Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt sat down for an AllThingsD talk last night with Walt Mossberg. Among other topics, they not-surprisingly discussed Android and his thoughts on Apple. Much of the talk centered around Schmidt’s thoughts on the Android-Apple platform fight, which he called “the defining fight in the industry today.” He also noted there is a “huge race specifically between Apple and the Android platform for additional features,” and he commented on Apple’s Maps situation:
The Android-Apple platform fight is the defining contest. Here’s why: Apple has thousands of developers building for it. Google’s platform, Android, is even larger. Four times more Android phones than Apple phones. 500 million phones already in use. Doing 1.3 million activations a day. We’ll be at 1 billion mobile devices in a year.
At the 17:30 mark, Schmidt began to talk about Apple’s new Maps app controversy: “Apple should have kept with our maps”…
Schmidt: “Apple decided a long time ago to do their own maps … [now they’ve] discovered that maps are really hard. Apple has done very well using our maps”
Swisher: What argument could you make to Apple to keep your maps?
Schmidt: They’re better maps.
Mossberg: Are you going to make your own iOS map?
Schmidt: Don’t want to pre-announce products, but if we made one, they would have to approve it. … They haven’t approved all of our apps in the past. (Schmidt allows that the two companies are always in communication.) There’s always negotiations going on.
Schmidt did have some good things to say about Apple:
Q: If you had to be a CEO again, would you choose Apple, Amazon or Facebook?
Schmidt: I was on Apple’s board, and I’ll always have a soft spot for them. I was very good friends and very close to Steve Jobs, and we miss him dearly. Jeff Bezos has made remarkable moves. And again, Facebook has a billion users…. Which one has the most cash? That would be Apple.