Eric Schmidt: "We're pounding Apple like Microsoft used to"

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OK, so I paraphrased the quote a little, but that sums up the statement that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt made to Bloomberg yesterday regarding the never-ending battle to the death that Android and iOS seem to be locked in. According to Gartner Research, Android commanded just a tick over 72% of the 3rd quarter smartphone market, while Apple took in a very profitable 14% share. Citing 1.3 million daily Android Eric said:

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

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Those are some mighty big words right there, but this is certainly an instance where Schmidt's arrogance is his biggest strength. It takes a very bold, very confident Chairman to call out a competitor by name like that. And he's right: Android is absolutely pounding iOS flat.

The Apple bashing didn't end there. Schmidt went on to take a swipe at the closed ecosystem that Apple has created for iOS by controlling the hardware, software and content that is consumed on their devices:

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

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Google was never interested in charging their partners for the use of Android, and they never intended to be the one and only source for apps and content. Schmidt's statement makes it pretty clear: Android's wide open nature is succeeding and nothing will change in that regard.

But that's still not the entire story.

Back in the day when Android was a nascent mobile operating system running on that butt ugly G1, the Apple blogs were alight with talk about freetards buying the G1 because it was cheap. The logic being that Google's little Android dream would pick up market share because it would be sold on cheap hardware, or given away for free on junk devices.

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There was some truth to that back then. You could stroll into your carrier's nearest store and walk out with a free Android phone that you were going to absolutely hate in six months. But what about today?

The Galaxy Note 2 is selling on most carriers for $299 subsidized, and Samsung is selling a lot of this higher priced than the iPhone 5 device. The iPhone 5 itself will set you back a slim $199, the same as the Galaxy S lll and other high-end Android devices, yet people are picking the Android option in higher and higher numbers.

Apple is also selling the $99 iPhone 4S, or giving away the free when available iPhone 4. You'd think that the iPhone would absolutely be the undisputed market share leader, but it isn't. Apple has the high-end covered. Middle of the road? Yep. Free? Yeah, when the iPhone 4 is available, Apple can even fulfill the needs and wishes of the freetards.

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Why isn't Apple winning?

I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that like Eric said, Android is clearly way out in front, in spite of the fact that Apple tried to beat Android at it's own game: both cheap and free.

Apple needs to forget about Android and look back over their shoulder. That dust cloud back on the horizon, that's  Microsoft with the newly released Windows Phone 8. The old Apple nemesis has no intention of being an afterthought in the mobile space, no matter how much money they lose chasing down the leaders.

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The new fight for Apple will be to hold on to second place. Let's hope they won't need a gigantic loan from Google to maintain their position ahead of Microsoft.

Source: Bloomberg

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Senior Writer

I'm a 40 something early adopter of all things technology. I was first in line to buy both my original Verizon Droid and my Apple iPad 1. I don't hate your phone or tablet choice, but I've probably got an opinion about it. Aside from my family, the only things that I love more than a new gadget are fly fishing and going to the ballpark. Ocassionaly I find a way to blog about both. Though I'm only one more Foxconn story away from being fired, I've been writing for Android Headlines since March 2011.

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