Google CEO Eric Schmidt has downplayed reports of rising tensions between his Mountain-View based company and Apple.
Indeed, Schmidt appeared utterly unconcerned that Club Cupertino may be attempting to replace Google with Bing as the default search engine on its wildly popular iPhone.
"As far as I can tell, our business structures with Apple are quite stable," Schmidt claimed during a conference call quoted by MarketWatch. "[Apple has always had] a special spot in my heart."
Schmidt also praised Apple for being a "very well-run company" and insisted that Google's relationship with Apple was a "partnership" in some areas, such as Google apps for the iPhone.
Nevertheless, Schmidt conceded that Google and Apple were competing against each with the Android-based Nexus One and the iPhone.
"We have a couple of very good partnerships with them and we also compete with them in a couple areas. My guess is that's (going to be) a pretty stable situation for a while."
However, despite Schmidt's claims to the contrary, the above-mentioned discussion over Bing clearly illustrates an increased rivalry between Apple and Google.
As TG Daily previously reported, the two corporate behemoths have recently accelerated their competition in several markets, including the crowded mobile space.
"Apple and Google know the other is their primary enemy," an anonymous source recently told BusinessWeek. "Microsoft is [just] a pawn in that battle."