Larry Page calls Apple rivalry a 'show'

Apple and Google have had a tense relationship in the recent past, to say the least. The Cupertino giant has launched a proxy war against Android, the mobile operating system that Google created, by dragging OEMs like Samsung into court for patent and copyright violations. 

Larry Page, via Wikimedia Commons

A lot was made of Steve Jobs' fatalistic agenda against Android as well - he is famously said to have wanted to go at 'thermonuclear war' with it, and was on a mission to destroy Android. Even after his death, Apple has shown no signs of abating on the legal pressure it puts on Android OEMs. 

The sheer extent of the Apple-Google rivalry makes an interview of Google's CEO and founder Larry Page, conducted by Bloomberg Businessweek, rather fascinating. His belief was that, "the Android differences (with Apple) were actually for show." He substantiated this by adding that he had a 'relationship with Steve' that wasn't as hostile as many would think. Jobs is said to have requested to meet Page in his deathbed as well.

Page expanded on his concept of an Apple-Android rivalry 'for show' further into the interview:

"I think that served their interests. For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better."

The Google CEO also dealt with the wasteful nature of competition in the tech industry. He argued that companies spending huge legal fees on patent battles could be better served by pumping in that money into research for their own products. He slammed Facebook as well for its Gmail contact importing practices, and had a shot at companies like Apple in general, "I think companies usually get into that when they're toward the end of their life cycle or they don't have confidence in their abilities to compete naturally."

There clearly could be more to the long running (proxy) feud between Apple and Google than meets the eye. But one can only wonder whether going through the trouble that Apple has gone through for its legal proceedings all across the globe, from the US, to Germany to even Australia, would simply be to foster an 'us-against-them' mentality.


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