Rumor: Eric Schmidt chewed out by Jobs, gave iPhone to mistress

While Google CEO Eric Schmidt may wield enough power to influence search results in China, this power apparently isn't strong enough to develop and maintain good friendships -- this is according to a post at Valleywag. The piece examines the persona that is Schmidt, the head of one of the most well-known companies in the world, through the lens of the events at Burning Man 2007.

While Schmidt longed to connect with his peers, Valleywag claims that he didn't exactly go out of his way to establish those connections. Rather than camp out in the desert at Burning Man, Schmidt chose, instead, to drive two and a half-hours back and forth from his Reno, Nevada hotel room in order to sleep on his cozy bed. During one of these treks, Schmidt received a phone call from Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The rest, as they say, is history.

At the time, rumors had begun swirling about the Google "G-Phone" and, while Schmidt was on the road, word of the phone leaked from HTC. Feeling a sense of betrayal, Jobs allegedly berated Schmidt during the call. "Steve was very, very upset," Schmidt is said to have told his companion Kate Bohner (more on her in a bit). "My God, he was so angry."

Photo: CC BY-SA 2.0

Well, of course he'd be angry. What'd you expect?

All of this information reportedly came from a close friend of Bohner's. According to the piece, Schmidt was having an extramarital affair with Bohner, and besides divulging his conversations with Steve Jobs to her, he also gave her his personal iPhone, which at that time, was a prototype.

However, Valleywag says that the phone in question did not go to Bohner directly. Apparently, Schmidt wasn't too fond of the iPhone's on-screen keyboard, and ended up giving his prototype to his wife. After his wife played with the iPhone and didn't care too much for it either, Schmidt gave it to Bohner. From the picture that Valleywag paints (they even add a little pity into the mix), it's not too difficult to see why the apparent feud between Jobs and Google about the two competing smartphones took the route that it did.