Google CEO Schmidt downplays perceived rivalry with Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Despite the fact that Google and Apple have been at odds of late as the two companies compete in more markets, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said this week that he has a "special spot" for Apple in his heart.



Schmidt's comments were made Thursday evening during a conference call after his company reported its quarterly earnings. Google's year-over-year revenue saw a 17 percent increase to $6.67 billion. During the question and answer session, Schmidt was asked about his company's relationship with Apple by Senior Analyst Sandeep Aggarwal with firm Collins Stewart.



"I, as a former board member, have a special spot for Apple in my heart," Schmidt responded, "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."



Later, Jefferies & Co. analyst Youssef Squali indirectly inquired about reports from earlier this week that Apple and Microsoft are in talks to bring Bing search and maps to the iPhone. Currently, Google is the search and map provider for Apple's handset. Schmidt, however, declined to address the rumors.



"We are not going to speculate on the marketshare of Apple mobile products," Schmidt said. "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."



Schmidt's comments come just days after CNBC's Jim Goldman claimed a source told him that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs "hates Eric (Schmidt)." The anonymous comment was used to explain why Apple has allegedly been in negotiations with Microsoft since late last year.



Schmidt's comments are similar to ones he made last year when he also denied any tension between Google and Apple. "We love the iPhone," he said at the time.



Schmidt resigned from the Apple Board of Directors last August, as both Google and Apple were the subjects of a Federal Trade Commmission investigation for potential antitrust ties. Schmidt chose to resign because Google's Android mobile operating system and forthcoming Chrome OS netbook operating system look to compete with Apple's iPhone and Mac OS X, respectively.



Apple, too, showed signs in 2009 that it intends to tread into Google's territory soon. Last summer, Apple purchased Google Maps competitor Placebase. Later in the year, it sought to hire a full-time employee to take its iPhone Maps application "to the next level."



Apple is also expected to enter the mobile advertising business after its purchase of Quattro Wireless, believed to be worth $275 million, in December. Through the acquisition, Apple also named the former CEO of Quattro Wireless, Andy Miller, to a new position: vice president of Mobile Advertising.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,512member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Schmidt's comments come just days after CNBC's Jim Goldman claimed a source told him that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs "hates Eric (Schmidt)." The anonymous comment was used to explain why Apple has allegedly been in negotiations with Microsoft since late last year.



    That's quite an inflammatory quote. I'm surprised there was not a thread here discussing it. I could believe that Jobs is disappointed and angry with Schmidt, but hate???
  • Reply 2 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "..... I will tell you ....They have a lot of very good stuff coming."



    Wow. "Lot of...."? That is an interesting giveaway, from a former insider.
  • Reply 3 of 49
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Quote:

    CNBC's Jim Goldman claimed a source told him that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs "hates Eric (Schmidt)." The anonymous comment was used to explain why Apple has allegedly been in negotiations with Microsoft since late last year.





    Methinks this smells like Rupert Murdocks doings, he's pro Bing and wants to charge for his content online, so he's trying to drive a wedge between Apple (with their new device) and Google, which he hates for profiting off his content.



    Yes it sounds complicated I know.
  • Reply 4 of 49
    Quote:

    "..... I will tell you ....They have a lot of very good stuff coming."



    Schmidt. Yet another PR for Apple.
  • Reply 5 of 49
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,512member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    Methinks this smells like Rupert Murdocks doings, he's pro Bing and wants to charge for his content online, so he's trying to drive a wedge between Apple (with their new device) and Google, which he hates for profiting off his content.



    Yes it sounds complicated I know.



    I almost agreed with you, based upon how devious I think Murdoch is. If the rumor about Apple and Microsoft negotiating to have Bing be the default search engine for iPhones had come from Fox News, it would have made your theory believable. I think that other rumor came from Business Week, which is not a NewsCorp property. Need more evidence to support your idea.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    You know, there's at least a chance that Google has shot themselves in the foot by pressing into the hardware and OS businesses.



    If an Apple tablet becomes a huge hit, further extending the market share of OS X, all Google really had to do was sit back and be a good partner to Apple to get what they wanted-- all that ad money. After all, when you look at the smart phone sales charts, it's really a two horse race-- Android and the iPhone. But all Google gets from Android is more people using Google services, which they had anyway with the iPhone. Take Android out of the picture, and you get (probably) more growth for the iPhone, which still serves Gooogle's interests.



