Below is a video of Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt talking to The Wall Street Journal about a wide range of issues including Apple (AAPL), Facebook, search, privacy, competition, anti-trust and net neutrality.
In describing the video, The Wall Street Journal writes:
In an interview with WSJ’s Alan Murray, Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt stated that Bing was Google’s primary competitor, not Apple or Facebook. He also insisted that Google is doing enough to protect user privacy.
So, Google still looks at the world through a search frame and sees Microsoft as its primary competitor as a result. That said, this quote stuck out for me amongst all the things Eric Schmidt said:
Apple is an extreme example of a closed system.
If you read between the lines, Schmidt clearly thinks open will always beat closed over the long-term and, by extension, is critical of Apple’s corporate strategy. All of his statements to date point to this. And this is the ethos of Google as an enterprise.
The iOS – Android confrontation will test this focus. Apple has tight control over both hardware and software in the iOS platform. Google does not as Android is open source and thus risks fragmentation. Some are saying a stock Android OS should always be an option on mobile devices. But, Google seems to be winning market share and will take the fragmentation risk as it increases share. I believe this is the right approach.