Google chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt is bullish on his company's chances to beat Apple in what he called a "platform fight." Speaking with All Things D yesterday, Schmidt said that Android vs. Apple is the industry's "defining contest," and one that Google is currently winning despite a lack of clarity on how much money Android is generating. Schmidt points out that there are four times more Android phones than iPhones and, with 1.3 million activations per day, the company will have activated one billion mobile devices within a year.

Schmidt knows that Apple has the resources to compete with Google, however, and says the benefit of the intensifying competition between the two companies will only benefit the consumer. Talking on the subject of mobile maps, he says that Apple is now discovering that "maps are really hard," opining that "Apple should've kept our maps... They're better."

Schmidt thinks Microsoft isn't a top-four company

Looking at the bigger picture, Schmidt notes the larger battle is between what he calls a "gang of four" consisting of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google, which are "all different, all competitors, [and] all making enormous investments." When told that Microsoft wasn't on that list, Schmidt called the omission "deliberate." Expanding on the snub, Schmidt said that, although it's a "well-run company," Microsoft has not brought any "state-of-the-art products" to market yet. To read more of Schmidt's thoughts on Google's past, present, and future, check out the full transcript of the interview over at All Things D.