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Google CEO Schmidt Leaves Apple Board

CmdrTaco posted about 5 years ago | from the slightly-less-billions dept.

Google 128

Jerod Venema writes "Today, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple's board of directors, citing conflicts of interest. Apple has released a statement that the company and Schmidt reached a decision to split ties as Google enters new markets that directly compete with Apple's iPhone and Mac operating systems. Schmidt had recused himself of portions of Apple's board meetings when conflicts of interest or anything Google-related arose. But Steve Jobs said Schmidt would have to leave much larger portions of the meetings after Google announced last month that it would enter the operating system sphere."

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Google Voice Rejected (3, Interesting)

Blahgerton (1083623) | about 5 years ago | (#28926941)

Surely this has nothing to do with Google Voice being rejected from the App Store.

Re:Google Voice Rejected (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28926981)

No. It has more to do with a pending antitrust lawsuit by the DOJ.

GOPHERSEX! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28927297)

I think we can make MILLIONS off this deal. Go with it and run, young chum!

Re:Google Voice Rejected (0)

AlexBirch (1137019) | about 5 years ago | (#28928257)

the antitrust lawsuit by the DOJ is pure genius, since google has a 95% marketshare any anything!

If they used unfair tactics, then the DOJ should prosecute.

Re:Google Voice Rejected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28931181)

Unfair tactics to establish a monopoly can lead to corrective action, but establishing that a company IS a monopoly leads to future restriction. Google IS a monopoly, and they are one of the largest advertising companies in the world. This is going to lead to an expansion of Evilness, whether they like it or not!

Re:Google Voice Rejected (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | about 5 years ago | (#28931881)

Where is it that Google has a monopoly again?

Are you saying they have a monopoly on search and used it to unfairly take over the online advertising market?

I'm not sure those two are linked in any way by Google, except that Google Search itself happens to use Google's own advertising.

Re:Google Voice Rejected (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28927015)

Conflicts of interest made it inevitable that Schmidt would leave, but considering the timing, I wouldn't be surprised if GV being rejected was the impetus.

Re:Google Voice Rejected (5, Informative)

natehoy (1608657) | about 5 years ago | (#28927115)

Probably the latest in a long string of conflicts of interest. Schmidt couldn't really honestly get involved in the Google Voice discussions, obviously, since he represents the competition.

As Google wants to eat more and more of Apple's lunch (and vice versa) having the same person on both Boards is almost guaranteed to be an automatic conflict. The timing of this is about right, since Google is getting into new lines of business that compete with almost everything Apple wants to do now.

Re:Google Voice Rejected (5, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 5 years ago | (#28927267)

No, and don't call me Shirley.

Re:Google Voice Rejected (1, Flamebait)

bonch (38532) | about 5 years ago | (#28929057)

It doesn't. If anything, Apple is required to reject those apps per their contract with AT&T. I know nobody will mention that, though, and the "blogosphere" (ugh) will continue to mindlessly trash Apple.

Re:Google Voice Rejected (3, Insightful)

lukas84 (912874) | about 5 years ago | (#28929387)

Apple apparently signed that contract with AT&T, so trashing them seems to be in order.

Yes, you're being a little paranoid (2, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 5 years ago | (#28930831)

Actually there was talk of him resigning from the board long before the Google Voice app was rejected.

Even more chatter prior to that due to conflict of interest on various topics dating back to Feb of this year [] [] []

But unlike Apple/ATT, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28926959)

I doubt Google will pull all google-related applications from the iPhone.

First thing on my mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28926967)

CEO of a competitor on your board of directors? Ballsy.

Re:First thing on my mind (1, Interesting)

pha7boy (1242512) | about 5 years ago | (#28927183)

I thought Microsoft had a big stake in Apple (which would assume that someone from MS would be on Apple's board). maybe i'm wrong.

Re:First thing on my mind (3, Informative)

pha7boy (1242512) | about 5 years ago | (#28927249)

nevermind. it was 150mil stake of non-voting stock. So I guess no board of directors position.

Re:First thing on my mind (2, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 years ago | (#28928499)

Also, I don't think it exists anymore. I may be wrong, but I assume you're referring to the stock that Microsoft bought in the late 90s, which I believe they sold after a couple years. Too bad, too, because I'm guessing the stock is worth a lot more now, and Microsoft would have made a nice little profit if they'd kept their investment.

only mp3 players left (5, Informative)

robinsc (84714) | about 5 years ago | (#28926983)

Well if you look
Safari => chrome
Mac os => google os
iphone => android
xserve =>google server farms

probably the only thing he didn't have to recuse himself from would be mp3 players....

