to cater each Android build for each device.

The beauty is that cellphone OS development can grow together, moving from manufacturer to another doesn't mean you have to completely learn a new phone's setup and all your personal data has the potential be easily moved from to the other as devices get more complex, yet they can still be personalized from the manufacturer and on the user's side while a stable platform is used across the board.


PS: I can potentially see other handheld devices without phones dumping their firmware for a more efficient firmware that is cross-compatible, like Android.
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post #7 of 68
I thought this was news two weeks ago. A forum member or two did link to a similar story.
post #8 of 68
Google has no business being in the cell phone market. I don't see anything special coming form Android other than just a hobby for Google. Annoying that they must make noise about nothing. Maybe it's just a collaborated agreement between Apple and Google designed to discourage the competition. Android certainly isn't going anywhere.
post #9 of 68
Hmm mm that's right Google. Don't enter the room no more! Apple planning attack against you too.
=)
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post #10 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

Android certainly isn't going anywhere.

Andorid looks very promising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Hmm mm that's right Google. Don't enter the room no more! Apple planning attack against you too.

I think it's more of being privy to Schmidt overhearing Apple's iPhone IP which he could then potentially plan an attack Against Apple.
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post #11 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

Google has no business being in the cell phone market. I don't see anything special coming form Android other than just a hobby for Google. Annoying that they must make noise about nothing. Maybe it's just a collaborated agreement between Apple and Google designed to discourage the competition. Android certainly isn't going anywhere.

Talk to us again in two years, when every phone on earth is either an iPhone or an Android phone.

Okay, maybe RIM will still be around.

Android isn't going to take Apple out of the market, but it will deal the finishing blow to Microsoft's Win Mobile and Palm, even if Palm manages to get its new Linux-based OS out the door. Given the choice between paying MS for putting Win Mobile on your device vs. using Android for free, which do you think Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, HTC, etc. are going to choose? It's pretty much a no-brainer.

Meanwhile, there's still plenty of room for growth with new users, since smart phones are just starting to take off. So it will be years before Android takes any market share from Apple. But in the long run, when these two go head-to-head eventually, it could become an issue for Schmidt and Jobs. For now, he'll just have to be excused from board meetings on occasion.
post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

...Android isn't going to take Apple out of the market, but it will deal the finishing blow to Microsoft's Win Mobile and Palm, even if Palm manages to get its new Linux-based OS out the door. Given the choice between paying MS for putting Win Mobile on your device vs. using Android for free, which do you think Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, HTC, etc. are going to choose? It's pretty much a no-brainer...

And that is the point of Android. To destroy Windows Mobile. And, as you mention above, it will happen, due to price points.

It ain't a competitor for the "complete widget" that is iPhone.
post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

Android isn't going to take Apple out of the market, but it will deal the finishing blow to Microsoft's Win Mobile and Palm, even if Palm manages to get its new Linux-based OS out the door. Given the choice between paying MS for putting Win Mobile on your device vs. using Android for free, which do you think Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, HTC, etc. are going to choose? It's pretty much a no-brainer.

MS is the only really in jeopardy here from Android. Palm, RiM, Nokia, HTC, Moto and SE make hardware and will eventually benefit from Android. But will Creative, iRiver etc. use Android for their PMPs to offer access to a web browser and email support to better compete with Apple's iPod Touch.

PS: Will WebKit overtake Firefox with Android coming out? Mobile Firefox looks promising but there is still work to do and I think it will not grow as well if they don't support cross extensions.
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post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

MS is the only really in jeopardy here from Android. Palm, RiM, Nokia, HTC, Moto and SE make hardware and will eventually benefit from Android. But will Creative, iRiver etc. use Android for their PMPs to offer access to a web browser and email support to better compete with Apple's iPod Touch.

I agree except that I can't see how people can blow this off as a threat, or at least a challenge, to Apple. If Google sets up Creative so they can turn their music player into an effective phone and web browser it is possible that people could choose their offering over Apple's. It isn't likely, but you have to admit that it is much harder (impossible?) to see this happening without Android.

