Google Leaders Say Competition With Apple, Facebook A Good Thing

Google's leadership says they are not afraid to compete for business with the likes of Apple and Facebook.

Attending the annual Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as well as CEO Eric Schmidt said both Google and Apple can thrive amid fierce competition in the smartphone and mobile advertising markets.

Industry watchers "assume that these are zero-sum games, which are battles to the death," said Schmidt, speaking with reporters Thursday at Sun Valley along with Page and Brin, Reuters reported.

Google has been pursuing its own vision, not following Apple, Page said.

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"We had been working on Android (mobile software) a very long time, with the notion of producing phones that are Internet enabled and have good browsers and all that because that did not exist in the marketplace," Page said, according to Reuters. "I think that characterization of us entering after is not really reasonable."

The Google chiefs didn’t mention Google Me, reportedly a new application slated to compete with Facebook. The social-media staple has already garnered massive international popularity to the tune of almost half a billion users thus far. But Brin said Google and Facebook can co-exist.

"The indications that we have show that when Internet users become Facebook users they actually do significantly more searches on Google," Brin said, according to Reuters.

Apple partners asked about Google’s calm in the face of tough competition say that's just the nature of business.

’Apple and Google are like distant relatives -- they get together for many adventures but each have their own desires,’ said David Sockol, CEO of Emagined Security, a San Carlos, Calif.-based solution provider. ’I see both companies strategizing about what they can do together but then go off to see if they can do it on their own." '

Sockol said that in business, companies seek profit, and both Google and Apple are no exception. ’They each only want to share the wealth with each other where they have to,’ he said. '

Andrew Plato, president of Anitian Enterprise Security, based in Beaverton, Ore., said Google is stretched in so many directions its focus may be diminished at the moment.

’Google seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis these days,’ he said. ’It seems like there is some confusion as to what exactly they do. They have gone in a lot of directions, and not all of them have been entirely successful.’

However, Plato was quick to address Google’s most recent challenges relating to privacy issues in China as well-played.

’They put integrity before profit, and I think anybody can admire them for that,’ he said. ’I suspect they knew all along it would go their way, but it played out well in the public eye.’

Plato said Apple dominates in marketing, whereas Google has no ’fanboys.’

’Google Android might be capable and technically superior to Apple in many ways, but Apple has a very loyal customer base -- something that Google has yet to build,’ he said.