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

fatalwall (873645) | about 5 years ago | (#28927087)

I can understand iphone meetings because those are solid competing products and maybe even safari(even if there is no real profit) but google os has always lead me to believe its a netbook os and has no real intent to be some ones main computer.

How can you compare xserver(a sold product) to googles server farms that are completely in house

if they needed a reason for mp3 players then all they would realy have to do is site that there search engine provides people with sites to bypass drm in there music

Re:only mp3 players left (3, Interesting)

nxtw (866177) | about 5 years ago | (#28927403)

How can you compare xserver(a sold product) to googles server farms that are completely in house

Using hosted Google services is an alternative to running similar applications on a local server. For example, there's no need to have a local email/calendaring server if you use Gmail and Google Calendar. In this example, it's really OS X Server that could be conflicting with Google's services.

But the more relevant conflict is between Apple's MobileMe and Google's collection of (free) web apps.

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | about 5 years ago | (#28927755)

What makes you think Apple has no plans to enter the netbook market with a netbook of their own or some other device targetted to consumers who might otherwise get a netbook (i.e. the oft-rumored Mac tablet)

Re:only mp3 players left (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 5 years ago | (#28929129)

I of course could be wrong, but I don't think Apple will sell anything cheaper than the Mini. The margins are simply too low for them to be interested in the netbook market, even if that market continues to grow. I think Apple has demonstrated consistently in the last decade that they value margins over market share.

Re:only mp3 players left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28932867)

that's the point of the netbooks they come with a contract that subsidizes the hardware at better margins because the cost is hidden.

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 5 years ago | (#28929169)

Because the margins are too thin.

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

somersault (912633) | about 5 years ago | (#28928833)

Unless you're into PC gaming, then a netbook surely covers everything that you need to do on a "main computer". In fact I've been using one even for most of my work for the last few months (while connected to an external monitor), and it is the only computer I use now when I'm at home.

I've got my MBP for when I need to do Windows development at work, but I'm happy to just use my netbook 95% of the time. The only difference in use between my MBP and the netbook is that I don't get all the fancy Comppiz effects, and occasionally while using a lot of tabs the netbook will have to 'think' for a bit (not sure why - it hasn't ever been close to using swap).

Re:only mp3 players left (3, Informative)

dissy (172727) | about 5 years ago | (#28929565)

How can you compare xserver(a sold product) to googles server farms that are completely in house

It isn't too hard. One just needs to realize that googles server farms are not completely in house and are also a sold product. []

The Google Search Appliance (GSA) provides fast, relevant search for your website or intranet. An on-premise, easy-to-deploy solution, the GSA provides your organization with high relevancy right out of the box, can be customized to meet your specific needs, and scales easily as your content grows.

Not exactly as sexy compared to an xserve, but it is a sold product none the less.

Google Appliance Pict []
Xserve Pict []

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

unfasten (1335957) | about 5 years ago | (#28932567)

Google Search Appliance is a single purpose server to provide in-house search services. It's basically a search program that happens to come with a server, not a server to be used for anything.

Xserve is a general purpose server. Google only competes with Apple here if your only intention for the Xserve was to implement a custom search engine on it. Even if that were the case, the main selling point for Google in that instance wouldn't be the hardware, but in the performance of their search method compared to your own. As far as I know, Apple doesn't sell their own search algorithm so it still wouldn't be competing with Apple.

Re:only mp3 players left (5, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about 5 years ago | (#28927103)

turtle necks => t-shirts

Re:only mp3 players left (5, Funny)

lorenlal (164133) | about 5 years ago | (#28927331)

hippies => free spirits?

Re:only mp3 players left (2, Funny)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 years ago | (#28927563)

hippies => CIA seed money?

Re:only mp3 players left (3, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 5 years ago | (#28928477)

free spirits => free beer => free speech?

Re:only mp3 players left (2, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | about 5 years ago | (#28932095)

free spirits => free beer => free love.

=> free chlamydia

Re:only mp3 players left (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | about 5 years ago | (#28927191)

how about the actual computers themselves?

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 5 years ago | (#28932899)

Apple is, literally, no longer a computer company. Jobs announced the name change from "Apple Computer" to "Apple" when he announced the iPhone.

