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Google’s Eric Schmidt Says “Android vs. Apple is the Industry’s Defining Contest”

Eric Schmidt has never been one to shy away from comments on Android’s biggest competitor, Apple. Speaking yesterday in an interview, he said that there was a platform battle between Android and Apple and that it was the “defining” battle of the industry. 

Schmidt went on to say the battle between the two companies would benefit the consumer in the end. More competition means more innovation which gives us better mobile devices in our hands. He also threw in a jab at Apple’s decision to switch away from Google Maps, saying, “Maps are hard, Apple should have kept our maps… They’re better.”

Do you feel that this defining battle will in fact benefit the end user?

Via: The Verge | AllThingsD

  • Jackson

    I wonder if there is a way to track how many iPhone users leave apple to android like I’ve had the 3gs and the 4s and always came back to android after trying to jail break and make it have one android is naturally lol

  • Anon

    I say this as an Android fan:

    Eric, the one thing I see Google really needing to do to ensure Android dominance is to play a far stronger role in ensuring that vendors and carriers commit to offering Android OS updates for two years from the time a phone is released on the market; basically, the time a phone is actually on contract in the US.

    Letting this go means that vendors and carriers can let updates slide on phones that are released as flagship devices, then stagnate for long periods, and sours an experience that otherwise would give Apple little to tout over the Android OS.

  • It’s still Google policy that Android is a vehicle for ad revenue. Google does not put Android above this policy, even if it means creating differentiators between platforms. This is why you might see superior google products arrive on IOS first, or Google will do everything in their power to get Google apps on the iphone.

    You have to know Google is working on a native iphone Maps app. We love that Apple screwed up with maps, but Google misses the revenue, and they will seek to restore it even if it means giving IOS access to a key android feature advantage.

    The Android team has no power over the gmail team, or any other revenue generating product. The team members have said as much on G+. You ask them why our contact photos were blurry (mine still are), and they’d say because the gmail team restricted resolution and they had no power to change it.

  • WickedToby741

    Google: We want what’s best for the customer.
    Apple: We want our monies!!!

  • Doan

    It should be either “Android vs iOS” or “Google vs Apple.”

  • brtt

    I see everyone has the right idea. No innovation is going to happen if all Apple does is sue Google and its partners. The maximum level of innovation between both companies is when Apple focuses on new technolgies, not Android’s old technologies, and nobody is suing anybody over little worthless things

  • Stephen

    lol apple “maps”

  • Manny

    When apple created the ipod it got sued.. so now they decide to patent everything and they sue.. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

  • Paradisimo

    Is it really a battle anymore? At least in the phone market Android has pretty much owned Apple for well over the last year with no slowdown in sight.

    • Manny

      Really? ATT, Verizon and Sprint all have the iphone as their number one selling handset as the iphone and Android is owning apple. Tmobile is the only one that can claim their number one device is android and that is only b/c they don’t sell an iphone.

      • Paradisimo

        Who cares, it’s all about market share. Android has 52% market share in the US vs 33% for Apple. Outside of the US Android is 68% and Apple is 17%.

      • Kr B

        Keep it coming, troll. Android is to iOS as iPhone is to Samsung Galaxy S3. You can’t interchange iOS/iPhone in an argument. You compare software to software and phones to phones. So yes, Android has pretty much owned iOS in the phone market. Heck, you’ve got iPhone clones using Android redefined to look like iOS being sold in China. That’s just a slap to the face for Apple.

      • Aaron

        But the iPhone is the only device for its platform. Yes, they do still sell previous generations, but the Apple faithful (or anyone wanting the latest features) have to own the latest model. If you tally up all Android devices across all makers, then how does the iPhone stack up? So yes, the iPhone is the top single device (Samsung’s GSIII is gaining momentum), but for total sales Android is in the driver’s seat.


      I pretty sure that Apple just released a phone that stores can’t keep in stock… So yes the battle continues!!

    • dangolds

      Apple earns 75 percent of the total profits in the phone market because they’re focused on the bottom line rather than market share. Do you really think that a company who sells tens of millions of a single device and makes 3 times as much profit as the rest of its competitors combined is “losing?” Not saying that their actual product is better or worse, but from a business perspective they are clearly not losing right now.

      • Paradisimo

        Yes I do consider them losing when their market share is dwindling while Android’s is growing exponentially. Apple may be enjoying large profits right now but it is obvious that Android is being adopted at a much faster rate than Apple. Eventually Apple will have to cut margins to stay competitive or become a niche product. It’s no different than the PC battle and will likely end in a similar way. Open source>closed source.

        • Justin Swanson

          I think a lot of Android’s growth is from users switching from dumb phones to a “cheap” smart phones. Not trying to bad mouth Android, I love the OS and just got a N7 (to pair with my GNex and my SGS1 before that). Whereas iPhones continue to make record breaking sales from iSheep. Of course I don’t know who has the money to go out and purchase a new iPhone every year but whatevs.

  • Gage

    The way they view innovation is to use outdated tech and pass it off as new tech because they never had it before.

