Google CEO 'occasionally excused' from Apple board meetings

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Alrighty, then...
  • Reply 2 of 67
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 67
    gerardjgerardj Posts: 15member
    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?
  • Reply 4 of 67
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,937member
    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...
  • Reply 5 of 67
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 67
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    I thought this was news two weeks ago. A forum member or two did link to a similar story.
  • Reply 7 of 67
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 67
    ivladivlad Posts: 742member
    Hmm mm that's right Google. Don't enter the room no more! Apple planning attack against you too.

    =)
  • Reply 9 of 67
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 67
    mrjoec123mrjoec123 Posts: 223member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 67
    jimdreamworxjimdreamworx Posts: 1,077member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 67
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 67
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,937member
    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...
  • Reply 14 of 67
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,937member
    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...
  • Reply 15 of 67
    boogabooga Posts: 1,081member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 67
    wheelhotwheelhot Posts: 465member
    Wow, it feels like Bill Gates and Jobs last time
  • Reply 17 of 67
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 67
    akhomerunakhomerun Posts: 386member
    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?
  • Reply 19 of 67
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 67
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    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.
Sign In or Register to comment.