At the 92nd Street Y in New York last night, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, during an interview with AllThingsD's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, made the case that Apple should have kept Google Maps on the iPhone and also talked about Microsoft's new approach for the technology.
When asked about a forthcoming Google Maps app for iOS, Schmidt reponded he didn't want to "pre-announce" products -- and that "Apple would have to approve it." "Apple's done very well using our maps," he joked.
"What Apple has learned is that maps are really hard," said Schmidt. "We invested hundreds of millions of dollars in satellite work, airplane work, drive-by work to get the maps accurate. We think we have the best product in the industry."
Further stating, he said Google anticipated Apple Maps "long ago" because of the company's various acquisitions, starting in 2009 with Placebase. "We knew this was coming," Schmidt explained.
On the question, that Apple says you didn't give them all the features they wanted. Schmidt responded, "Apple decided a long time ago to do their own maps … [now they've] discovered that maps are really hard."
Schimdt after emphasizing that Google's self-driving cars are very exciting, said that Microsoft is not one of the four large technology companies at the moment, as it didn't launch "state-of-the-art" products in all industry sectors. "Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google form the so-called Gang of Four," he said.
"You left out Microsoft," Walt Mossberg told Schmidt. "Deliberate," quickly replied Schmidt.
"Microsoft built a structural monopoly around Windows," he said. Adding, "It means a lot if the product works," he said when talking about the Surface tablet.
"They're a well-run company, but they haven't been able to bring state-of-the-art products into the fields we're talking about yet," Schmidt states.
Watch the full interview below: