Meanwhile, Schmidt, named an Apple director in 2006, had already recused himself from discussions at board meetings that focused on Apple's iPhone, though it was not clear when that began. (Google's Android operating system is used in rival smartphones.)
In a statement, Schmidt said: "I have very much enjoyed my time on the Apple Board. It's a fantastic company. But as Apple explained today, we've agreed it makes sense for me to step down now."
Insights from Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster
I agree that it’s time for Eric Schmidt to step aside and allow the companies to compete more aggressively, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. However, I think Google’s greater fear is Microsoft, he adds, especially after the deal they inked with Yahoo! last week.
But for investors, Apple remains primarily a hardware play while Google is a play on Internet search. And I don’t see them competing on those grounds.
What’s the trade?
If you must choose, over the next 6 months I think Apple has more upside than Google, says Munster.
I’d look at Microsoft, adds Joe Terranova. I think they surprise everybody and go after Google very aggressively.
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Trader disclosure: On Aug 3rd, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Terranova Owns (MSFT), (MCD), (AMZN); Terranova Works For (VRTS); Terranova Is Short (TM); Seymour Owns (AA), (AAPL), (BAC), (BHI), (F), (RIMM), (YHOO), (EEM); Seymour's Firm Is Short (PBR); Seymour Owns (POT); Finerman Owns (RIG); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (NOK), (PBR), (RIG), (TBT), (WMT); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (BAC) Preferred Shares; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (WFC) Preferred Shares, Finerman's Firm Is Short (WFC); Finerman's Firm Is Short (USO), (IJR), (IYR), (IWM), (MDY), (SPY); Finerman's Firm Is Short (WFMI); Grasso Owns (BAC), (BA), (COST), (CSCO), (FAZ), (OXY), (V), (WMT), (XLF); Grasso's Company Owns (ABT), (GERN), (MSFT), (NWS.a), (NYX), (PDE), (RDC), (ROK), (XOM), ;Grasso's Company Owns (SDS); Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU)
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