Google chairman and former Apple board member, Eric Schmidt, has called his company’s ‘platform fight’ with Apple in the smartphone market, the tech industry’s ‘defining contest.’
In an interview with All Things Digital’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, Schmidt said ‘Here’s why: Apple has thousands of developers building for it. Google’s platform, Android, is even larger. Four times more Android phones than Apple phones. 500 million phones already in use. Doing 1.3 million activations a day. We’ll be at 1 billion mobile devices in a year.’
Schmidt referred to a ‘Gang of Four’ companies he believes are the most influential in the tech industry. Those companies, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook are ‘all different, all competitors, all making enormous investments.’ When Mossberg pointed out that Schmidt had omitted Microsoft, he responded: ‘Deliberate…They’re a well-run company, but they haven’t been able to bring state-of-the-art products into the fields we’re talking about yet.’
Schmidt was also asked about Maps and what he thought Apple should have done in iOS 6. ‘Apple should have kept our maps,’ he replied. Why? ‘They’re better maps.’
When pressed on whether Google would build a Maps app for iOS, Schmidt was cagey: ‘Don’t want to pre-announce products, but if we made one, they would have to approve it. … They haven’t approved all of our apps in the past.’
You can read the full interview here.