Archive for February, 2011

Google CEO regrets Nokia’s choice, hails Android success

Google CEO Eric Schmidt took to the stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Tuesday to talk up the Android OS for tablets and phones and to say the search giant would have liked Nokia as a partner.

When asked about Nokia’s choice of Windows Phone 7 as its smartphonesystem, Schmidt said that Google would have loved to see Nokia pick Android instead. Google tried to convince Nokia to choose Android, and it can still make that decision in the future, Schmidt said.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive, said here earlier this week that had the mobile-phone maker chosen Android, the market would have become a duopoly, with Apple and Android dominating. He said he preferred a three-horse race, and going with Microsoft would give Nokia a larger share of services revenue.

Nokia’s choice notwithstanding, Android has been dominating at Mobile World Congress. Vendors like HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson have announced a plethora of new smartphones and tablets based on the operating system.

Schmidt said that there are 300,000 Android devices activated daily, and 150,000 apps in the Android app store — a number that has tripled in the past nine months. Developers now start with mobile apps because that’s where the growth is, he added, saying that smartphone sales surpassed PC sales last quarter.

There are a number of trends at work, Schmidt said: cloud computing, which has been present for a long time; the fact that devices are packing in more and more power; and the fact that networks are getting more powerful. Roughly 98% of mobile-phone operators offer megabyte-per-second speeds, he claimed. What’s important about LTE, the newest technology for mobile broadband, is that it will create the opportunity for another set of applications that we can only imagine, Schmidt said.

One of these new Android apps demonstrated by a Google employee onstage is Movie Studio, an app built for tablets that lets people edit videos. The demo showed how a user can drag a title on an image, and also re-order the items in the timeline of the video, by dragging and dropping. A pan-and-zoom effect can also be added, and by pinching with two fingers the user can make the video zoom into the photo.

Schmidt said that the increasing penetration of mobile phones offers hope for communicating with people around the world who are currently not connected online, and solving some of the biggest problems in the world, including terrorism and global warming.

Referencing Google’s entrant into the browser wars, Schmidt said that there are 120 million active users of Chrome.

Meanwhile, the company’s YouTube video site remains a force to be reckoned with: Schmidt said that 35 hours of video is uploaded every minute to the site. Its revenue doubled in 2010, he said, and Google is monetizing professional content.

Schmidt refused to be drawn on a question from the audience on Android fragmentation, a concern for some developers.

Read the full article here.

Xoom Tablet to Cost $800, Hit Stores this Month?

Best Buy appears to have revealed even more details about the Motorola Xoom tablet, which is looking more and more like it’s slated for release on February 24.

A store ad, leaked on Sunday, also showed the device’s expected price and revealed that, even if you only want to use WiFi on the Xoom, you’ll have to pay for a data plan for at least a little while.

Best Buy’s ad, posted by Engadget, clearly reads that the Xoom will be available in stores on February 24 and that it will cost $799.99 before data.

That’s a week later and $100 higher than what the site’s sources had previously said, but others had expected something more like $800 based on documents allegedly leaked from Verizon. Previous leaks from Best Buy had shown a February 24 launch date.

More interesting, though, is the fine print underneath the main product shot, which reads, “To activate WiFi functionality on this device, a minimum of 1 month data subscription is required.”

Click here to continue reading the article.

Return top