If you've been left a little nonplussed by Apple's lawsuits against Android hardware manufacturers, Google chairman Eric Schmidt is wondering the same thing. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Schmidt said it's "extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google's partners and not Google itself." Apple recently settled its patent disputes with HTC out of court, and most famously won a protracted legal battle against Samsung earlier this year.

However, it's not too hard to see Apple's motivations. Samsung is the company making the most money directly from Android with its hugely successful line of products, many of which were found to infringe various Apple patents, and it's in Cupertino's interest to stop that happening where possible. In court, Apple produced a 132-page internal report from Samsung that directly encouraged its designers to take cues from the iPhone.

Apple has also targeted the Galaxy Nexus, which, while not a particularly high-volume product, runs stock Android without Samsung's software modifications and therefore carries implications for other devices running Google's software. And, with an ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Google-owned Motorola, it doesn't look like the proxy wars against Android are likely to stop — unless the two giants settle their differences themselves, that is.