Just think what an effective handset maker might be able to do with good software...
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post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

Google has no business being in the cell phone market. I don't see anything special coming form Android other than just a hobby for Google. Annoying that they must make noise about nothing. Android certainly isn't going anywhere.

Just go back 15 months, replace Google with Apple and Android with iPhone and you have what the rest of the industry was saying at the time...
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post #16 of 68
At this point I think Google competes against Apple in almost all segments EXCEPT computer hardware and high-end content creation software. It boggles my mind that they let this guy sit in on board meetings anymore. Since I'm not a shareholder I don't care very much, but if I were a significant shareholder I'd want Schmidt out yesterday.

If Google wakes back up and realizes they're an advertising agency, and partnered with Apple to drive such revenues, by all means get him back on the board. While Google continues to make media apps, smartphone operating systems, and various online services, keep him away.
post #17 of 68
Wow, it feels like Bill Gates and Jobs last time
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post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

Given the choice between paying MS for putting Win Mobile on your device vs. using Android for free, which do you think Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, HTC, etc. are going to choose?

Well, one would suspect Nokia would choose Symbian or their own Maemo UNIX platform.

But sure, Android is interesting and I hope it really pushes Apple.
post #19 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Just go back 15 months, replace Google with Apple and Android with iPhone and you have what the rest of the industry was saying at the time...

not only that, but android is i believe fully open source, and the cell phone companies can change everything right down to the dialer (just like it says in this article)

there is no cell phone platform anything like that today. and it doesn't matter if it's an utter failure, it's google, and almost everything they do is just a pet project until it gains popularity (or doesn't).

honestly with android why would you ever waste your time even developing a cell phone operating system when it's handed to you on a platter?
post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

At this point I think Google competes against Apple in almost all segments EXCEPT computer hardware and high-end content creation software.

I think you're overplaying your argument. Not only are there several other categories that they don't compete, the ones that they actually might be considered competing is very oblique competition at best.
post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

Google has no business being in the cell phone market.

Why? I know whining about it won't cause them to pack up and quit.
post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

At this point I think Google competes against Apple in almost all segments EXCEPT computer hardware and high-end content creation software. It boggles my mind that they let this guy sit in on board meetings anymore. Since I'm not a shareholder I don't care very much, but if I were a significant shareholder I'd want Schmidt out yesterday.

If Google wakes back up and realizes they're an advertising agency, and partnered with Apple to drive such revenues, by all means get him back on the board. While Google continues to make media apps, smartphone operating systems, and various online services, keep him away.

It's in the best interests of both Google and Apple to work together in the future. Life is not a zero-sum game where it's Apple against everyone else. This kind of one-dimensional thinking killed Apple in the early 1990s. What was Steve Jobs' first push when he became CEO again in the late 1990s? He got Microsoft to invest in Apple and opened up development for Office to come into existence, one of the key developments which is currently driving Mac switches.

Sure, Schmidt shouldn't be in on the iPhone discussion, but being in everything else is perfectly appropriate and needed.

BTW, Apple is NOT a cellphone company. Or a music company. Or a company using Intel processors. Oh wait, that all changed a few years ago.
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post #23 of 68
Null.
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post #24 of 68
its good for a guy like him to have time away. He's got a lot of Legos to put together.
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

BTW, Apple is NOT a cellphone company. Or a music company. Or a company using Intel processors. Oh wait, that all changed a few years ago.

That's right! Apple is in the "making-complex-things-easy-to-use" business.

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post #26 of 68
Yea well macbook air still sucks
post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

Talk to us again in two years, when every phone on earth is either an iPhone or an Android phone.

Okay, maybe RIM will still be around.

Android isn't going to take Apple out of the market, but it will deal the finishing blow to Microsoft's Win Mobile and Palm, even if Palm manages to get its new Linux-based OS out the door. Given the choice between paying MS for putting Win Mobile on your device vs. using Android for free, which do you think Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, HTC, etc. are going to choose? It's pretty much a no-brainer.

