Google Chairman Eric Schmidt speaks at a Motorola phone launch event in New York, in this September 5, 2012 file photo. - Reuters (File Photo)

SAN FRANCISCO | Thu Oct 11, 2012 - Google Inc Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt expects more than a billion mobile devices around the world to be running its Android software within a year, intensifying a battle with Apple Inc that he called a "defining fight" of the industry.

Schmidt said there were already four times as many Android mobile gadgets - smartphones and tablets made by the likes of Samsung Electronics - and that the scale of the battle between the two firms was unprecedented.

"We've not seen ... competitive fights on this scale," he said during an interview with tech blog AllThingsDigital at New York's 92nd Street Y on Wednesday.

Google and Apple were once close partners, with Schmidt serving on Apple's board during part of his tenure as Google CEO. But the ties between the two have been strained by the rise of Google's Android mobile operating system, now the world's leading platform for smartphones and a direct threat to Apple's lucrative iPhone and iPad businesses.

As competition between the two companies has heated up, Apple has moved to cut its reliance on Google products by dumping YouTube from the new iPhone's pre-loaded selection of apps and replacing Google's mapping software on the iPhone with its own mapping service.

Apple's foray into mapping has not gone smoothly. Apple CEO Tim Cook was forced to issue a public apology earlier this month amid complaints that the product - based on Dutch navigation equipment maker and digital map maker TomTom NV's data - contained glaring geographic errors and gaps in information.

"What Apple has learned is that maps are really hard," Schmidt said. "We invested hundreds of millions of dollars in satellite work, airplane work, drive by work, to get the maps accurate."

But he added that the two technology companies were "always in communication with each other."

Schmidt also said he did not expect Google to become a significant player in China any time soon, following its 2010 standoff with the government over Web censorship and cyber-attacks that Google said originated in China.

Google relocated its search engine to Hong Kong in the wake of the episode, allowing Chinese search engine Baidu Inc to widen its lead in China, one of the few markets in the world where Google's search engine is not dominant.

"Baidu will continue to be the Number One player in China for a long time," Schmidt said. He said that he did not expect any mending of ties with the Chinese government, which he said has cut off access to Google's Web services in the past.

"China has in its power to arbitrarily restrict our access to Chinese citizens to keep us at whatever percentage market share they wish," Schmidt said.

Updated Oct 11, 2012 08:49am

Comments (2) (Closed)


Peter Cao
Oct 11, 2012 10:11am
Eric Schmidt had lost his credibility when he got invovled into fascism crimes which had endangered human lives —————————————————— There is actually a war between fascism and anti-fascism, at this stage, fascism still prevails in our lives, Eric Schmidt, Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler are just front figures we could see in this fascism circle, there is a whole pack of fascists behind them Eric, as we can see, starting from Gabriele Scheler’s atrocity case on Stanford campus back in 2004, many people, including Gabriele Scheler, Sebastian Thrun, you Eric Schmidt, and also your collegue in China Kaifu Lee, had made contributions to such fascism crimes which had cost human life of Stanford student May Zhou and crimes which had retaliated on victims and almost cost life of the victim as I am … … … and someone who had provided legal coverage for your fascism crimes, including a powerful officer from Santa Clara DA Office, namely ZZZ (and after ZZZ, another officer YYY), and the officer VVV who’s in charge of Gabriele Scheler’s case and who had further collateralled with your side(suspect Eric Schmidt, Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler’s side) to conspire and curse victims( Stanford, May Zhou, me) in every possible way since 2006 till today; and maybe include the officer RRR who insist on May Zhou’s death as a suicide or accident, even though I had clearly pointed out who’s involved in May Zhou’s murder case … … … and someone who could provide political support for your fascism crimes, including top politician from the country of Germany whom we all know — Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, and maybe include a retired top politician from UK as well, etc. and more and more to find out later … ———————————————————————————– I believe, though some names missed out, all names mentioned in the above comment are part of this fascism circle
mc duffy
Oct 11, 2012 10:55am
while google expands its business in the world, many of its services are banned in pakistan