Re:only mp3 players left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28927875)

iTunes => google searching for torrents

Re:only mp3 players left (4, Funny)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | about 5 years ago | (#28928103)

I read somewhere that Apple also has a line in consumer PC hardware.

Re:only mp3 players left (2, Funny)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 5 years ago | (#28929839)

I read somewhere that Apple also has a line in consumer PC hardware.

Lies! They make luxury computing products for the discerning customer. ;-)

Re:only mp3 players left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28928483)

standard notation => made-up notation ?

Re:only mp3 players left (-1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 5 years ago | (#28928839)

I just got my G1 yesterday, but as far as I can tell it is a perfectly capable MP3 player. Since I don't rent music, iTunes adds no value. Given that the G1 has a MicroSD slot, so can be cheaply upgraded to a 32GB model, I would say that the G1 just might be a better MP3 player than the iPod touch.

Again, this is with only one day to play with it, so I might change my mind. There is no question that Google is involved in the MP3 player market, even if they don't push that angle.

Re:only mp3 players left (4, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 5 years ago | (#28929131)

Since I don't rent music, iTunes adds no value.

iTunes has never "rented" music in the resurrected Napster sense, and even in the "I call DRM renting" conniving sense virtually every piece of music sold by iTunes no no longer carries any DRM, so no matter which way you try to spin it these days your statement is simple FUD.

Re:only mp3 players left (1, Funny)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | about 5 years ago | (#28929643)

Now now, your facts don't need to get in the way of his opening of his stupid-hole.

Re:only mp3 players left (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28931001)

iTunes has always "rented" music

Fixed that for you.

Re:only mp3 players left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28931993)

Would you care to actually explain how you think iTunes rents music, considering the OP covered all of the forms of music sold (and not sold) by iTunes?

Do you somehow consider DRM-free music sold by the Apple Store to be "renting"?

Or if you're the GGP poster, do you seriously think iTunes adds no value even when you buy no media whatsoever from the Apple Store? I use iTunes all the time and have never touched Apple's store...

Re:only mp3 players left (3, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about 5 years ago | (#28929157)

FYI, the two big music stores, iTunes and Amazon, don't use DRM of any kind anymore for their music.

Video, on the other hand...

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | about 5 years ago | (#28929969)

But how can you shop at the iTunes music store without an iPod/iPhone or iTunes?

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 5 years ago | (#28930323)

Since the poster was responding to my statement that iTunes add no value to the iPod for me, having an iPod and iTunes is already a given as a prerequisite. Without the assumption of having an iPod and iTunes, the scenario being discussed makes no sense.

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 5 years ago | (#28931669)

You enter your credit card information.
You buy DRM free AAC files.

You sync the AAC files to your hardware using the software that came with the hardware developer.

Re mp3 players left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28932021)

iTunes you need to access the store.

You don't need an iPod/iPhone to either access it, nor buy or use the music you download.

With either a Mac or PC, you can play the content, and put it on whatever other device you want to play it with. The latter may require converting to some other format than AAC, but event that's covered in iTunes.

Re:only mp3 players left (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28932903)

If you don't want iTunes on your system then don't shop at the Apple Music Store, shop someplace else.

Your question is like asking: "How can I buy a CD retail without using a checkout lane?"

I hate how HotTopic has turned my favorite music into campy consumerism, so I don't shop at HotTopic. It would be completely preposterous to demand that HotTopic sell me CD's but stop carrying kitsch garbage because it affects my sensibilities or personal choices I have made for my life.

Fair competition is consumer freedom.

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 5 years ago | (#28930227)

That is good to hear. I still prefer to have my backup media in the higher quality pressed CD than to do the manufacturing of my backup disk myself with the far lower quality CD-Rs. That is just a personal preference though.

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 5 years ago | (#28930799)

I have many pressed CDs, but I also have dual hard drives (one for daily use and one for backup) and Mozy for online backup. I'm fairly certain they'll survive - and I'm protected from fire, which gives me an advantage over relying on the original CDs.

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 5 years ago | (#28929125)

Funny thing is, one of the reasons I want an Android phone (besides the obvious openness) is that I can load the Last.FM player and listen to music... without requiring a separate device.

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | about 5 years ago | (#28929835)

There's an app [] for that...

