Schmidt: Apple and Facebook no threat to Google

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has said neither Apple or Facebook presented a threat to the web search leader’s business.

Schmidt: Apple and Facebook no threat to Google

Most people “assume that these are zero-sum games, which are battles to the death,” said Schmidt, who spoke with reporters in a one-hour briefing at Sun Valley alongside Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

People assume that these are zero-sum games, which are battles to the death

“The indications that we have show that when internet users become Facebook users they actually do significantly more searches on Google,” Brin noted.

The executives declined to confirm media reports that Google is developing a new service called Google Me to compete with Facebook, which has grown to nearly 500 million users in its six-year history.

The relationship between Apple and Google, two one-time allies, has become increasingly tense as the companies face-off in markets such as smartphones and mobile advertising. Last year, Schmidt stepped down from Apple’s board of directors because of the overlap between the two companies businesses.

Rewriting history

Apple’s Jobs recently told a conference that Google was responsible for the change in the relationship between the two companies because Google elected to compete with Apple’s iPhone by developing the Android smartphone software.

On Thursday, Google’s Page suggested that Jobs’ assessment was “a little bit of rewriting history.”

“We had been working on Android a very long time, with the notion of producing phones that are internet enabled and have good browsers and all that because that did not exist in the marketplace,” Page said. “I think that characterisation of us entering after is not really reasonable.”

But Schmidt noted that Google and Apple still have important partnerships in various businesses, and stressed that the market was big enough for both Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone to be successful.

Google said its forthcoming Chrome PC operating system was on track for release later this year. While the initial focus of the Chrome software is for netbook PCs, Schmidt said he expects there would also be tablet PCs based on Chrome OS, something that could help Google compete with Apple’s popular iPad.

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