  • sonicyoof

    It will benefit the consumer in that it will lead to the downfall of Apple, again.

    • No, that won’t.

      Monopolies are unambiguously bad. They limit choice, encourage complacency and shelter us from good ideas (of which Apple has had a few). Google wouldn’t have an incentive to do better if there was no significant competitor on offer, and right now Windows Phone and the BlackBerry aren’t anywhere near challenging iOS, let alone Android.

      Like it or not, you need iOS to be a significant player to keep Android relevant, just as the rise of the Mac and iPad over the past few years have forced Microsoft to rethink its Windows strategy.

      • sonicyoof

        My opinion is that oxygen is important to human life.

      • Unfortunately for you, you forgot that there are other companies that compete with Android. iOS may be the biggest competitor right now, but Windows Phone is up and coming, and RIM is still around with Blackberry. (Who knows how much longer BB will be around, but it still is a competitor.)

        Apple and/or iOS COULD go down, and it would not be the end of competition in mobile. I, for one, am waiting for it to happen. As indicated by the OP, it has happened before, when Steve Jobs stepped down, and it will happen again now that Steve is dead.

        • Would help if you read that point where I mentioned Windows Phone and BlackBerry.

          Also, you should never, ever make assumptions that history will always repeat; you’ll see similarities, but never direct repetition. When Jobs left the first time around, the Mac was Apple’s only business, and the management had no concepts of model line simplicity and competitive (not necessarily low, but competitive) pricing. Today, Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world with four main businesses and execs that are famous for good management. If any decline happens, it’ll be gradual or come much later.

          Android is awesome, but you shouldn’t let an Anything But Apple mentality overrule your rational side. Windows Phone and the BlackBerry are currently flat or declining… and besides, Microsoft is the one pushing every Android maker into licensing deals over patent claims that they’re not even allowed to see unless they sign an NDA. Do you really want that to be Google’s main competition?

          • Apple? Competitive pricing? I think you’re thinking of the wrong company. Apple has NEVER had competitive pricing, at least not since I’ve been into tech, and that’s a long time. They just have good ad campaigns that coax people into buying their crap anyway.

            As far as WP and BB being flat or declining… you’re right about BB. Declining. Have been for a while. WP on the other hand, is not. And it’s still new. WP WILL be the competitor to worry about, especially once WP, Xbox and Windows 8 all integrate together.

            And Microsoft pushing Android OEMs into licensing deals… that’s what Apple SHOULD have been doing this whole time, instead of trying to get everything Android completely banned. Microsoft is using smart business strategy instead of being vindictive. I don’t blame them, nor should Google/Android be afraid of it. That’s normal business practice, and licensing agreements don’t put companies under ground. They help innovation instead of hindering it.

          • An iPhone 5 cost as much as and performs like any other high-end smartphone — go check the A6 benchmarks. Most ultrabooks that cost less than a MacBook Air are slower or have obvious cost-cutting (cheap plastic, short battery life). Apple’s problem in recent years hasn’t been competitive pricing, it’s been a typical refusal to go below a certain price marker ($999 for a laptop, $199 for a brand-new smartphone on contract).

            I can point to ComScore, IDC and NPD estimates showing Windows Phone flat or declining in recent months. What do you have?

            I’ll agree that Apple should strive for licensing (aside from obvious attempts to get trade secrets), but Microsoft’s attitude is what bugs me. It’s *not* about a sincere desire to be compensated for its work. It’s the same attitude that led the company to push Linux OS and PC developers into patent licensing after the Novell deal: it’s such an overly wide, indiscriminate approach that it’s pretty clear the strategy is only about punishing companies for not being Microsoft-exclusive. Microsoft makes a lot more money from Android licenses than Windows Phone does, at last check. That’s not right.

  • Aardvark99

    Google vs. Apple, just like the good old days of Microsoft vs. Apple…


  • Soon Windows Phone will also be in the competition…

    • master94

      Doubt wp will but you never know

      • MikeKorby

        reserve judgment until we see how Windows 8 turns out.

    • Aaron

      A third player could only make things better. Though I still don’t like the Metro (or Windows 8, or whatever they’re calling it) interface.

      • I don’t know what it is, but I’m moving from Android to WP8… after 2 years being an Android fanboy, I just can’t anymore… I’m seriously tired of the lag. And I have a Galaxy Nexus running Jelly Bean.

        • sirmeili

          Are you running stock or a custom rom? I find that AOKP has more lag than when I run BuglessBeast. Bugless beast is absolutely smooth on my gnex.

          Note: I haven’t run the stock Jelly bean yet.

  • satsmine2k4

    Apple’s greatest innovation since the iphone is judge “Lucy koh”
    So it’s basically android vs koh

    • Aardvark99

      You’re not giving them the iPad? I would…

      • KleenDroid

        There were tablet computers long before the iPad and they were real computers with far more functionality. The iPad just waited until a time when they would be better received.

        • manny

          So why aren’t android tablets well received ?

