Has the business relationship between Apple and Google affected the CEOs of the two companies?
With Apple and Google competing on more and more levels, it would be silly to expect the relationship between CEOs Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt to be what it was when the iPhone first launched. However, not a lot of people expected the relationship to fall so far into disrepair that sources would later say, "Steve Jobs simply hates Eric Schmidt."
Over the weekend, the New York Times ran a lengthy story about the relationship between Apple and Google. Examining things right from the beginning, when Schmidt and Jobs worked together to bring Google Maps and search to the iPhone and Schmidt openly complimented Steve on his new product, to the current back and forth of sniping remarks made about each other's company while talking to the press.
The Times reports that when Apple announced the iPad in January, Schmidt was asked what he thought of the device. Schmidt responded, "You might want to tell me the difference between a large phone and a tablet."
When Apple filed its lawsuit against HTC, alleging that the Google-built Android OS was infringing on its patents, many speculated that it was only targeting HTC because it was an easier target than the search giant. In a statement at the time the suit was filed, Steve Jobs is quoted by the NYT piece as saying, "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it."
The report goes on to say that Schmidt and Jobs were never close friends but states they dined together on several occasions and Jobs never hesitated to call Eric directly to voice his opinions. NYT also cites several friends of Schmidt who say he relished his position on Apple’s board while he had it.
CNBC yesterday spoke about the relationship between the two CEOs during it's Power Lunch news show and according to Jim Goldberg, many sources say "Steve Jobs simply hates Eric Schmidt right now." While speaking with anchor Dennis Kneale, Goldman, the network's Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, said that the two companies have been at "diametric opposites" for sometime and Steve's "hate" for Eric shows just how bitter the rivalry has become. With regards to the ongoing patent suit, analyst Andy Hargreaves says that HTC was probably a good company to go after because they have the Google tie without the Google funding or recognition.