Re:only mp3 players left (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28930675)

Dear iPhone Developers,

It has come to Apple's attention that your application does one or more of the following things:

- Appears to be remotely useful
- May be excessively unique
- Competes with something we may or may not release (thanks for the idea though)

As a result of the violation of the terms of use for the market place, your application will be removed, rebranded, and released as an Apple app. Thanks for your $99 and your app. Please buy more of our crap. You know you will.

Apple's iPhone violation team

Re:only mp3 players left (2, Interesting)

MasterMnd (95596) | about 5 years ago | (#28929351)

probably the only thing he didn't have to recuse himself from would be mp3 players....

Hmm, so does this mean that Google's about to announce a line of mp3 players? :)

Re:only mp3 players left (1)

xant (99438) | about 5 years ago | (#28929791)

Actually, my android phone is my mp3 player.

But Google doesn't make laptops or keyboards yet. Looking forward to a laptop that is housed at a Google datacenter, and which I can carry around with me, and use, remotely.

Slooooow news day, huh? (-1, Flamebait)

Bromskloss (750445) | about 5 years ago | (#28927005)

So he resigned. Seems like a reasonable thing to do. Why don't we just leave it at that? It doesn't even have to do with technology! You know, cool machines and stuff. Rockets, computers, mathematics - that's what we want to learn about here.

Re:Slooooow news day, huh? (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 5 years ago | (#28927047)

don't forget the pr0n!

Re:Slooooow news day, huh? (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 5 years ago | (#28927383)

don't forget the pr0n!

I don't think he had to recuse himself from those parts of the board meetings.

Re:Slooooow news day, huh? (5, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 years ago | (#28927063)

Yeah, the internal politics of two of the biggest companies in personal computing in the wake of the Google Voice debacle are of absolutely no interest to anyone. What we need is wiring diagrams, dammit.

Re:Slooooow news day, huh? (1)

Canazza (1428553) | about 5 years ago | (#28927071)

yeah, Idle's not had a new story in 4 days

Re:Slooooow news day, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28927413)

You must be new here.

mis-read title (2, Funny)

Canazza (1428553) | about 5 years ago | (#28927041)

I thought he was just being dull at meetings...

Given that he was leaving Apple bored

Re:mis-read title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28927127)

Dear god. Is that the best you could come up with? Really? ...really?

No... really?

Dear Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28927069)

I'm a 40 y/o balding man with no arms, no legs and no goats, but I do have ape tits!

Msg me for a good time.

next up, Apple switches to VirtualEarth for maps (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 years ago | (#28927179)

coming in iPhone OS 4

Apple is already in bed with Microsoft and ActiveSync for iphone and Snow Leopard email connection to MS Exchange. Why not license mapping software as well?

Re:next up, Apple switches to VirtualEarth for map (2, Insightful)

shadow349 (1034412) | about 5 years ago | (#28927585)

Apple is already in bed with Microsoft and ActiveSync for iphone and Snow Leopard email connection to MS Exchange. Why not license mapping software as well?

By that reason, Google should switch to VirtualEarth for maps. Google is already in bed with Microsoft and ActiveSync for Google Apps. Why not license mapping software as well?

Re:next up, Apple switches to VirtualEarth for map (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 years ago | (#28927951)

apple doesn't have it's own mapping software for one. google needs a reason to keep it's eleventy billion servers running and doing something

it's about time (1)

microbee (682094) | about 5 years ago | (#28927213)

nothing more to say

Sorry Eric (0, Troll)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 5 years ago | (#28927233)

but that whole "Don't be Evil" thing is really starting to get in the way.

Re:Sorry Eric (1)

TimeTraveler1884 (832874) | about 5 years ago | (#28928241)

"Don't be Evil"

I wish people would stop propagating such silly misinformation. It read more like "Don't Panic" and it was never a motto, just a note poorly scribbled on a towel that was used as a replacement air filter for the first Google Server [] .

Re:Sorry Eric (1)

dr.newton (648217) | about 5 years ago | (#28928817)

but that whole "Don't be Evil" thing is really starting to get in the way.

How so?

Re:Sorry Eric (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 5 years ago | (#28929991)

Well, the original post was actually meant to be from Steve Jobs to Eric, poking fun at Apple's Google Voice fiasco, which I consider at least bordering on the margins of Evil. Since the original post has been modded Interesting, Insightful, Flamebait, and Redundant, but not Funny, It was obviously poorly worded or aimed. It in no way meant that Google's "Don't Be Evil" policy was a bad idea ... I think all companies (and people) live by it.

