Google CEO Discusses Relationship With Apple, Steve Jobs

Google CEO Larry Page has discussed the relationship between the search engine giant and Apple, as well as how he personally got along with the late Steve Jobs.

Speaking to Fortune in an interview, Page said that he and the Apple co-founder were friendly "at times." In Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs, he said he was willing to go "thermonuclear war" over what he believed was Google's theft of Apple's ideas for Android.

Page responded earlier this year by saying the comments were made by Jobs to rally his troops, which he further elaborated on with Fortune:

"I don't like to rally my company in that way because I think that if you're looking at somebody else, you're looking at what they do now, and that's not how again you stay two or three steps ahead."

While the iPhone maker is Google's main competitor, Page stressed that the two technology titans are in talks with each other fairly often. "We have a big search relationship with Apple and so on, and we talk to them and so on."

Former Google CEO and current executive chairman Eric Schmidt recently said he's baffled by how Apple sues Android partners instead of directly suing the search firm directly.

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  • leandrodafontoura
    Why doesnt Apple sue google then?
  • cruiseoveride
    leandrodafontouraWhy doesnt Apple sue google then?Cos that fight would leave bruisers. Like invalidated patents :)
  • trumpeter1994
    leandrodafontouraWhy doesnt Apple sue google then?Google is probably one of the few companies Apple as second thoughts about sueing
  • xpeh
    leandrodafontouraWhy doesnt Apple sue google then?
    They're suing all of Google's partners first.
  • mayankleoboy1
    ^ This. Apple doesnt dare to attack Big Daddy. Yet. So, its trying to weaken Google (and more importantly, the Google Android ecosystem) by attacking the partners.
  • TeraMedia
    They probably figure that they can't do a better search, and if they sue Google then they'd have to go with Bing (oh wait, doesn't MSFT, creators of Windows Phone, serve Bing?), YaWho?, or some third-tier search engine. And yeah, they probably also figure that they can't win. I wouldn't be surprised if Google had some information that would invalidate many of Apple's claims, but either cannot reveal it (e.g. NDA) or chooses not to for proprietary reasons.
  • Apple knows they can't beat Google. So they try to beat Google's partners. Isn't that a lot like racketeering? Can't shake down a guy, so you threaten his family?
  • becherovka
    I don't know this for a fact but would not be surprised if it was difficult to sue a freeware maker.
  • A lot of the Apple lawsuits have to do with the "skins" that Android makers are layering on top of Android. It probably doesn't really have that much to do with Android itself. Could be wrong on that, though, but seems to be a logical explanation. I don't know that there is anything in Android itself, other than the touch activated icon based smartphone itself. And I don't think Apple has any of the basic patents for tuuch screens or icon based interfaces.

    Mayankleoby1: Big Daddy is Apple. Google, while large in and of itself, has less than half the market cap of Apple, and Apple has $120B (yes, Billion) in cash on hand. If it were to get down to it, Apple could buy 50% of Google, for cash.

    I personally think that Jobs felt betrayed by Eric Schmidt, when Schmidt was part of the Apple board, and left (at approximatley the same time that iOS/iPhone began to take off). Eric Schmidt was probably shown a lot of the development work that was going on for iOS/iPhone, and Jobs felt that Schmidt was "spying' on Apple, hence the animosity.

  • TeraMedia
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