Android CentralGoogle executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt recently sat down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss all manner of things relating to to Google, its competition, its products and its future.

Topics of discussion included Apple, Android, the ongoing patent wars and other legal troubles, Google Play and Google Fiber.

Rather than paraphrase the entire interview, we've got a few half-dozen quick hits on some key areas after the break.

  • On Google's relationship with Apple: "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."
  • On the patent wars: "Apple and Google are well aware of the legal strategies of each other." [...] "It's extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google's partners and not Google itself."
  • On innovation: "Google is doing fine. Apple is doing fine. Let me tell you the loser here. There's a young Andy Rubin trying to form a new version of Danger. How is he or she going to be able to get the patent coverage necessary to offer version one of their product? That's the real consequence of this."
  • On a possible Google wireless service: "I'm sure we will discuss this, but at the moment we're busy working on wireline. This Kansas City stuff is extraordinarily exciting, and we're focusing on that."
  • On Google Play: "Google Play and the monetization just started working well in the last year, maybe the last six months. The volume is indisputable, and with the volume comes the opportunity and the luxury of time."
  • On Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8: "I have not used it, but I think that Microsoft has not emerged as a trendsetter in this new model yet."

The full interview offers much more detail on all these topics. In particular, Schmidt's comment on the state-like approach to running a company sheds some light on the complex relationship between Google and Apple. And from an Android-centric perspective, it's also interesting to read Schmidt's candid comments on Google Play, which has only recently started to reach its potential, particularly outside of the U.S.

Source: WSJ


Reader comments

Eric Schmidt talks Apple, Android, patents and Google Play


+1 LOL.

Here is one answer I have seen: "A home screen full of annoying, primary-colored, animated and distracting squares"

I was about to post the same thing. No mudslinging in any of his responses, unless the questions were already baited. (in other interviews) And if he does, he's still gentle with it. Why can't all big figure heads be like this? Instead of trying to be some sort of WWE smack-talker? Kudos, Mr. Schmidt.

I'm more interested in whether he is stepping down to be a cabinet puke for Obama and who would replace him.

Liberals can't make fun of any news cast when their cronies at MSNBC employee racist bigots like Chris Matthews and Lawrence O'Donnell. Let's try to stay on topic though.

I love the way Google Executives talk of other companies in comparison to Microsoft and Apple who have zero class.

You are correct. They just decide to keep quiet on any news that is bad for the Obama administration. I don't know how any "news agency" could keep quiet on the Libya fiasco. It's all coming out now, though. And no, I didn't hear that on Fox News.
Enough politics, go Google!

I always thought Eric Schmidt was a very professional and likable representative for Android and Google. The guy just puts out pro attitude and he is great for Google. He never has a negative comment to make towards any other company or person. Other companies could learn allot from him and the way he does business.

"On innovation: "Google is doing fine. Apple is doing fine. Let me tell you the loser here. There's a young Andy Rubin trying to form a new version of Danger. How is he or she going to be able to get the patent coverage necessary to offer version one of their product? That's the real consequence of this."

Thank you for saying this, Schmidt. I've been saying all along, that "patriotic" Americans should be outraged by what Apple is doing because it is anti-competitive, anti-American and anti-capitalism.

But there is no outrage because of all the sheep who either follow blindly the marketing or simply don't know enough to care about it.

Apple is just protecting what it has patented. Its ok to spend billions of dollars and another come in and rip it off like Google did?? We might as well not have a patent system in place and let everyone create and steal at will. And I'm tired of seeing that patent wars hurt innovation, thats not true. Companies are just running around copying everyone else and they all run around in a circle, where is the innovation in that? Innovation is when you come up with a new idea and then sell it, patent holders who own one item and someone else innovates and comes out with a new idea or product then that is innovation, not copying the person who owns the patent on that one item.

People should be outraged by Google trying to push their own codecs on the web and interrupted what has already been set as a standard h.264, people should be outraged how Google put code on its site to bypass advertising/tracking blockers on people web browsers, people should be outraged from the fragmentation of phones on the market, people should be outraged after how flash was declared dead Google puts it into its web browser and that ads constant updates and hurts html5 from becoming standard, people should be outraged from Google lying and making false statements about spying with its mapping car, etc etc etc. The list goes on and on how dirty Google is and people stick up for them because they think Google is open, where is the source code for the next version of Android?

You tell em' cashxx!!! Fuck everyone!! I am outraged at both companies and corporate america in general. The new American way is to buy everything up, consolidate, fire everyone. If you have billions in the bank you should be hiring more and more people. Maybe if google had enough people working they could ship a phone in a timely manner. Maybe if Apple hired more people they could have avoided Mapsgate. Its all one screw job and the only person that loses is the consumer. Heres a novel idea!! Produce the phones in the US by adults not in asia by kids.

So it's not okay for Google to steal but Apple can openly admit to stealing and no one says boo? At least Android took a joke of an OS like iOS and corrected the mistakes and made it into a fully functional OS and not a basic, childish app tray.

Apple's OS is smooth, but that would be easy to do with a program that has one function (swipe through apps).

I've not heard the argument that patents hurt innovation. The complaints I've heard are that patents for things like "a rectangle with rounded corners" and then suing people with them hurts innovation. Google did not "rip off Apple". Android was in development several years before the first iPhone came out and, the simple truth of it is that iOS and Android are not very much alike. They have entirely different methodologies at their core. Apple has done more in the last years to steal ideas from Android than has been the other way around. I haven't seen anybody here going around "We should sue Apple for stealing the notification tray!". We might poke a bit of fun at it, but even that is because of Apple's "they stole x idea from us!". Both Android and iOS got most of their design queues from WebOS, Symbian and Windows Mobile. It's all been around forever.

People worried about ad trackers have too much time on their hands (and probably too much tin foil on their heads). That's how websites make their money. It's not hurting you and, if the ads go away, the website shuts down. And that *will* hurt you.

Google's browser supported flash *before* Flash was declared dead. HTML 5 is becoming the standard, but these things take time. I still remember the struggle to make HTML4 the standard. The simple truth of it is that there's a *lot* of websites out there still using Flash right now. Chrome was one of the first browsers to support HTML5 and Google has actually done a lot of show off some of the cool things HTML5 is capable of.

The "spying" with the street view car is just a funny story to me. If have an "open" WiFi router at your house, and I drive by and my cell phone connects to it, does that mean I'm "spying" on you?

Fragmentation of phones: this is a whole nother can of worms that I don't feel like getting into, but suffice it to say that fragmentation in Android is blown a bit out of proportion and is mainly propagated by people who want their $50 to get the same updates and features as $500 phones. Unless you own a Nexus device, your phone (99% of the time) does not run Android. It runs a variant of Android, the updating of which is entirely out of the hands of Google. Period.

Where is the source code for the next version of Android? You mean Jelly Bean? It's here, in the AOSP repo:

If you're talking about Key Lime Pie (if that's what they end up calling it) um... it's not out yet, and I'm really not sure how that statement is relevant to *anything*.

Wow, some seems a little angry today. I love the fact that you hate Google so much that you would toll a website about them. If you don't support it don't buy, don't use it, and troll it. Good Day!!!

I'm most interested in hearing about Googles focus on wireless and also Google fiber. The time can not come quick enough when I can have Google internet service and Google phone service.

I couldn't care less about home service, but please sign me up for Google Fiber! :)

That service can't hit southern Texas fast enough.