Beyond that, I think I'm going to give up on poking fun at Apple as I don't really have the karma for it.

Re:Sorry Eric (1)

dr.newton (648217) | about 5 years ago | (#28930659)

Oops, sorry - I mistook it for some knee-jerk anti-Google sentiment, and wanted to know what you had to say on the matter! Glad I asked instead of responding with some knee-jerk anti-anti-Google sentiment. ;)

It's been interesting watching Apple and Google get more negative comments on Slashdot over the last few months (or the last couple of years in Apple's case). This story makes me wonder if a part of the Slashdot community will take sides in some sort of Google vs. Apple drama. Apple does seem to have a way of getting people to defend them against criticism, both real and imagined... I guess the reactions to your comment (including mine) seem to indicate Google has a similar following here on Slashdot!

Btw, taken the way it was intended, your OP is funny.

Or perhaps? (0, Flamebait)

TIWolfman (1483455) | about 5 years ago | (#28927279)

He just saw a ship going down? The types of conflict-of-interest here aren't exactly rare in the Fortune 500 board member world. Regardless, this should be noted as a far larger loss to Apple than is being written about at this point.

Re:Or perhaps? (2, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 5 years ago | (#28928081)

They're nowhere near going down. Even if they get fined for anti-trust, they'll get past it and do fine. If they're forced to open up their app store, it may even be good for them in the long run. At this point it probably is just a routine conflict of interest, but the timing adds some entertainment value.

Re:Or perhaps? (5, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | about 5 years ago | (#28929811)

Just to emphasize here, according to the NYT [] , last month, in the middle of the worst recession in decades:

Apple recorded its best nonholiday quarter ever when other electronics makers were hurting because of a downturn in consumer spending.

They saw increasing revenue and profit in every single division of the company. Compare this to Microsoft, who last quarter [] saw:

On Thursday, the world's largest software company reported its worst fiscal year since it initially sold stock to the public in 1986. Year-over-year revenue and full-year sales of Microsoft's flagship Windows software dropped for the first time.

Microsoft saw billion dollar reductions in revenue [] in both the windows (Client) and office (Business) divisions, and it's xbox (entertainment) and search (on-line) divisions were actually in the red and are losing the company money.

Apple is not a "ship going down", this statement is demonstrably false, people are even calling it recession proof. You could say that about Microsoft however and not be contradicted by facts.

Arthur Levinson? (4, Informative)

Faizdog (243703) | about 5 years ago | (#28927291)

Genentech Inc. Chairman Arthur Levinson also serves as a director on both boards. The Feds are investigating that as well. What about him? The news story keep mentioning that Schmidt would recuse himself from discussions related to Google, what about Levinson? Did he recuse himself from both Google and Apple meetings when the other was being discussed?

Just curious.

Re:Arthur Levinson? (3, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 5 years ago | (#28928147)

The FTC/DOJ would be far more interested in Schmidt since he's not just on both boards, but he's an employee for one of the companies. The primary issue they're seeking to prevent is collusion, which is would usually be accomplished by company employees sitting on each others' boards. A common 3rd party board member on two similar companies is also an issue, but it's not nearly as pressing of an issue since they aren't an employee.

Or to put this another way, they're handling one thing at a time.

Re:Arthur Levinson? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28928325)

I think there is even a third link with Al Gore. He is on Apple's board and at one point was a special advisor to Google.

Schmidt's next move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28927531)

I think he should return to Novell and piss all over the corpse of a company that he left behind there, just to finish the job.

Why? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28927661)

Why is Jobs telling the Board what to do? Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 5 years ago | (#28928429)

Why is Jobs telling the Board what to do? Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?

The Board tells Jobs the CEO what to do. Jobs, Chairman of the Board and major stockholder, tells the Board what to do.

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 5 years ago | (#28932929)

Jobs has altered the corporate charter. The Board should pray he does not alter it further.

Finally (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28927697)

I've always said that fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. It's about time Apple realized that.

-Anonymous CEO

Re:Finally (4, Funny)

Norsefire (1494323) | about 5 years ago | (#28928265)

Hi Steve!

Re:Finally (3, Funny)

csartanis (863147) | about 5 years ago | (#28931035)

Ohh, but which Steve?

