Schmidt: 'We’re imitating Microsoft’s lead against Apple from 20 years ago'

By Sooraj Shah
12 Dec 2012 View Comments
Google's Eric Schmidt

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has taken a swipe at rival Apple, claiming that its lead over Apple in the mobile operating system market compares with flocks of consumers opting for Microsoft's desktop software in the 1990s.

Google's Android operating system, which is found on popular devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S3, has 72 per cent of the mobile software market in the third quarter, compared to Apple's 14 per cent, according to Gartner.

Similar statistics were found by research firm IDC, it found that Android-operated devices represented three-quarters of the smartphone market in the third quarter of 2012 - with iPhone in second place (15 per cent) and RIM's BlackBerry a distant third (4 per cent).

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And Schmidt thinks that the current battle is reminiscent of the war between Microsoft and Apple in the 80s and 90s.

"This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago - Microsoft versus Apple," he told Bloomberg. "We're winning that war pretty clearly now," he added.

Google, unlike Apple, allows hardware makers like HTC and Samsung to make devices for its Android platform, ceding revenue to ensure that it can drive demand for advertising and internet services that will benefit Google over time.

"The core strategy is to make a bigger pie. We will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems," he said.

Currently, Schmidt said that customers are activating more than 1.3 million Android devices a day.

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