Feeds

Google and Apple locked horns over iPhone location data

The roots of Jobsian divorce

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

In 2008, as Apple fought Google's efforts to collect user-location data from iPhones via its Google Maps service, the battle between two of the companies' top execs escalated to the point where CEOs Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt personally intervened to resolve the argument, according reports citing unnamed sources.

In a profile of six power-wielding Google execs serving under once and future CEO Larry Page, Bloomberg Businessweek digs up a "heated" sparring match between Google vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra and Apple vice president of marketing Phil Schiller over the role of Google Maps on the iPhone. And according to 9to5Mac, which cites its own inside source, this is the root of the ongoing spat beween the two companies.

In August 2009, Eric Schmidt left the Apple board of directors. In February 2010, Steve Jobs called Google's "don't be evil" motto "bullshit" during an Apple town hall meeting. And later in 2010, Apple unveiled its own location-tracking service for the iPhone. The Jesus Phone, however, continues to use various Google services.

Previously, it seemed that the rift between Google and Apple was merely about Mountain View's decision to roll out its own mobile operating system, Android. At that town hall meeting, according to Apple employees speaking to the press, Jobs openly criticized Google for entering the phone market. "We did not enter the search business," Jobs said. "[Google] entered the phone business. Make no mistake: they want to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them." And he made similar noises during a public appearance last summer.

Asked if Eric Schmidt had told him about Android prior to its unveiling, Jobs said: "No. ...They started competing with us and it got more and more serious." Asked if he felt betrayed, he said: "My sex life is pretty good these days".

Eric Schmidt likes to portray Google as an "open" company that operates in contrast to a "closed" company like Apple. "With the Apple model – which works extremely well, as I know as a former Apple board member – you have to use their development tools, their platform, their software, their hardware," Schmidt said at a conference this fall. "If you submit an application, they have to approve it. You have to use their monetization and their distribution. That would not be open. The inverse would be open."

But Gundotra is the one senior Googler who has been pointedly critical of Steve Jobs and Apple – at least in public. Last May, at Google's annual developer conference, Gundotra told the world that Mountain View had developed Android in an effort to avoid "a Draconian future, a future where one man, one company, one device, and one carrier would be our only choice." And as he unloaded this message, an image appeared behind him that read "Not a Future We Want. 1984," turning the tables on the famous Apple TV ad that announced the original Macintosh.

9to5Mac says that another major turning point in the relationship was the release of the inaugural Android phone, which “looked nothing like the prototypes that Steve Jobs and [senior vice president of iOS Software at Apple] Scott Forstall were shown by Google’s leadership”. But this doesn't seem kosher to us – if only because the inaugural Android phone was a piece of junk. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.