Though their relationship has often looked spiteful in public (sometimes, as in the case of iOS Maps, to the detriment of users), Eric Schmidt insists that Google and Apple aren't the bitter enemies they appear to be. In an interview today with the Wall Street Journal, the former Google CEO and current executive chairman admitted that the two companies have had a fitful relationship in recent years, but said a stately sense of decorum remains.
"It's always been on and off," he says. "Obviously, we would have preferred them to use our maps. They threw YouTube off the home screen [of iPhones and iPads]. I'm not quite sure why they did that."
But despite that rift, Schmidt likened Google and Apple to rival superpowers who'd rather not use their nukes.
"The press would like to write the sort of teenage model of competition, which is, 'I have a gun, you have a gun, who shoots first?' The adult way to run a business is to run it more like a country. They have disputes, yet they've actually been able to have huge trade with each other. They're not sending bombs at each other.
"I think both Tim [Cook, Apple's CEO] and Larry [Page, Google's CEO], the sort of successors to Steve [Jobs] and me if you will, have an understanding of this state model. When they and their teams meet, they have just a long list of things to talk about."
Read the full interview over at WSJ.