I knew the iPhone would be a hit as soon as it was shown at MacWorld. So I do not fit into that category.

Android does not impress me one bit. The blow to MS will be made by the iPhone and not by Android. Android may help it but even without Android MS Win Mobile does not stand a chance against the iPhone.

I do find it very interesting that Google entered into this market from left field. Hmmmm... Google chief executive Eric Schmidt is an Apple board member. So he knew about the iPhone even before we did. I'm sure. Why is Google entering a market that has nothing to do with what they do? Huh? He knows that Apple's idea will revolutionize the industry that's why and he want's to steal some of it away from Apple. Personally I would have kicked him out of the board the minute he said he was making a product much like the iPhone. Where did he get that idea? Huh?

As one poster said earlier, the day that Google announced Android, the same thought entered my head... it does feel like Gates #2 all over again. What a scum bag.

Edit to add:
You wonder why Steve doesn't look so good lately, one of his "best friends" is stabbing him in the back.
post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuneman07 View Post

Yea well macbook air still sucks

Couldn't afford one, huh?

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post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

As one poster said earlier, the day that Google announced Android, the same thought entered my head... it does feel like Gates #2 all over again. What a scum bag.

Edit to add:
You wonder why Steve doesn't look so good lately, one of his "best friends" is stabbing him in the back.

Oh, baloney. The phone OS benefits Google by enabling a standardized platform for Google products and advertising.

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post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Oh, baloney.

Woah there! Cut back on the harsh language before I report you to the admins.
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post #31 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Couldn't afford one, huh?

No, he said it sucks. And he's mostly right.
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post #32 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

Why is Google entering a market that has nothing to do with what they do? Huh?

Riiight, so nobody checks email, searches the web or views YouTube on their phone?

The rapidly changing smartphone market has EVERYTHING to do with what Google do.
post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

I knew the iPhone would be a hit as soon as it was shown at MacWorld. So I do not fit into that category.

the iPhone has sold less than 10 million units per year so far. The overall market for cellphones is 1 billion. Defining "hit" is relative.

Quote:
Android does not impress me one bit. The blow to MS will be made by the iPhone and not by Android. Android may help it but even without Android MS Win Mobile does not stand a chance against the iPhone.

How does an expensive, proprietary, closed-source OS deal a blow to another expensive, proprietary, closed-source OS from Microsoft? It doesn't. Get your head out of the sand.

Quote:
I do find it very interesting that Google entered into this market from left field. Hmmmm... Google chief executive Eric Schmidt is an Apple board member. So he knew about the iPhone even before we did. I'm sure. Why is Google entering a market that has nothing to do with what they do? Huh?

Read up on Apple history please. Remember the introduction of the iPhone? iPod? iTunes? Huh? Yeah, all those things had nothing to do with their previous product map.

Quote:
He knows that Apple's idea will revolutionize the industry that's why and he want's to steal some of it away from Apple. Personally I would have kicked him out of the board the minute he said he was making a product much like the iPhone. Where did he get that idea? Huh?

I'm not sure who the first cellphone manufacturer was, but it wasn't Apple.

Quote:
As one poster said earlier, the day that Google announced Android, the same thought entered my head... it does feel like Gates #2 all over again. What a scum bag.

Ummmmm...

Quote:
Edit to add:
You wonder why Steve doesn't look so good lately, one of his "best friends" is stabbing him in the back.

Or maybe it's pancreatic cancer...? You know, the one he was diagnosed and treated for previously?
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post #34 of 68
However one looks at it, it's clear that there is indeed a conflict of interests. It would be like WinMob attenting SonyEricsson meetings...

I understand he has to quit from time to time.. I think he shouldn't even be there at all.

Someone here is saying iPhone is a closed platform, whereas Android will be a completely open one.

