iPad unites frenemies Apple and Google (sort of)


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There has been a lot of chatter about the Silicon Valley rivalry of former allies Apple and Google heating up. (And some good comedy too.)

While that is undeniably true, the best way to describe the relationship may be: It’s complicated.


Google and Apple, which used to share two directors, aren’t as close as they once were, to be sure. They are developing products that put them in direct competition with each another. And they are pursuing some of the same acquisition targets and they both have a lot of cash.

Specifically, Google and Apple are going mano a mano in the mobile arena. Google is developing an operating system to run on computers that competes with Apple’s Macintoshes. Its browser, Chrome, competes with Apple’s Safari. Google is looking to get serious about digital music, where Apple’s iTunes rules.

Despite these frictions, Apple and Google still can get along.

Consider the iPad launch. Apple showcased Google products, including a demo of a YouTube dog-surfing video in high definition and the always elegant Google Maps. And Google remains the default search on the iPad even with talk that Microsoft’s Bing might replace it on the iPhone.

Sounds pretty friendly. That is, until Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt made this comment about the iPad at Davos.

‘You might want to tell me the difference between a large phone and a tablet.’

-- Jessica Guynn

Photo (top): Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press

Photo (bottom): Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images