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Google's Schmidt sees $70 Android, takes digs at Apple

updated 04:00 pm EST, Tue February 28, 2012

Google chief talks phones and robots at MWC 2012

Google chief Eric Schmidt during his evening keynote at Mobile World Congress this year made a swath of predictions that focused heavily on low-cost smartphones. When asked when Android would make its way to basic feature phones, he noted that Android was already going that route. Device builders were working on Android phones that would cost in the $100 to $150 range within the next year, and that it was likely they would drop down to $70.

"Why don't you get a smartphone?" he asked the original questioner.

When resold to end users, the cost on many of those phones would drop to $20 or $30, Schmidt said. He saw use exploding once it approached that barrier and imagined everyone possibly having an Android device.

The executive was also grilled on the question of Android being permanently forked by devices like the Amazon Kindle Fire, which are heavily customized and can't use Android Market or certain other official Google apps. There was a big "opportunity" for those who went the official route, out of exposure to major storefronts like Android Market, but it wasn't necessary. User demand might push them back in, he said. Open-source by its nature made these splits possible, and Google had "understood this would happen" in time, but wouldn't do anything about it.

He made the odd assertion in the meantime that Apple would sue companies that didn't follow its official app guidelines. The company hasn't done that so far, but it didn't stop him from speculating. "We don't sue them, if you get my drift," Schmidt answered.

The speech also contained a few minor revelations. Google Fiber would manage 300 to 350Mbps in the real world in its Kansas City rollout, but it would still be enough for streaming holographic video. Also, Google at one point had considered a virtual currency akin to Bitcoin, named Google Bucks, but had backed off over concerns it would violate US law.

Many broader predictions saw robots virtually attending events like rock concerts, or mesh 4G and Wi-Fi networks providing Internet access in rural areas where a central hub was difficult. However, he stressed that technology shouldn't get in the way. It's your choice to go to the concert, he said, and you could always switch off your phone.

by MacNN Staff



  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ironic isn''t it

    And how do they expect that exactly without the use of Chinese factory sweatshops.

    So we have Android fanboys protesting against Apple because of Foxconn working conditions and yet no one seems to care that Google happily promotes the fact that sub-$70 phones are on their way. How do they expect a smartphone is made for that low price.

    Can you do no evil if you simply turn a blind eye to the working conditions you are promoting just to allow you to scrape information from your customers and push them more ads?

  1. BigJohn11

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I just wish..

    That old fashioned reporting would come back. A even handed report would actually make the electronic industry as a whole look like c***.

    Also, how each of the industries have their own views of how they make money. Yes Google might have phones that are in the sub 70 dollar range but at what cost?? What privacy are you giving up to subsidize these phones and the OS development?

    I'll even turn and point the finger back at Apple.. Yes, you can get this great device, but again to get the most "Value" out of the product you need to dive deeper and deeper into their system.

    If Google really wanted to impress me they would come out with a completely standards based system that doesn't have their google hooks in it. What I mean by that is, a service that doesn't look at my email content, track the websites I go to, etc. Because a lot of their other stuff is really great standards based products.

    Anyway, we'll never get there because all the reports seem to have a blind eye to the warts of their favorite product(all companies included).

  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The New Bill Gates

    I apologize, that's a disservice to Bill Gates. In hindsight, I realize Bill Gates is smarter than this t***.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Pay me $7000 and I wouldn't even use it



    Joined: Dec 1969


    @ The Cost of Privacy.

    Sure for $70 you get Google looking at you and what you do in your bedroom. No thanks Eric.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Eventualy we all will use Android

    Weather we like it or not, it's free, so it's going to get built in into cars, all sorts of home appliances, park benches, you name it...

  1. Zanziboy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Google Is the Equifax of the Future

    I fear one day you won't be able to get a job if something "unusual" is seen on Google's databases. In the future, what is to prevent Google from making information available to governments, individuals, and businesses for cash?

  1. glideslope

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Really Eric? Your going to "Innovate". Not your usual mode, eh?

    Think Johnny Cash: "I hear the train a comin, it's rollin down the track. I hear the train a comin, and there aint no turnin back".

  1. facebook_Pete

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2012


    Android won't..

    cost no 70 dollars if Google lose these patent wars and have to start charging for Android OS.

  1. Jubeikiwagami

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nobody listened

    Apple announced their invite and BOOM Google/Schmidt who?

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