I think Apple is creating an OS for a new platform. There's plenty of room for third party developers to take advantage of it.
Android, on the other hand, risks (it's not a fact, just a risk) to be implemented with such big variations among handset manufacturers that developers will scratch their heads to create something that works for all. At the end of the day Android's app store will be divided into substores according to the version of Android installed and phone features (GPS or not, Touchscreen or not, motion sensor or not, and so on) making it a pain to navigate and find something.

I am all for openness and participation, but I think the best products and services are the ones that rely on a commonly accepted, well thought foundation.


Anyway. Now I begin to understand why Jobs complains about "a ship that leaks from the top"... (kidding kidding)

PS - on another funny note... Why didn't we see any "Avon" applications for the iPhone? that would have been funny. But maybe it will come.. Avon App for Avon sales people...

PS2- Jobs should really update his pictures on the "Apple Board" photo (check it out here: http://www.apple.com/pr/photos/execs/jobsphotos.html )

PS3- is it just me or some of the Google hype in version 1.0 of the iPhone has now gone? No new apps? No "Google Docs" for iPhone? Maybe Schmidt already has a "one way ticket"...
post #35 of 68
He has to leave the room during board meetings? Let's hope it doesn't end up like when that happens in a James Bond movie.
post #36 of 68
I am sure others will know better but doesn't Google simply become Microsoft in the sense that making one OS for any manufacturers becomes a mess, never quite working perfectly (as in PCs). As opposed to the Apple model of controlling hardware and software for integration. Plus, soon to be even the CPUs will be in-house. I guess Google might succeed in the way MS did in volume but perhaps this time Apple is far enough ahead and wise enough not to let history repeat itself.
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post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

Google has no business being in the cell phone market. I don't see anything special coming form Android other than just a hobby for Google. Annoying that they must make noise about nothing. Maybe it's just a collaborated agreement between Apple and Google designed to discourage the competition. Android certainly isn't going anywhere.

I am so sick of hearing about Android! Never before has such hype been created for something that still does not exist. When android is actually done and is actually on cell phones that are actually being sold to and used by real people, when they line up by the hundreds to buy an android phone then we can evaluate how good of a system it will be. Until then can we start treating it like what it is? A dream in the sky? Having a great idea, even a great software demo is one thing, but actually making a product that competes in the marketplace is another. I don't see why we give Google such credit for something that is still being designed, just because they're google??? Has Google ever made an electronic device before? Have they ever made system software for a mobile device before? Why do we assume it will be great the first time out?

The iPhone is here, in it's second generation even. We have seen many examples of the great apps that will be available on July 11th, it's been proven that people want the iPhone and that it's poised to me a mega hit in the mobile phone industry. When Google and Android are at that point then we can begin to tout the merits of android. But for now it's just dreaming.
post #38 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Woah there! Cut back on the harsh language before I report you to the admins.

I'm trying to play nice since cursing at each other is just polarizing. Yes, we can disagree without being disagreeable.

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post #39 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

I'm not sure who the first cellphone manufacturer was, but it wasn't Apple.

Right you are!

According to internal memos, American Telephone & Telegraph discussed developing a wireless phone in 1915, but were afraid deployment of the technology could undermine its monopoly on wired service in the U.S.[2]

The first commercial mobile phone service was launched in Japan by NTT in 1978. By November 2007, the total number of mobile phone subscriptions in the world had reached 3.3 billion, or half of the human population (although some users have multiple subscriptions, or inactive subscriptions), which also makes the mobile phone the most widely spread technology and the most common gadget in the world.[3]

The first mobile phone to enable internet connectivity and wireless email use, was the Nokia Communicator released in 1996 and created a new category of expensive phones called smartphones. In 1999 the first mobile internet service was launched by NTT DoCoMo in Japan under the i-Mode service. By 2007 over 798 million people around the world accessed the internet or equivalent mobile internet services such as WAP and i-Mode at least occasionally using a mobile phone rather than a personal computer. On May 23, 2008 american company Hop-on started to sell mobile phone for USD 10.

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post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'm trying to play nice since cursing at each other is just polarizing. Yes, we can disagree without being disagreeable.

If only politicians followed that example eh?
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