Google’s Eric Schmidt: “Apple Should Have Kept Our Maps”

Yesterday, in an onstage interview with AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the 92nd Street Y in New York, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt discussed a wide range of topics, which gave an insight into where the company is heading. As you might have guessed, he also discussed Google’s relationship with Apple.

Here’re some of the highlights from that interview:

When asked about the Maps situation with Apple, he said:

“Apple should have kept our maps. The fact of the matter is they decided a long time ago to do their own maps, and we saw this coming with their acquisitions. I think Apple has learned that maps are hard. We invested hundred of millions of dollars in satellite work, airplane work, drive-by work, and we think we have the best product in the industry.” He went on state that Apple had done very well with Google Maps.

When he was asked whether Google will make a new maps app for Apple devices, he gave a diplomatic answer:

“I don’t want to preannounce products, but I can tell you that were we to do that, Apple would have to approve it.” He pointed out that Apple haven’t approved all of Google’s apps in the past and are all subject to a discussion.

He also felt that the Apple-Google platform fight was the defining fight in the industry today. “We’ve not seen platform fights at this scale,” he said. “The beneficiary is you guys (i.e., consumers). Prices are dropping rapidly. That’s a wonderful value proposition.”

Regarding the patent wars, Schmidt said that he couldn’t talk about it because he didn’t know the details and because it actually just gets him too upset.

He said “These patent wars are death” and noted that software is always overlapping, and that there are an estimated 200,000 patents covering the software industry.  “Everyone can find prior art for everything” he said. “So the new trick is to get judges to block devices country by country.” He felt “this is ultimately bad, bad for innovation. It eliminates choices.”

When asked about the $1 billion ruling that went against Samsung, he said he didn’t know enough to comment about it, but mentioned that Samsung was very upset about it.

You can watch the entire interview below:

[via AllThingsD]

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  • geekinit

    Google charges you to write software that works with their maps API. Apple was footing the bill for all App Store developers… Competition is good.

  • Konstantin Anisko

    Google maps are definitely not “the best”. I’m sure with apple maps well have great solution. At least in Russia I never use google as driving map nor as public transport map. Local developers are far the best in both. Respect th apple they have a courage to make so difficult step.

  • he said what?

    google maps are better… that’s a fact. I hate having it apples maps on my iphone… I love having google maps on my htc one x… also googles maps on android is way better than it is on iphones.

    So a crappier version of google maps is still better than apples maps… Which makes sense since google has been working on their maps for years. Google is even at the point that you can do street view underwater and go into buildings. Apple has a lot of checking up to do.