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Exclusive: Sundar Pichai, Head of Google's Android, on Apple, Samsung, and Amazon

PichaiBenjamin Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek

Sundar Pichai may have the most difficult job at Google after Chief Executive Officer Larry Page. He oversees Android, the ubiquitous mobile operating system, as well as Chrome, the dominant Web browser and emerging OS for laptops. Pichai takes center stage this week as the keynote speaker at Google’s annual I/O conference. Six thousand developers and members of the media are expected to attend at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. He spoke with Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Brad Stone in an exclusive series of interviews for a feature in this week’s magazine. Excerpts:

Tim Cook recently used the stage at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference to throw a few darts at Android. He said most users are running “ancient” versions of Android without the newest features. Is that fair?
You have to understand, what Apple does and what we do are such different things. They make … two models of the iPhone, which they get people to buy. We are shipping thousands of devices throughout the world. … It’s not an apples-to-apples [comparison].