Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Exits: Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt

January 21, 2011: 7:56 AM ET

We know why Jobs left. Schmidt, the numbers suggest, is out for very different reasons

Source: Asymco

In a post entitled "Why Eric Schmidt had to go," Asymco's Horace Dediu, cuts through the millions of bits spilled Thursday over Google CEO's surprise reassignment with two simple charts.

The first, at right, compares Apple's (AAPL) growth rate over the past quarter with Google's (GOOG).

Apple, he points out, grew about 2.5 times faster. "The companies are in very different businesses," he writes, "but the money they make is the same color."

His second chart suggests that despite the surprising difference in their price-to-earnings ratios (where, ironically, Google gets rewarded and Apple gets punished), investors have been paying attention:

Dediu is not saying that Google's performance suggests management failure of their core business. On the contrary: "It's been a great performance. Google is arguably at the top of its game. Market share of search has never been better."

"The real condemnation of the leadership at Google," he writes, "is that there has been a failure to create entirely new disruptions. As the stock chart above confirms, Android and Chrome are, if successful, sustaining technologies for Google. That's not going to be enough."

Schmidt, you may recall, sat on Apple's board until it became clear that Google had copied the iPhone's look and feel and called it Android.

Apple is selling iPhones as fast as it can make them and making money hand-over-fist. Google gives Android away to cellphone makers in the hopes that they will drive more traffic to its search ads, which is where it gets its revenue.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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