On Thursday, Google chairman Eric Schmidt revealed a surprising thing: Google’s relationship with Apple has improved after many meetings, he said.
Schmidt did not provide details about the nature of the meetings during comments to reporters at the annual Allen and Co media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho on Thursday. He noted that Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora, who joined him at the press briefing, was leading many of the discussions.
Schmidt did say that Apple and Google are in “constant business discussions on a long list of issues.” Bloomberg reports that Schmidt also said he has “a lot of respect for Apple,” despite the companies’ rivalry. “These are two proud, well-run, different companies,” he said.
Eric Schmidt once sat on the board of Apple, but the relationship between the two companies has soured somewhat as competition between the two have increased.
Jobs described this falling out as a grand betrayal in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs. In the book, Jobs reportedly declared, “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
Schmidt always denied that there was open discord between himself and Jobs, so it’s not surprising he’s saying that things are better between the two companies now.
It appears that the strain between the two tech giants became rather obvious when Apple dumped Google Maps for its own mapping solution in 2012. Apple’s maps service however proved to be ridden with errors, and Google ended up updating its map application for the latest version of Apple’s iPhone.
The world’s No.1 Internet search company, Google has moved to extend its reach into new markets in recent years, acquiring mobile phone maker Motorola Mobility, offering high-speed Internet service in a few U.S. cities and developing wearable computers and technology for self-driving cars, writes Yahoo! News.
Schmidt also said during discussions that Google’s autonomous vehicle technology was years rather than decades away from commercial availability, but noted that, “the exact way in which it all plays out is not obvious to me.”
“The technology has to be right. The regulation has to be right. The partnerships have to be right,” he said, noting that Google has talked to “every single car company,” Schmidt said.
The two companies also have taken their rivalry to apps as Google has Safari competitor Chrome in the App Store and has most recently updated its Google Search app with Siri competitor Google Now.
There have been other signals that the relationship between the two companies is strained as lawsuits pop up around the world between Apple and numerous Android smartphone makers. While the lawsuits do not involve Google directly, it isn’t difficult to imagine that Google might view them as attacks on one of its banner products.
However, Schmidt will know better than anybody that no technology company can sit in isolation forever. He was once the CEO of Novell, the leading corporate server networking software company of its time, which now only just clings on to any sort of market relevance thanks to a dwindling rump of users, informs ITProPortal.