According to Google’s Eric Schmidt, “Android is ahead of the iPhone now.” This was declared in front of an audience of tech enthusiasts and aspiring entrepreneurs at the LeWeb conference. The irony wasn’t lost when the audience in a room full of various Mac products, like the iPad, iPhone, and Mac Laptops, went silence, implying skepticism. Schmidt would go on to elaborate, “unit volume, Ice Cream Sandwich, the price is lower, there are more vendors.”
Android is successful but it was apparent where Android was lacking compared to iOS; being a top programming priority. An example of this includes Evernote announcing their new app called Hello, an app used for keeping track of folk, that is so far for iPhone users only. Another would be Flipboard, a news reader for iPad, was announced as expanding to the iPhone. Mike McCue, the Chief Executive, refused to say on if an Android Version was in the works. He only said, “We’ll see.”
Schmidt remains optimistic and thinks that the high volume of Android shipments will win out, thanks in part to Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich. He was quoted to say:
“Ultimately, application vendors are driven by volume, and volume is favored by the open approach Google is taking. There are so many manufacturers working to deliver Android phones globally. Whether you like Android or not, you will support that platform, and maybe you’ll even deliver it first.”
In response to a frustrated Android-carrying audience member who was grumpy at seeing iOS apps beating out their Android Market counterparts he said.
“my prediction is that six months from now you’ll say the opposite.”
He continued by saying that there are roughly 200 million Android phones in use so far with 550,000 new activating them daily. He also brushed off criticism on Android being an iOS knock off, thanks Steve Jobs, by saying “Android was founded before the iPhone was.”
Even though the operating system is given away, its success is central to Google’s plans. The reason this is, is that it’s used as a mechanism for the company to push its services out into peoples’ hands. While search is a big proponent, these services include Google Apps, Gmail, Plus, Music and Maps. Schmidt’s thoughts on this were:
“All the interesting new applications are going to be some combination of social, mobile, and local. Social, local, mobile has been true for humans for at least 10,000 years, so I don’t think it’s going to go away any time soon.”
These features are heavily integrated in Ice Cream Sandwich, which in the long run will help Google.
“We started off thinking phones were computers. We forgot that they were about communication,” Schmidt said.
While we do still, yet, impatiently, wait for the release of Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Nexus in the United States, ICS will hopefully make Schmidt’s claims a reality or at least solidify them as fact.