Google chairman, and former CEO, Eric Schmidt did a Q&A with Jessica Lessin at The Wall Street Journal.
One of the big topics of conversation was Google's relationship with Apple. The two companies were once so close that Eric Schmidt joke they should merge and rename themselves, "AppleGoo." Now, they hate each others guts.
Speaking of the companies' relationship, Schmidt told Lessin, "It's 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."
This is an interesting statement from Schmidt. There was never a consensus about why YouTube came off the iPhone. But, overall, people think it's more good than bad for Google. Apple had a lot of restrictions on YouTube. It controlled the interface and it didn't include advertisements.
Now that Apple is done making its own YouTube app, Google can go nuts with advertisements and interface tweaks. Because of that, it seems fair to conclude that both Apple and Google are responsible for the YouTube app coming off the home screen.
Anyway, despite taking a little shot at Apple, Schmidt says:
The press would like to write the sort of teenage model of competition, which is, 'I have a gun, you have a gun, who shoots first?'
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.
Apple and Google are well aware of the legal strategies of each other. Part of the conversations that are going on all the time is to talk about them.
It's extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google's partners and not Google itself.
We agree with Schmidt. It is odd that Apple went after Google's partners. This CNET story from August gives some idea about why Apple didn't just sue Google.
Basically, Samsung made phones that look like the iPhone. That's easier for a jury to understand than software, which is more abstract. Also, Google probably doesn't make much money from Android, so the pay out would be much smaller to Apple. And finally, Apple can be something of a bully going after weaker, smaller players.
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