Fresh off posting strong growth in the company’s fourth quarter, Google faced a slew of questions stemming from questions about the future of its business in China, and rumors about the future of its role on the iPhone.
Specifically, reports have claimed that the company may be at risk of being dropped as Apple’s default provider of search on the iPhone, owing to the two companies’ increasing competition in the mobile sector, courtesy of Android. Then there’s China: Google has said that it’s willing to walk away from the world’s largest Internet market due to questions on cybersecurity and censorship. Datamation takes a look at Google executives’ responses to both.
When Google executives gathered to discuss fourth quarter 2009 earnings on Thursday, talk turned to Apple and the iPhone. CEO Eric Schmidt said Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Apple have “a stable relationship,” and that the search giant “was not going to speculate on rumors.”
Schmidt’s comments came in response to questions about rumors that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) might be ready to drop Google as the default search engine on the iPhone in favor of Microsoft’s Bing.
Smartphones based on Google’s Android operating system are seen as a fast-growing competitor to the iPhone and recent speculation is that Apple doesn’t want to support a competitor that represents a significant threat to its mobile ambitions.
Last year Schmidt was forced to resign from Apple’s board of directors as the conflict of interest over being privy to a mobile competitor’s plans became more apparent. “I have a special spot in my heart for Apple,” said Schmidt. “It’s a very well run company that we also compete with and have special partnerships with.”