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Friday, March 26, 2010, 01:15 pm PT (04:15 pm ET)

Apple's Steve Jobs, Google's Eric Schmidt reconcile over coffee

Portrayed by reports in recent months to be brutal rivals who dislike each other, CEOs Eric Schmidt and Steve Jobs were spotted drinking coffee Friday in Palo Alto, Calif.

Photos of Schmidt and Jobs talking were snapped and sent to Gizmodo. Jobs was in his trademark mock turtleneck and jeans at the cafe Calafia in the Town and Country shopping center. The establishment is owned by former Google chef Charlie Ayers.

Jobs was overheard by the photographer as saying two things: "They're going to see it all eventually, so who cares how they get it," reportedly said about Web content. And, "Let's go discuss this somewhere more private," after a crowd began to gather around the two.

The report said that Schmidt was mostly quiet and listening while Jobs did most of the talking.

"The fact they'd meet in a neutral place like this implies, although does not prove, they chose a public place for its neutrality," Gizmodo's Brian Lam wrote. "Or they just wanted coffee and inevitably started talking shop, albeit in public. But since when do billionaires have to step out for coffee? The only thing that adds up is that neither felt comfortable meeting at each other's HQs, and this is the start of talks that will inevitably be tense for both sides."

Jobs' Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG was also spotted parked out front.

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Is that an iPad near Schmidt's coffee?


In addition to being chief executive of the search giant, Schmidt was also a member of the Apple Board of Directors until last year. Since his departure from the Apple board, Schmidt has shared kind words on the Mac maker. However, the perception of a growing rivalry and intense dislike between the two companies has only grown.

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that people close to Jobs said the Apple executive feels that Google "violated the alliance" it had with the iPhone maker when it began producing its own Android-powered cellphones that resemble the iPhone. One person familiar with both companies said the level of animosity involved puts it on a level of "World War III" between the two tech giants.

That report alleged that Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page considered Jobs a mentor, and were regular visitors to the company's Cupertino, Calif., campus. And while the relationship between Jobs and Schmidt was said to be pleasant, the two were reportedly "never close friends."

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In February, multiple reports suggested Jobs disparaged Google at a meeting with Apple employees. Specifically, he was quoted as saying that the search giant's "don't be evil" motto is "a load of crap" — an incident later corroborated by the Times. It was also alleged that Jobs said Google wants to "kill" the iPhone.

It has even been rumored that Apple and Microsoft entered into talks to make Bing the default search engine and maps provider for the iPhone. Google, in the wake of those reports, has maintained that Apple is a "valuable partner."

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Legally parked; still no plates...


And Schmidt has also insisted that all is well between the two companies stating that he has a "soft spot" in his heart for Apple. The former board member also had a peek at some of the products the Cupertino, Calif., company is working on, and said Apple has "a lot of very good stuff coming."