Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman did some straight talk during the Le Web conference held at Paris earlier this week. In conversation with Loïc Le Meur, founder of Seesmic, he made some startling predictions.
Addressing the issue of Google TV he said, “By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see will have Google TV embedded in it. A similar strategy to what we did with Android. The price is free from Google, so you are only paying for the television.”
Not shying from being aggressive and in sync with Google’s much loved Android platform Eric said, “Android is ahead of the iPhone now… based on unit volume, price is lower, more vendors, it’s free. ”
The friction between Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS has been legendary. Steve Jobs the CEO of Apple who recently passed away is said to have strong contempt for the Android which he considered as a ‘stolen product.’ Though Eric made it clear that he doesn’t feel the same and strongly disputed the claim that Android is a copy of iPhone. “Android was founded before iPhone,” he said.
This would not have been music to Steve Jobs’s ears, who in his biography written by Walter Isaacson through a series of exclusive interviews and released shortly after his demise expressed contempt for Android.
The book had quoted Jobs, “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product.” During a meeting between Schmidt and Jobs, the latter is said to have told Schmidt, “I don’t want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.”
No doubt Google has been aggressively working towards ‘social, local and mobile’ features to make Android a market leader. “We spend time in the social world, mobile first is almost the answer to every question with best engineering going to mobile apps.. and we live in a local context,” Eric said at Le Web. “The internet revolution is creating more jobs, its creating new markets for existing businesses. The government has to make sure that the citizens get access to broadband,” Eric added.
While discussing other issues Eric talked about the role of technology and how it has come to the aid of masses and played its part in the Arab revolution referring to Egypt in particular he said, “It is much easier now to start a revolution, it’s harder to finish it… its easy now to mobilise a society but that does not produce the leader to replace the current leader.”
Le web brings together the most influential audience in the Internet ecosystem with 2500 entrepreneurs, leaders, investors, bloggers, and journalists engaging in conversations. The full length of the video hosted on Le Web’s YouTube channel can be accessed below
Above is the full version of my article on Eric Scmidt’s interview at Le Web 2011, originally published at Daily Post. You can also read it here