Google's chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt feels pretty confident about Android's place in the smartphone market right now, particularly in relation to Apple. In an interview with Bloomberg, Schmidt said that "we're winning that war pretty clearly now." He also compared the situation to Microsoft and Apple's battle for PC dominance several decades ago, with Google obviously taking the role of Microsoft as it begins to pull away from Apple thanks to its many hardware partners. Google's still activating some 1.3 million Android devices daily, the same number Schmidt cited back in September at the Motorola / Verizon press conference announcing the Droid RAZR M and Droid RAZR HD.
Schmidt did acknowledge how Google's open model for Android ceded revenue to partners like Samsung, but said it played into the "core strategy," which is "to make a bigger pie." He also noted that there are some downsides to that strategy, saying that "we will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems."
"We're winning that war pretty clearly now."
Google's wide suite of services also came up, as Schmidt touted the 100 million users on Google+ — he called the nascent social network a "viable competitor to Facebook," despite the fact that Google itself has been positioning the service in a different light compared to Mark Zuckerberg's massive network. The massive growth of Android, and smartphones in general, has Schmidt a little worried about our bandwidth resources, however.
"All the modeling says the existing strategy will run out of cellular bandwidth in 2016 or 2017," he said. That's why Schmidt supports a proposal that would allow federal agencies to share the airwaves with commercial users, though he knows it's a vision that could take some time to achieve. "Every space is occupied with a whole bunch of rules and property rights," he said, but he thinks it a necessary step to avoid running out of cellular bandwidth within the next five years or so.