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D9: Google's Schmidt talks Apple partnerships, competition

Jason Snell, | June 2, 2011
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt was the kick-off interview at this year's D9 conference, and Macworld's Jason Snell was there to take it in.

Swisher said that Steve Jobs told her, sotto voce, that “an Android phone is a probe in your pocket. We could do that, too, but we don’t have a search engine to suck it back into.” Schmidt denied that secondhand accusation: “We don’t suck it into anywhere,” he said.

The bottom line, Schmidt said, is that when it comes to phones, “the Apple model is the inverse of the Google model. The Apple model produces beautiful products with a specific market size and share. The Google model is just the inverse. It’s OK. Let the market decide. It’s called competition.”

But when it comes to that competition, Schmidt suggested that it’ll be hard rowing for platforms other than iOS and Android, just because of the sheer amount of time it takes to develop for those two platforms. He took a shot at the “closed nature of iOS” a few times, but also said that in maybe ten years all apps will be built using HTML5 and related technologies, because all platforms (including Google’s and Apple’s) support it.

Finally, regarding the recently-announced Google Wallet initiative, which allows you to buy stuff with your smartphone, Schmidt said that there’s “no intent to favor just one platform.” In other words, don’t be surprised to see Google Wallet support come to the iPhone eventually.

But even there, Schmidt couldn’t help but taking a parting shot at Apple: While answering an audience question about integrating Google’s voice-recognition systems into iOS, he said Google has to be careful in developing apps for other platforms, because they might waste their time building an app that would just get rejected.

All in all, it was an interesting interview with lots of talk about privacy and security issues, and I recommend that you watch it if you get a chance.


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