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Clash of the Tech Titans: Apple vs. Google

Today’s New York Times has an extensive article chronicling the growing animosity between Apple and Google.  The two companies shared common goals for most of the past decade, when they were both attempting to upset Microsoft’s near monopoly on personal computers and “ensuring that Bill Gates didn’t dominate the frontier of online services and mobile devices.”  Their collaboration became more official with the release of the iPhone, which shipped with Google’s search and mapping services at the core of the device.

Now that Google is making its own forays into mobile computing, relations have become strained.

“We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business,” Mr. Jobs told Apple employees during an all-hands meeting shortly after the public introduction of the iPad in January, according to two employees who were there and heard the presentation. “Make no mistake: Google wants to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them.”

The NYT article thoroughly recounts the mutual history of the two companies, and describes the unusual level of emotion that seems to accompany the spat between the two resolute titans of computing.

At one particularly heated meeting in 2008 on Google’s campus, Mr. Jobs angrily told Google executives that if they deployed a version of multitouch — the popular iPhone feature that allows users to control their devices with flicks of their fingers — he would sue. Two people briefed on the meeting described it as “fierce” and “heated…”

…In January at the World Economic Forum, when asked what he thought of Apple’s new iPad, due to go on sale early next month, [Eric E. Schmidt] joked to reporters: “You might want to tell me the difference between a large phone and a tablet…”

…Google executives see the company’s push to open up the industry and to succeed in mobile computing as too important to sacrifice just to placate Mr. Jobs.

The New York Times’ full article can be found here.

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