Eric Schmidt took a moment out of his busy schedule of gangnaming it up with Psy to have a nice sit down chat with the Wall Street Journal. In the interview Schmidt talks about everything from patent settlements, Google creating its own cellular network, and everything in between. If you want the sparks notes version, Google’s the best, Google’s getting to be the best, and Google’s run more like a country than guerrilla warfare specialists when it comes to dealing with competition and competing products.
We’re not going to steal the Wall Street Journal‘s thunder. Jessica E. Lessin put in the hard work, and clicking through to the original article is well worth the time and effort.
Publicly, it seems like Schmidt has no idea why Apple removed its Maps and YouTube applications from iOS. Here’s the money quote, “It’s always been on and off. Obviously, we would have preferred them to use our maps. They threw YouTube off the home screen [of iPhones and iPads]. I’m not quite sure why they did that.The press would like to write the sort of teenage model of competition, which is, ‘I have a gun, you have a gun, who shoots first?’”
We find it pretty hard to believe, considering Maps didn’t have a full feature set any more, and that Apple’s always been about controlling its own destiny when it comes to important and key technologies on its devices. If we look at the Mac, there was a time when a few great applications shipped with a new computer. Comic Life comes to mind. Over time these applications have all but disappeared from new Macs. Microsoft once had a trial of Office ship with new Macs. That hasn’t happened in a very long time. iOS is the same way. Apple wants to ship what it feels is the best applications pre-installed on its iPhone, and push all the rest of the stuff to the App Store. It’s not really rocket science here, and it’s kind of surprising that Google’s once CEO is playing dumb on this front.
As for YouTube, when was the last time you opened the YouTube application on your iPhone or iPad? I can count all the times since it first shipped on two hands, and maybe one foot. No one used it. As for Maps, Apple’s version has taken its share of lumps over the last few months, but it had to take the beatings at some point. Apple was either going to get into the business now, or down the road. In both cases there was going to be growing pains. The sooner Apple pushed its maps application out the door, the sooner they could get beyond the launch pains and iterate and refine its maps offerings. It’s always better to ship now.
There’s a whole host of other comments and thoughts from Eric Schmidt in the article, and we recommend checking it out. It’s an interesting read, and it’s interesting to get some of these thoughts from someone who was once Google’s top executive.