Schmidt reportedly dismissed rumors that the change in leadership was due to issues over Facebook or Google's dealings with China. He maintained that the change was to simply clarify and tighten the lines of authority between him, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin.
According to FORTUNE, Schmidt said Google partners with Apple on search, maps and YouTube. It competes, on phones. Google also might in theory compete with Apple's Macintosh computer business with its Chrome OS hardware that Google hopes "to announce later this year," Schmidt said.
"Steve is absolutely brilliant," said Schmidt, referring to Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, where Schmidt was a longtime board member. "(He's) the most successful CEO in the world anywhere." Comparing Apple's iPhone and iPad platform to Android, he said: "They managed to build an elegant, scalable, closed system. Google is attempting to do something with a completely different approach."