Google is hosting its Big Tent Activate Summit in India today where Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt took questions from Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian. Schmidt was candid and charming at the same time, with once even joking about the purpose of his trip to Korea. Read on to find out Schmidt’s thoughts about Apple, Twitter vs Facebook, his choice of phone and much more.
On bringing Google Now to the iPhone: When Rusbridger asked him if Google would bring Google Now to the iPhone, Schmidt was prompt with his reply that he should ask Apple – they have to approve it. To be fair to Apple, he did mention that they approved Google Maps.
On Google Reader: Schmidt mentioned that he loved Google Reader but the company had to kill the service as there were other priorities.
On mobility and mobile ads: He remains convinced the mobile is the future and sees that mobile advertising rates will eventually be much higher. “We have much more information about the (mobile) user,” he said.
On selling Google stock and leaving Google: Schmidt has offloaded a huge chunk of his Google stock, leading many to speculate that he’s leaving the company and probably joining the government. He put all those speculations to rest, calling them false and inaccurate. “Google is my home.”
On Android or Chrome: With Sundar Pichai now heading both Android and Chrome, many think that only one of the two platforms will eventually remain. However, Schmidt made it clear that technology and not the leader runs the show at Google. “Android and Chrome solve different problems,” he explained. Adding that both the platforms will have some commonalities but both will continue to exist.
On his visit to North Korea: Schmidt mentioned that his reason for going to North Korea was to convince them to connect to the Internet. “It is the last place on Earth with respect to connectivity,” he exclaimed.
During the session, Schmidt also revealed that he used a BlackBerry because of its keypad and had both the iPad and the iPad mini, but loved the iPad more because of its size. He is also impressed with the scale and reach of Twitter and the impact of 140 characters. He believes Facebook is currently in a state of transition but then “any service with a billion users will make money.”
Photo Courtesy: Google India