This year’s Mobile World Congress has had several surprises and Eric Schmidt (News - Alert) was no exception to the rule this week in the Google keynote address.
Schmidt spoke to the entire world via webcast about the state of the mobile world today, and the future of the developing Web-connected world. Privacy as well as the most recent release for Android (News - Alert) by Google: Google Chrome, were touched upon by both Schmidt and Android’s Hugo Barra.
According to a Slashgear.com article, Hugo Barra spoke about the release of Google (News - Alert) Chrome for mobile and it’s the idea its release on a mobile platform. Calling it the “safest browser available,” Schmidt praised Google Chrome. He also talked about the various iterations of both Android and the Android Market, many of which are beyond Google’s control. He said Android is fine, but consumer pressure would push OEMs toward Google’s services.
“Schmidt’s keynote painted a realistic picture of a world where the vast majority of the world’s population will ultimately be able to participate in and help develop the digital world. But of course, it also represents an opportunity for Google, which it fully intends to exploit to the maximum,” said Tony Cripps, principal analyst at Ovum (News - Alert).
Later, the event became heavier when Schmidt spoke about the state of the world and how we’ll eventually be a “Global Community of Equals” due to technology and the spread of Internet-connected devices. Speaking on recent privacy issues from Google and the proliferation of mobile connections, Schmidt reminded those watching that they were in control even when it means choosing not to participate, and turning the phone off.
Schmidt’s expects that Android smartphones will be available between $100 to $150 by next year and the eventual goal is seeing the Android devices brought down to $70.
“That range also looks realistic to us with the advancement of technology and huge economies of scale that are starting to drive the Android economy. Android’s astonishing growth so far may well look modest in coming years,” explained Cripps.
Schmidt then went on to discuss a few odd topics touching on the past and future. He said that there may be 3D-capable personal robots on the horizon, while in the past there was until-now not-mentioned program called Google Bucks for peer to peer mobile payments.
Iranian journalist asked Schmidt why Google’s apps and services weren’t available in his country, and Schmidt answered regretfully informing the journalist that Google is complying with US trade laws. Schmidt cautioned regulators that giving up freedom even for seemingly good reasons can be a one-way street, as he spoke about recent Internet legislation like SOPA, ACTA and PIPA.
“As such, Schmidt’s words may not have been a comfort to everyone in the room, especially given the massed crowd of mobile industry folk in Barcelona. The company’s activities have already made it hard for other many mobile ecosystem players to offer value-added services to their subscriber bases, especially towards the higher end of the market. This effect now looks to be accelerating and driving downwards into the global mass market, meaning that its impact will become more profound both in new markets and new segment,” said Cripps.
After two full days in Barcelona, most of the new hardware and gadgets have been revealed already, but there are still plenty of hidden gems to come.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin