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Circuit Breaker

Eric Schmidt tells room full of iPhone users: 'So much for the Android monopoly in Europe'

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For a man who makes more than his fair share of verbal gaffes, Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt can still come up with the odd zinger when he needs to. Schmidt was speaking to a packed house at Startup Fest in Amsterdam when the audience were asked to raise their hands if they used an iPhone. The majority did, and Schmidt responded: "So much for the Android monopoly in Europe." He went on to admit that he himself used both an iPhone 6S and a Galaxy S7, before making the case for the latter's superiority.

"The Samsung S7 is better: it has a better battery and a better camera," said Schmidt with a smile, telling the laughing audience. "And those of you who are iPhone users? I'm right."

But despite the fact that Schmidt was talking to a room full of iPhone users, the top five European markets are 75 percent Android users. And it kind of goes without saying, that if you're speaking to someone who thought the "majority" of TVs worldwide would be running Google software by 2012, he's not going to say that you should use the other guy's product. (Though we do agree: the Galaxy S7's camera is slightly better than the iPhone's.)

Basically, we're filing these comments under Things Schmidt Says, along with his remarks earlier in the interview (around nine minutes in) that Google's new messaging app Allo is "better than anything else on the market." Speaking in a defensive tone, he tells his interviewer: "Before you criticize it, why don't you use it?" This is a pretty terrible line of thinking. The average consumer won't try every single app to find out what's best; there needs to be a good reason for them to download Allo in the first place. Google has yet to make a clear argument for its own products, no matter What Schmidt Says.


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