Google (GOOG) chairman Eric Schmidt isn’t above throwing subtle taunts at his company’s rivals. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Schmidt said he found it “extremely curious” that Apple (AAPL) has only been suing Android manufacturers such as Samsung (005930) and HTC (2498) so far but hasn’t yet gone after Google. The implication here, of course, is that Apple only wants to pick on companies that don’t have the financial and legal clout of Google.

Elsewhere in the interview, Schmidt needled Apple for its ill-fated decision to ditch Google Maps and go with its own homemade maps application, while also saying he had no idea why Apple would throw YouTube from the iPhone and iPad home screens. Schmidt also took a passive-aggressive shot at Microsoft (MSFT) by reiterating his belief that only Apple, Google, Amazon (AMZN) and Facebook (FB) are important when it comes to consumer technology, and hinted that Microsoft’s time had already passed.

“We had never in our industry seen four network platforms of that scale,” Schmidt said. “We had seen IBM and we had seen Microsoft. But now we have four, and the resultant competition is a huge change in the industry.”

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.