Last night in Japan, Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, spoke openly about Google Maps and Apple products without holding much back.
It all started with a simple question of if Google was working on a ‘Maps’ application for the iPhone5 (or iOS 6).
Schmidt’s response was very frank and left no wiggle room for the press:
“We have not done anything yet.”
If that wasn’t open enough the questions pushed on about Google’s involvement with the choice to remove the “Maps” app and switch to Apple’s own rudimentary ‘Navigation’ app.
Eric continued to oblige with another great reply:
“We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?”
“What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It’s their call.”
It could just be me, but when the executive chairman employed by one of the most successful and important companies on the planet tosses out a phrase like ‘But what do I know?’, there’s very little modesty and a lot of sarcasm involved.
Further questions seemed to annoy Eric and he did make it clear that the two companies have an open dialog, stating that they ‘talk daily’, in one form or the other.
After a bit more ‘Apple’ questions, Mr.Schmidt gave what could be considered an annoyed remark:
“Apple is the exception, and the Android system is the common model, which is why our market share is so much higher…”
He went on to indicate his feelings that Android’s success was often ignored by the media, which he claims is often:
“obsessed with Apple’s marketing events and Apple’s branding.”
Indeed with over 500 million users of the Android OS (including more than just phones), the numbers are on Google’s side.
To get things back on track, after-all Mr.Schmidt was in Japan to show off the latest Nexus tablet, Eric finished the press conference with a quick demonstration of a Nexus tablet controlling Google Maps via movements of the tablet.
This allows the user to ‘look around’ the map in a more natural way that is lots of fun and very intuitive.
As a final jab Eric tossed out:
“Take that Apple,” .. adding quickly, “That was a joke by the way.”