          • KleenDroid

            My comment has nothing to do with Android tablets. I am talking about real tablet computers running Windows. Gateway had tablet computers back in 2002. All I meant to say in response to Aardvark99 is that Apple did not invent tablets. All they did was dumb them down and add touch screens.

          • Aardvark99

            There was also smart phones before the iPhone and PMPs before the iPod. (I’m pretty versed in this history, I’ve been computer enthusiast / programming since I was a kid on my Atari 400 in 1980).

            I’m not an Apple fan, I haven’t owned an Apple product since my Apple II. Everyone in this industry builds off each other. To pick and choose prior art and yell about who stole from who is ridiculous. Give credit on the final results. Apple did revolutionize the smart phone (and not just with hardware and software, but with marketing and business models). They took that success and revolutionized (or “innovated” which is what we’re debating – more like resurrected) the tablet space.

            Apple likes to pretend (and litigate) like this isn’t the case. That is where Apple deserves criticism. That along with their closed systems (which is a good and bad thing). But you can’t deny their importance.

            Here’s another clip of the pirates of silicon valley or stealing ideas:

          • UrDoGG

            The Nexus 7 is well received, Manny. But it’s true that first wave of Android tablets were not well received.

          • renGek

            @manny. In case you haven’t noticed, the last set of reports have ipads and android tablets at almost 50/50 market share and it doesn’t include Nexus 7s and the new kindle fires. Expect ipad market shares to fall below 50% very soon.

        • ERIC REED

          Ummm…doesn’t that seem like a good idea?

        • dangolds

          There were also smart phones before Android hit the market and there were search functions before Google. Does that mean Google never innovated anything either? I think when you completely change the way people think about a device or product market, you’ve achieved some degree of innovation.

          • renGek

            This is exactly why apple is so fundamentally wrong with how they operate. All tech companies take someone else’s idea and pushes it forward. Google went way beyond any company in searching and maps. Thats why we have all the google services that we do today. But if apple have had their lawyer hounds at work back then we would have none of this because nobody would have been allowed to push the technology forward. For decades its been an unspoken acknowledgement that companies borrow ideas from each other and the entire industry benefits from it. But now that there are apple lawyers looking over everybody’s shoulders its going to be bad.

      • renGek

        The one big innovation for apple is not ipad, ipods or iphones. I’ve seen many variants of them well before each device. What apple should be patted on the back for is their accomplishment in marketing. They PR the heck out of their products which is why it did well before and continues to do well. They shoved the product names into people’s heads so it became a known brand no matter how crappy it is. Doesn’t matter that everything they “innovate” now has been on android devices for years. The masses think apple created it first because of marketing. Its marketing that makes most people ask for a coke instead of pepsi by default without ever thinking why.

  • Michael_NM

    Competition absolutely benefits me as a consumer, except when it’s between patent lawyers.

  • JBartcaps

    Absolutely will benefit the Android user, but not Apple. I haven’t seen Apple innovate in a long time.

  • El Big CHRIS

    Tell it like it is haha

  • Steve Thornton

    it will absolutely benefit the end users. We dont want another situation like blackberry where they lead the business cellphone industry for so long with 0 innovation they became stagnant. Competition is amazing for growth

  • Squeaks

    I’d hardly call banning your top competitor for billions of dollars a “benefit.”

  • Captain_Doug

    Yes, unless lawsuits remain as prevalent as always.

  • MikeSaver

    Not when Apple’s definition of innovation is finding innovative ways to sue!

    • manny

      Eric Schmit wasn’t he on the apple board and left right after the iphone debuted and a little before Android came out?

      • yeah I heard he’s a demon worshipper too. Did you see that one picture where you could kind of see the outline of his decapitated goat head tattoo underneath his shirt?!

      • Droidzilla

        Schmidt recused himself from any meetings having to do with the iPhone to avoid conflict of interest. Android being an iOS knockoff is an Apple-fan myth (which you can easily tell if you’ve spent any time with the two OSes).

    • Joshua Barta

      Nah, even their litigation strategy isn’t innovative… Last I checked, “innovation” was about finding novel solutions to the world’s problems, not making them worse by exploiting the ancient, broken systems currently in place.

  • Guest

    The gall of Apple to assume they could make an in-house Maps without Googles help is astounding: it took years for Google Maps to be where it is today, and it certainly is not something that could be thrown together on a whim.

    • J Dub

      I agree. I mean how long have the Street View cars been driving non-stop around the country? I would like to see if Apple has my house mapped correctly. Google didn’t when I first bought it, but it is now correct.

    • carlisimo

      As far as we know, Google wasn’t going to let Apple use Google Maps for turn-by-turn navigation. In that position, I can understand Apple creating its own, even if they released it too early.

      • sirmeili

        Not true, Apple didn’t want to pay more for the licensing to get access to the APIs for turn by turn navigation. They wanted more for the same amount of money.

        • Droidzilla

          I also heard that Apple didn’t want to allow Google to index their customers using GMaps Nav. Google would have probably given it to them for free if they could get that data, but Apple wants to keep that for themselves.