In a move that doesn't come as much of a surprise, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has given up his position on Apple's board of directors. Back in May Schmidt had made comments with regard to the same subject (the possibility of him leaving the role), claiming that he didn't see Apple as a primary competitor to Google, hence he could still be effective in the position. Since then Google has been creeping further into Apple territory, with the announcement of work being under way on the Chrome OS (that could eventually compete with OSX). The company's Android smartphone OS has also seen increasing implementation on products that compete directly with the iPhone. That, along with the recent rejection of Google's Voice app for iPhone by Apple may suggest the relationship between the two companies may not be as strong as before (remember that stalwarts such as Google Maps are still integral parts of the iPhone).
Apparently the decision for Schmidt to depart was a mutual one, with Steve Jobs noting that as more potential conflicts of interest arise, the portions of board meetings that the Google man would be able to contribute to would continue to shrink. It doesn't take a genius to workout that if you can't attend to a large number of your duties, then there is little point in holding a position going forward. It is worth noting that even with Schmidt's departure, there are still ties between Apple and Google's board rooms, such as Art Levinson, who as the Financial Times reports, will remain a corporate director at both companies. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will also be continuing with its investigation into the relationship.