At an informal press event in connection with the annual Zeitgest conference, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt took the time to tell us all that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) is not his enemy.

"Let me be extremely clear what my view is of the iPhone versus Android rivalry," Schmidt said to a room full of bloggers and tech journalists. "I think it benefits both companies because it increases competition and I think both companies can do very well."

This has been patently obvious to some of us for a long time -- iPhone versus Android is a war only in the media. Android will end up eclipsing Apple's phone sales if it hasn't already, but that still won't kill the iPhone. The two platforms cater to different demographics using very different strategies to market, and there's lots of room for both to do well. Also sprach Schmidt: "So you think of the Apple model, it's single source. You've got one pricing architecture, one brand, one cohesive, classical closed system and it might be a good one. We have the exact opposite."

Killing the iPhone was never the point of Android, and Google bought the company from which Android's technology stems before the first iPhone was on store shelves. If you don't know how Google thinks, you probably don't see the point of owning the software stack at all: Google doesn't even collect license payments from Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Samsung, HTC, and the rest for the privilege of designing Android phones, so the company appears to have no skin in the game at all.

The idea is to give consumers more choice that Apple and others might provide, while driving the mobile computing experience to new heights. Raise your hand if you believe that the iPhone 4 would have been exactly as good as it is if Android wasn't around to push the envelope a bit further. It's kind of like the eternal struggle between processor champions Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), where the pace of innovation has stayed in turbo mode because each company always strives to outdo the other. Google will keep playing the foil to Apple's mobile plans as long as both platforms still have room to improve -- which they do in spades. Better browsing leads to more browsing, which packs gold into Google's coffers. It's all so simple.

If anybody should be scared, it's the lesser innovators who will be trampled under the breakneck competition between these two giants. I'm looking at you, Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM), and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) faces the daunting task to make Windows Phone 7 look good next to the latest and greatest Apple and Android can present.

Some would call it a suicide mission. I would agree. Discuss Google's mobile motivations in the comments below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Google, Intel, and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Google, Intel, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.