Google CEO Eric Schmidt has quit the board of Apple as the search giant has started to encroach on Apple's turf.

A member of Apple's Board of Directors for three years, Schmidt has left the role by mutual consent, according to Lord Jobs on high:

"Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful," said Steve Jobs.

Google to take on Apple

"Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple's core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric's effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest.

"Therefore, we have mutually decided that now is the right time for Eric to resign his position on Apple's Board."

The news shows that Google is being viewed as a big future player in Apple's core activities, namely mobile and computer OS development, with the success of Android already eating into the iPhone's smartphone advantage.

Google and Apple have enjoyed a fruitful relationship in the past few years, with G-branded products (such as Maps) appearing on the iPhone as a native application.

However, Schmidt's resignation comes days after Google's Voice application was apparently denied access to the Apple App Store, so it's possible relations between the two companies might sour slightly as Google pushes quickly into new industries.

Via Apple