    Or did, till they decided to piss Apple off. By explicitly going head to head with Apple, they give Apple a good reason to start to shed Google services. If that happens, and Apple's mobile OS continues to grow, that's a huge, huge, loss for Google. They know, and Apple knows, that mobile is the future. Desktop is moribund. Everything Google has achieved gets reset with the new mobile paradigm, and Apple looks to be major player, if not the majority incumbent.



    Of course, I understand Google's desire to control their own destiny, but they're not really that kind of company. Their entire business model is piggybacked on internet commerce in general. I imagine they started the Android project before it was clear that Apple was going to start to pick up enormous market share, but still: very risky maneuver.
  • Reply 7 of 49
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Wow. "Lot of...."? That is an interesting giveaway, from a former insider.



    Steve says this kind of 'fluff response' any times he's bored of says "We don't comment on future products". Would you rather hear... Yea we're gonna sit back and milk the current devices and/or software for at least 6 more months before throwing out a new feature like a camera in the iPod Touch or multi-touch in our laptops?



    Alternatively the man could have said "My thoughts on Apple you say? Well being a former member of the board I should know, they don't got shit and between android and our other projects we plan to out do them every chance we get" but what good would that comment do (even IF it was what he was actually thinking).
  • Reply 8 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    Steve says this kind of 'fluff response'.



    "Steve" says this kind of stuff? What Eric?
  • Reply 9 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    You know, there's at least a chance that Google has shot themselves in the foot by pressing into the hardware and OS businesses.



    If an Apple tablet becomes a huge hit, further extending the market share of OS X, all Google really had to do was sit back and be a good partner to Apple to get what they wanted-- all that ad money. After all, when you look at the smart phone sales charts, it's really a two horse race-- Android and the iPhone. But all Google gets from Android is more people using Google services, which they had anyway with the iPhone. Take Android out of the picture, and you get (probably) more growth for the iPhone, which still serves Gooogle's interests.



    Or did, till they decided to piss Apple off. By explicitly going head to head with Apple, they give Apple a good reason to start to shed Google services. If that happens, and Apple's mobile OS continues to grow, that's a huge, huge, loss for Google. They know, and Apple knows, that mobile is the future. Desktop is moribund. Everything Google has achieved gets reset with the new mobile paradigm, and Apple looks to be major player, if not the majority incumbent.



    Of course, I understand Google's desire to control their own destiny, but they're not really that kind of company. Their entire business model is piggybacked on internet commerce in general. I imagine they started the Android project before it was clear that Apple was going to start to pick up enormous market share, but still: very risky maneuver.



    Spot on Adda, the new great game will be to lock in users to your company's eco-system as much as possible and sell them middleman services (music, tv, publications, search, etc) and with that advertising. Apple is the only one to make money off of the hardware too amongst the big 3 (bringing a struggling Msoft into the discussion). Risky for Google but what can they do? They have been unable to build any other revenue stream outside of ads. Losing out to Baidu in China has to be hurting them. I guess they felt they had no defensive option but to go on the offence and attack Msoft with Chrome and G-Apps and attack Apple with Android. Otherwise, where will their revenue come from? Desktop search growth is already flattening out.
  • Reply 10 of 49
    Apple and Google have to play this competition game to keep the antitrust dogs at bay. They don't want what happened to Microsoft to happen to either of them. International antitrust issues nearly destroyed Microsoft over the last decade.



    They must avoid antitrust issues at all cost.



    Time will tell.
  • Reply 11 of 49
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    You know, there's at least a chance that Google has shot themselves in the foot by pressing into the hardware and OS businesses...



    I think the objective was to give Microsoft as much trouble as possible, erode their market share and power.



    I think Apple and Google are still in league along those lines even though they compete in some areas.





    Also Steve likes to sell companies, like he did Pixar to Disney, so he might be lining up Apple's future with either Intel or Google when he passes.



    Apple combined with a huge money source like advertising or processors would ensure it's survival against a resurgent Microsoft.
  • Reply 12 of 49
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    I think the objective was to give Microsoft as much trouble as possible, erode their market share and power.



    I think Apple and Google are still in league along those lines even though they compete in some areas.





    Also Steve likes to sell companies, like he did Pixar to Disney, so he might be lining up Apple's future with either Intel or Google when he passes.



    Apple combined with a huge money source like advertising or processors would ensure it's survival against a resurgent Microsoft.



