Apple and Google once had what “looked like the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” Brad Stone and Miguel Helft report for The New York Times. “Today, such warmth is in short supply. Mr. Jobs, Mr. Schmidt and their companies are now engaged in a gritty battle royale over the future and shape of mobile computing and cellphones, with implications that are reverberating across the digital landscape.”

“In the last six months, Apple and Google have jousted over acquisitions, patents, directors, advisers and iPhone applications. Mr. Jobs and Mr. Schmidt have taken shots at each other’s companies in the media and in private exchanges with employees,” Stone and Helft report.

“While the discord between Apple and Google is in part philosophical and involves enormous financial stakes, the battle also has deeply personal overtones and echoes the ego-fueled fisticuffs that have long characterized technology industry feuds,” Stone and Helft report.

“Yet according to interviews with two dozen industry watchers, Silicon Valley investors and current and former employees at both companies — most of whom requested anonymity to protect their jobs or business relationships — the clash between Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Jobs offers an unusually vivid display of enmity and ambition,” Stone and Helft report. “At the heart of their dispute is a sense of betrayal: Mr. Jobs believes that Google violated the alliance between the companies by producing cellphones that physically, technologically and spiritually resembled the iPhone. In short, he feels that his former friends at Google picked his pocket.”

Stone and Helft report, “One well-connected Silicon Valley investor, who did not want to be identified talking about the Google-Apple feud, says he is stunned by the level of rancor he’s witnessed. ‘It’s World War III. Amazing animosity is motivating two of the most powerful people in the industry,’ he says. ‘This is emotional. This is the biggest ego battle in history. It’s incendiary.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This time around, there’s no poorly-written contract signed by an unprepared sugared water salesbozo.” Wherever Google infringes on their IP, Apple should make them pay dearly.

Google’s going to rue the day they got greedy by deciding to try to work against Apple instead of with them.

We’ve been pushing the state-of-the-art in every facet of design… We’ve been innovating like crazy for the last few years on this and we’ve filed for over 200 patents for all of the inventions in iPhone. And we intend to protect them.Apple CEO Steve Jobs when unveiling iPhone, January 9, 2007

We like competition as long as they don’t rip off our IP, in which case we will go after them. We will not stand for having our IP ripped-off and we will use any weapons at our disposal [to stop it].Apple COO Tim Cook, January 21, 2009