Eric Schmidt talks Apple, Maps, and says the Android-iOS platform fight is

Eric Schmidt, the former Apple board member, Google CEO, and current Google Executive Chairman, has once again given his thoughts on the current relationship between Google and Apple, including patents Apple’s current mapping woes. In a sit down with the All Things D's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, Schmidt opined that Apple should have kept Google Maps, and that Apple was now discovering that maps are difficult work.

The Android-Apple platform fight is the defining contest. Here’s why: Apple has thousands of developers building for it. Google’s platform, Android, is even larger. Four times more Android phones than Apple phones. 500 million phones already in use. Doing 1.3 million activations a day. We’ll be at 1 billion mobile devices in a year.

We’ve not seen network platform fights at this scale. The beneficiary is you all, the customer, globally. “This is wonderful.”

Of course, iOS is installed on, at any given time, three models of iPhone, the current model and the previous two generations, while Android powers most of the phones from Samsung, HTC, Motorola, etc. So of course there are going to be more Android phones than iPhones. That’s just common sense.

Speaking about patents, Mr. Schmidt expressed frustration at patent wars, and the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent fighting patent trolls. When asked about the Apple/Samsung trial in particular, Mr. Schmidt wouldn’t comment directly, though he did offer up an opinion that companies like Google and Apple were not victims in these patent conflicts, but rather it’s the smaller companies, those that can’t get patents in order to defend themselves, that are really in trouble.

Other topics touched on include Facebook, China, and Google’s self-driving cars. The whole interview is interesting and illuminating, and should be read in it’s entirety.

Source: All Things D