Eric Schmidt: Apple and Google are Like Competing Countries, Not Kids With Guns

By Jamie Condliffe on at

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Eric Schmidt was quizzed about the relationship between Apple and Google, among other things. His take? They're like countries trying to get along politically — not teenagers brandishing guns at each other. Right.

In response to the question "How has Google's relationship with Apple changed in the past year?", Schmidt answered:

"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.

"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.

"I think both Tim [Cook, Apple's CEO] and Larry [Page, Google's CEO], the sort of successors to Steve [Jobs] and me if you will, have an understanding of this state model. When they and their teams meet, they have just a long list of things to talk about."

His view is, arguably, idealistic. Managing relations between two companies like Apple and Google might feel like running a country — but often time to outside observers, things certainly can look a little childish. Elsewhere, Schmidt talks about the success of Windows 8 (he's not used it!), keeping Samsung on-side, his take on patent litigation and a future in government. It's well worth a read. [Wall Street Journal]