A lot of writers, including me, suspected the Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt meeting in public was a PR stunt. After some research, and info on background, I'm more sure it wasn't.
• One person who knows how Apple and Google PR work believed it was a stunt meant to deflect negative press about the personal acrimony between the two CEOs that was interpreted as part of the drive between the lawsuit between apple and Google's manufacturer, HTC.
• Valleywag and the NYT and a few others believed the photos were set up, too.
On the other hand:
• The photos came by way of a known source to me, actually, not so much a source as a kid who lives in the valley who comes to our Snowmodo events. He goes to high school across the street from the shopping centre where he snapped these photos. I traded him one of my old snowboards for being such a good reporter.
• Another person really familiar with the process of spin at Apple says, "It's not professional looking enough to be a stunt from Apple." I agree with this call.
• Lastly, I talked to someone who is friends with the staffers at the restaurant, who says the two are regulars there.
That's not a conclusive end to the conspiracy theory, but the fact the photos came from someone I know, and that the two are regulars at this restaurant leads me to believe that, yes, two spatting billionaire CEOs perhaps just wanted to grab a coffee at local joint. And perhaps, could be caught on a nice sunny day by a teenage reporter.