Google in Industry’s “Defining Fight” with Apple, Says Eric Schmidt

Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt says that Google and Apple enter the ”defining fight” in the technology industry that has no precedents in the past.

Google Inc. executive chairman Eric Schmidt said at the AllThingsDigital conference on Wednesday that the ongoing battle between Apple and Google for supremacy in the mobile market is the ‘defining fight’ in the IT industry. Photo: Stuart Isett/Fortune Brainstorm Tech via Flickr

The battle between the two giant tech companies took a new turn when Apple dropped Google’s maps app from its iPhone 5, replacing it with its own trouble version.

Speaking at the AllThingsD conference on Wednesday, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt told Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg that there were already four times as many Android mobile devices as Apple devices.

Moreover, he  expects more than a billion mobile devices around the world to be running its Android software within a year. So the scale  of the battle between the two firms is unprecedented, says Los Angeles Times.

The chairman of the search giant refused to discuss the courtroom battles over patents. He said: “I do not understand the details of it  well enough, but all these can kill innovation ! These patents wars are death”.

What is more upsetting, not long ago these two giant firms were cooperating with each other. Schmidt served on Apple’s board while he was Google’s chief executive. But Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder envied the quick rise of Google’s Android mobile software.  He saw it  as a potential  threat to the profitable iPhone and iPad businesses.

Because of this rivalry, Apple dumped YouTube from its preloaded apps and, as mentioned above, replaced Google’s maps with its own mapping service (which leaves much to be desired ).

Both of this changes were to the detriment of  Apple consumers. The Daily Mail reports that  Apple CEO Tim Cook had to apologize publicly earlier this month, as users complained that  the product – based on Dutch navigation equipment maker and digital map maker Tom NV’s data – contained huge geographic errors and gaps in information.

Schmidt said: “What Apple has learned is that maps are really hard. We invested hundreds of millions of dollars in satellite work, airplane work, drive by work, to get the maps accurate.”

So, will Google make a new Maps app for Apple devices? “I don’t want to pre-announce products, but I can tell you that, were we to do that, Apple would have to approve it,” Schmidt said.

Meanwhile, Google inc. on Thursday expanded its Street View maps feature to include updated images of roadways and popular tourist attractions in the U.S. and several other countries.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Schmidt was pleasantly surprised that Google may get one of the leading places on Chinese Internet market any time soon, especially after 2010 standoff with the government over Web censorship and cyber-attacks that Google said originated in China.

Google relocated its “forces” to Hong Kong  during the sensation around the episode, allowing Chinese search engine Baidu Inc to widen its lead in China, one of the few markets in the world where Google’s search engine is not dominant

“Baidu will continue to be the Number One player in China for a long time,” Schmidt said. He said that he did not expect to re-establish relationships the Chinese government, which he said has cut off access to Google’s Web services in the past.

He added: “China has in its power to arbitrarily restrict our access to Chinese citizens to keep us at whatever percentage market share they wish.”

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