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28932477)

Hi Bill

The real reason AT&T is terrified of Google Vo (1, Insightful)

Michael G. Kaplan (1517611) | about 5 years ago | (#28928889)

Schmidt resigning from the Apple board was obviously necessitated by the Google/Apple/AT&T conflict that is being reviewed by the FCC. I argue that AT&T is forcing the hand of Apple. Apple has no reason to be concerned about Google Voice, but AT&T and the other wireless carriers have good reason to be terrified of Google Voice if network neutrality is applied to wireless carriers.

In its current incarnation the worse thing Google Voice can do to AT&T is to conveniently allow iPhone users to make inexpensive international calls without going through AT&T. Google Voice uses VoIP to transmit calls, but Google is not a phone service provider.

But what if the logical thing happened and Google became a phone service provider? And what if AT&T lost the right to cripple cell phones that use their network? And what if, in the absence of AT&Tâ(TM)s arm-twisting, Apple now allowed Google to create an optimized app?

Given the above the following will likely occur:

-Since Google is now a phone provider I can now port my current iPhone number over to Google. I then acquire a brand new cell phone number from AT&T. I have Google Voice forward my calls to my original number to my new AT&T number; I can now completely forget about my new number.

When people call my old number I can now seamlessly receive the call on my iPhone. When I use my iPhone to dial a friends number the Google Voice app will automatically call a local number instead that belongs to Google and then Google will connect me to my friends number. My friend's caller ID will see my original old phone number!

Since the phone is no longer crippled full use of WiFi will be enabled. Whenever you are in a WiFi hotspot all calls made either from or to your iPhone will go over WiFi. You can seamlessly use your iPhone at home making a limitless number of free calls. Does AT&T have spotty reception in your house? Problem solved! You don't even have to pay hundreds of dollars for AT&T's idiotic upcoming femtocell. The capacity of the cellular network is also improved as so many people are now bypassing it.

-Let's take this further and apply the potential of Google Voice to the international traveler. Let's say that you plan on going to several European countries and you want to take your iPhone; you will be robbed blind by AT&T if you casually used your phone.

But what if before you paid Google a nominal fee to use your phone in any country you might potentially go to? Google voice should be able to download onto your phone the SIM card data for a locally purchased pay-for-use SIM card. Each account will have one minute of talk time on it. The moment you arrive in a country your iPhone will automatically use that cell phone time to call a local Google number; Google will then add local minutes to that particular account. When you call a US number your phone will actually dial a local Google number that will then use VoIP to allow you to call anywhere in the world at the cheapest possible rate. People in the US will seamlessly reach you by calling your usual number. If you need to give your phone number to locals who don't want to make an international call to reach you then you can give them the local SIM phone number. Once again WiFi calls will be free and seamless.

-Let's apply this again to the US. Your iPhone can contain SIM card info from multiple providers so that your phone can seamlessly switch between providers based on signal strength/capacity/price.

The FCC is also considering forcing the large cell phone providers to sell capacity to smaller providers at non price-gouging rates. Google can purchase bandwidth at a far cheaper price than a private individual can. Now this iPhone with the Google Voice app can pick the cheapest/best cell service available at a particular location. (I picture more combination GSM/CDMA phones being sold).

The cell phone companies, for the first time, will be forced to let an honest market decide the price of their services instead of their abusive oligopoly-driven price gouging. The consumer will get a much better product at a much cheaper price. It is easy to see why all of the wireless providers would be terrified of such a future.

Re:The real reason AT&T is terrified of Google (2, Informative)

AudioInfecktion (1088677) | about 5 years ago | (#28929743)

Let me make some corrections to your observations. Google voice does not use VOIP at all, for anything. Making a call from a cell phone through google voice sends the call request via a data connection, to which googles servers initiate two calls. One to your cell phone, and another to your party. The google voice software on the cell phone intercepts the incoming call and answers it, and then waits for the other party to pick up... If you're webapp crippled on an iphone, the calls are still routed over normal calls using normal minutes between your phone and the GV servers. Here is what is lost for each party Apple looses control over some or all of your contacts as google voice will use your google contacts, and those stored in your phone. On android, they are one and the same. AT&T looses the ability to see who you are calling and whatever aggregate crap they generate from that to sell to whoever... Why this is valuable to them or how they even have legal authority to sell it is beyond me. They also loose 50% of the SMS revenue from the account as outbound SMS can be done over data.

