updated 06:45 pm EDT, Mon March 22, 2010
Google, Apple may have seen split at Burning Man
Google chief Eric Schmidt was genuinely shocked when he was berated by Steve Jobs for the first time over Android, an alleged tell-all supposedly revealed today. While headed to the 2007 Burning Man festival, Schmidt is said to have received a "ferocious" call from the Apple co-founder, who attacked him for establishing Android and allegedly deceiving Apple about his smartphone plans while sitting on the iPhone creator's board of directors. The dialogue was enough to have made the normally calm Schmidt upset and produce a "weird" expression on his face.
Jobs' verbal attack was considered a surprise to Schmidt, according to Gawker, as he along with Larry Page and Sergey Brin were not only positive about Jobs but had actively sought validation of Google's business practices. Schmidt to this day has referred to Jobs as the "best CEO in the world."
The reaction suggests that Google's CEO had little intention of directly affronting Apple and Jobs but also decided to pursue Android through the next two years despite full knowledge of the likely and actual consequences. Future heated Apple board meetings are understood to have followed and helped lead to Schmidt's eventual departure from the board altogether. In recent months, Google has stepped up its Android strategy and has gone so far as to implement multi-touch in core apps, a decision that may have broken an unwritten truce between Apple and Google and which may have led to Apple suing HTC in a proxy battle.