BusinessWeek would like you to believe that there’s growing tension between Apple and Google–especially Eric Schmidt’s role on Apple’s board.
Google is also increasingly becoming a would-be Apple competitor, making Schmidt’s membership on Apple’s board awkward, if not ultimately untenable. Concerns over a potential conflict of interest have surfaced in the tech blogosphere in the past, but the potential for rivalry takes on added urgency as Apple prepares to launch the next version of its iPhone while Google partners ready cell phones that run Google’s operating system.
Sorry, I’m just not buying the idea that these two huge companies didn’t already know–prior to Schmidt’s appointment–that they’d soon start competing in similar industries. We all knew Apple and Google had aspirations for the mobile market. And so did they.
And, in light of the complexities of having Schmidt as a board member–he already recuses himself from any iPhone discussions–there must be some furtive reason why Schmidt remains on Apple’s board.
The CEO of a (potentially) rival firm sits on your board and invites questions about his fiduciary responsibility, yet he’s still welcomed?
Mark my words, Apple and Google are up to something.
Eric Schmidt didn’t join Apple’s board just because it would "look good on his resume." He didn’t take on the additional SEC headaches, just because he happens to like the iPhone. Nope, there’s something more here than meets the eye. A joint product? A merger? We’ll have to wait and see what plays out.