Re:The real reason AT&T is terrified of Google (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | about 5 years ago | (#28930313)

As far as VOIP goes I think the GP poster was alluding to the way things are headed. If you get used to dialing through Google Voice it will eventually be trivial for Google Voice to determine if it should use VOIP or the cell network and chose whatever is cheaper.

My contact list is already 3-way synced with my iphone, google contacts, and address book. It works surprisingly well.

SMS revenue for AT&T is huge. All the cell phone companies screw you in their own way, AT&Ts is through SMS. Any other way to cut out AT&T to reliably send and receive SMS messages is something they would stop immediately.

Re. SMS (1)

cheros (223479) | about 5 years ago | (#28930861)

Any other way to cut out AT&T to reliably send and receive SMS messages is something they would stop immediately.

They can't stop the cheaper alternative called email [] unless they do something stupid with their data plans. They're fresh out of luck - the world moves on (thankfully).

It's actually quite fun to see major monopolies suddenly lose their ability to gloriously rip people off - especially since they have been behaving like it's an entitlement.

Re:Re. SMS (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | about 5 years ago | (#28931497)

I don't see email taking over very soon since a lot of phones sold still don't support it. You also have to sign up for an email address and give that out on top of your phone number.

SMS does short messaging better than anything else out there and that is why email hasn't overtaken it. Email is also not a very immediate medium. Part is admittedly perception, but part is also how email works. Things like IM and SMS are more like live conversations. If anything, functioning IM programs on mobile devices will overtake SMS before email will.

May be good news for Android (3, Interesting)

Zebedeu (739988) | about 5 years ago | (#28929395)

I'm happy for these news because rumours have it that Google didn't implement some features such as multitouch in Android at Apple's request.

Now that they aren't buddy-buddy anymore, maybe Google will say fuck it and implement those features anyway (much as Palm did with the Pré).

Looking forward to that multitouch, and hopefully for those spring animations when a list reaches the end (in Android there isn't any visual feedback when you reach the end of a list except for the mini scrollbar on the right).

Re:May be good news for Android (1)

BiggoronSword (1135013) | about 5 years ago | (#28931703)

Sounds a bit like a stretch. I guess anything's possible. I can certainly hope though.

I don't think anybody really knows why Google chose to omit multi-touch functionality in the Android OS.

This is all about Andriod (2, Interesting)

indymike (1604847) | about 5 years ago | (#28930239)

This is all about Android, which is poised to knock off the iPhone this fall as over 18 new devices hit the market (from Motorola, Samsung, LG and HTC). Android is the game changer, and both Google and Apple know it.

old steve is back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28930855)

next up... he screws engineers out of money and lies to his own workers

Twenty real reasons he resigned--according to Woot (1)

moronikos (595352) | about 5 years ago | (#28932041)

From: []

Don't believe the disinformation doublespeak about why Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from the Apple Board of Directors this morning. For the story the Applo-Googlo-controlled media doesn't want you to hear, check out the following straight-ish dope leaked by our sources on "the inside". (What those sources are inside of, we're not saying.)

      1. Too busy now that gmail is out of beta
      2. Nervous about the Apple board's new zero-tolerance meth policy
      3. Couldn't afford the gas for the Google-to-Apple monthly commutes
      4. Just about to crush Apple with gTunes. Oops, did we just leak that?
      5. Preparing to run for governor of Alaska
      6. Can no longer deny that the Zune is the future
      7. Just felt that they'd grown apart: "It's not Apple, it's me"
      8. Tired of lecturing Millard Drexler about his foot-odor problem
      9. Somebody keeps eating his pudding out of the break-room fridge
    10. Offended about the tetherball court being removed at AT&T's request
    11. Confused about how outsourcing works, he's going to serve on the board of some company in India
    12. Won't have time now that he's playing bass for Nickelback
    13. Upset that Steve Jobs refuses to release his real birth certificate
    14. Now he can get that Palm Pre he's been eyeing
    15. Never really forgave the Klingons for the death of his boy
    16. Board meetings interfered with his plans to camp out for opening night of The Twilight Saga: New Moon
    17. Decided to dedicate his life to finally finding a cure for fan death
    18. Could no longer stand the anxiety of hiding his forbidden love for Steve Wozniak
    19. Was only ever in it for the advance copy of Snow Leopard anyway
    20. Couldn't resolve the conflict over which company was going to buy Woot

Well, you know what they say... (4, Funny)

inode_buddha (576844) | about 5 years ago | (#28932291)

"Schmidt Happens"
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