Why competition between Apple and Google is more brutal than ever

Author

Rhiannon Williams

September 29, 2014

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has given an interview detailing the ‘brutal’ rivalry between the search engine and rival Apple

Competition between Google and Apple is more brutal than ever, and is the “defining fight of the computer industry”, according to Eric Schmidt.

In an interview with Bloomberg, the Google executive chairman said the fierce rivalry benefited billions of global consumers.

“In fact I would say that this brutal competition between Apple and Google over Android and iOS has enormous benefits for consumers worldwide,” he said. “If you look at the innovation on the Apple side and on the Google side, that competition which I think is the defining fight of the computer industry today, it benefits global at the billions of people level.”

Schmidt pulled no punches when asked about how he felt about seeing the huge queues outside Apple stores as customers eagerly waited for the new iPhone, stating “Samsung had these products a year ago”, but refused to elaborate.

Of the global smartphone market, Schmidt explained Google’s strategy as one of mass penetration. Android currently holds around 84.7 per cent of the market, compared to Apple’s 11.7 per cent. Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry OS and other operators make up around 3.6 per cent.

“The fact of the matter is you can make a small market share with a lot of profits, or you can make the same amount of money with a much larger market share, and lesser profits. We go for volume in our strategies,” he said.

The rivalry between Apple and Google was more brutal than ever before, he added. “It’s more brutal in the sense the margins are very tough for the operators, the handset manufacturers; and the benefits to the consumer of having these products dropping… It’s always good to have more competitors, but trust me, between Apple and Google you’re seeing enormous, enormous racing.”

Schmidt and former senior vice president Jonathan Rosenberg gave the interview to promote their book How Google Works, covering corporate culture, strategy and innovation at the search engine.

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