    Well, I guess I'd say that if Google thought they were going to compete with MS in the mobile space, they picked the wrong competitor. And if irritating Apple turns out to be just collateral damage in the game Google thought they were playing, all the worse for them.
  • Reply 13 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post


    Apple and Google have to play this competition game to keep the antitrust dogs at bay. They don't want what happened to Microsoft to happen to either of them. International antitrust issues nearly destroyed Microsoft over the last decade.



    They must avoid antitrust issues at all cost.



    Time will tell.



    What possible antitrust issues could Apple face?
  • Reply 14 of 49
    Quote:

    They have a lot of very good stuff coming.



    And therein lies the problem. He's known this and more than likely been filtering it back to Google. They've known what was coming and have prepared for it.



    I think that would have annoyed Jobs big style and i wouldn't be surprised if somebody at Apple actually brought something to the FCC's attention.



    Schmidt's words may well be genuine but i bet you wouldn't get the same sincerity from Mr Jobs.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    If Schmidt truly has a special spot in his heart for Apple, he should step down as Google's CEO... or be ousted. Nothing personal, mind you, just business.
  • Reply 16 of 49
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,561member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    What possible antitrust issues could Apple face?



    They faced scrutiny over iTunes in Europe before, and regulatory issues were raised in the US and abroad over exclusive contracts on iPhones. Companies are best off not looking like they dominate an industry to the regulators.



    At the same time, they need to work together to forge standards and allow one to pick up where the other leaves off. It is the nature of technology and commerce.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "They have a lot of very good stuff coming"...Schmidt's comments come just days after CNBC's Jim Goldman claimed a source told him that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs "hates Eric (Schmidt).



    I think we all know that if there is one thing Steve Jobs dislikes...even HATES... it's a traitor. No doubt that Schmidt had access to Apple's product roadmap and access to conversations with department heads at a whim. That he would potentially (likely) use this information to his company's advantage would make him a traitor.



    Come to think of it, sounds a lot like Bill Gates, who while developing Office for the Mac, had access to Apple's code. Suddenly, Microsoft released Windows. Same thing with Schmidt?
  • Reply 18 of 49
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,512member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    You know, there's at least a chance that Google has shot themselves in the foot by pressing into the hardware and OS businesses.



    If an Apple tablet becomes a huge hit, further extending the market share of OS X, all Google really had to do was sit back and be a good partner to Apple to get what they wanted-- all that ad money. After all, when you look at the smart phone sales charts, it's really a two horse race-- Android and the iPhone. But all Google gets from Android is more people using Google services, which they had anyway with the iPhone. Take Android out of the picture, and you get (probably) more growth for the iPhone, which still serves Gooogle's interests.



    Or did, till they decided to piss Apple off. By explicitly going head to head with Apple, they give Apple a good reason to start to shed Google services. If that happens, and Apple's mobile OS continues to grow, that's a huge, huge, loss for Google. They know, and Apple knows, that mobile is the future. Desktop is moribund. Everything Google has achieved gets reset with the new mobile paradigm, and Apple looks to be major player, if not the majority incumbent.



    Of course, I understand Google's desire to control their own destiny, but they're not really that kind of company. Their entire business model is piggybacked on internet commerce in general. I imagine they started the Android project before it was clear that Apple was going to start to pick up enormous market share, but still: very risky maneuver.



    Nice analysis. Google also seems to have offended Verizon, by releasing the Nexus One so soon after the Droid and stealing its thunder somewhat. Now Verizon is setting default browser on some of its handsets to Bing rather than Google. The ruckus over the China hacking situation may make things more difficult for Google to operate there. If they poison enough wells, they may eventually have a hard time finding a place to drink.
  • Reply 19 of 49
    he's a ceo, what do you expect? something truthful to come out of his mouth?

    he looks like an inbred possum...or like a close relative of steve ballmer's...
  • Reply 20 of 49
    Quote:

    I imagine they started the Android project before it was clear that Apple was going to start to pick up enormous market share, but still: very risky maneuver.



    No need to imagine, Google bought Android in July 2005. Apple announced Iphone Jan 2007, with Google plstaered all over it. Everyone here talks as if Apple only heard of Android when Google announced, after the Iphone had been released and blew up, and suddenly found out that Google had bamboozled them, like a sneak thief.



    Everyone knew, including Jobs and Apple, well before the Iphone ever launched, that Google had Android, a potentially competing mobile OS. If Apple thought Andy Rubin was just hanging out at the Googleplex playing sudoku for years on end -- thats kind of on them.
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