Google’s Schmidt Says Rivalry with Apple Stronger than Ever

As Google Chairman Eric Schmidt hit the interview trail this week to promote his new book, he addressed a number of contentious topics including WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the ever-escalating battle between his company and Apple.

Schmidt was on Bloomberg TV Wednesday to talk about "How Google Works: The Rules for Success in the Internet Century," a book he co-wrote with Jonathan Rosenberg. When mention was made of how customers are lining up for blocks to get Apple's new iPhone models, Schmidt pointed out more than once that Samsung's similar phones were available a year ago.

When the subject turned to the competition between Apple and Google over their rival mobile operating systems, Schmidt was even more blunt.

"I would say that this brutal competition between Apple and Google over Android and iOS has enormous benefits for consumers worldwide," he said. "If you look at the innovation on the Apple side and the Google side, that competition -- which I think is the defining fight of the computer industry today -- it benefits (billions of people) globally."

Asked if the competition between the two famously contentious companies was as brutal as ever, Schmidt replied, "It's more so."

Lots at Stake

When we reached Scott Strawn, analyst and program director of Company Watch for IDC, he said Schmidt was more than likely portraying an attitude about competition that exists in both companies.

"He may be putting it in dramatic terms, but there is a lot at stake between these two companies -- 10s of billions of dollars, if not more," he told us. "We know how important operating systems are because of the dominant position Microsoft held for years in that area. Mobile is different, but this battle is taking place on a global scale as more people are getting and using these devices than ever before."

Assange...

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