As the saying goes, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
Well, as it turns out the discreet rendezvous making waves in the tech world between Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Google CEO Eric Schmidt at a coffee shop in Palo Alto this past week may have have been regarding the impending iPhone 4G launch and an unlikely partnership, according to an industry source with a sterling track record for predicting tech trends.
The iPhone 4G, expected to make its debut in June, will be running a new bake of Google's Android that integrates key elements from both hugely popular operating systems, the source said.
According to an eyewitness sitting near Jobs and Schmidt, the two CEOs were engaged in lively debate for nearly 5 minutes about how they might integrate the two company's logos for a prominent spot on the back of the device.
"Schmidt was adamant that the Android robot should be eating an apple on the back of the phone," said the eyewitness. "It got pretty heated there for a minute, and Jobs even covered his ears at one point, telling Schmidt 'la-la-la-la-la, I can't hear you.'"
The customization options characteristic of Android, including Widgets, are likely to make their way to the iPhone, while core functionality of the iconic device including its chic music player and email application will remain largely unchanged.
The partnership is expected to bring cross compatibility to both operating system's respective app stores, making iPhone apps available to Android devices running Android version 2.1 and bringing most Android applications to the iPhone.
Microsoft may also be getting in on the deal, with signs indicating that the iPhone 4G will also include elements from Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series.
"When tech industry giants join forces, everybody wins," said a source close to the development of the integrated OS. "Ballmer said he will be joining them at their next meeting -- I heard they we're doing Chipotle this time. Jobs grabs a barbacoa burrito at least once a week."
Reportedly, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz got wind of the conversation at the generic coffee shop, and is lobbying for future meetings to be held at any of the plethora of Palo Alto Starbucks locations, arguing that if their cover is blown at one, they can just walk across the street to another.
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