Saturday, 04 July 2020

Google urges Nokia to adopt Android

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom, in Barcelona
Wednesday 16 February 11

Eric Schmidt says he is open to working with Finnish vendor despite Microsoft deal; addresses fragmentation in Google's OS strategy and emphasises importance of privacy.

Google was keen to provide Nokia with its Android smartphone operating system and is open to the idea of working with the handset giant in the future, CEO Eric Schmidt revealed on Tuesday. Google's outgoing chief executive also hinted at a new version of Android, avoided questions about Twitter and recognised that mobile operators are spending heavily to meet the demand for network capacity in a keynote address at Mobile World Congress that was clearly designed to reinforce the point that Google will not share consumer data without permission…

Google was keen to provide Nokia with its Android smartphone operating system and is open to the idea of working with the handset giant in the future, CEO Eric Schmidt revealed on Tuesday.

Google's outgoing chief executive also hinted at a new version of Android, avoided questions about Twitter and recognised that mobile operators are spending heavily to meet the demand for network capacity in a keynote address at Mobile World Congress that was clearly designed to reinforce the point that Google will not share consumer data without permission.

“We would have loved it if they had chosen Android,” Schmidt said, in answer to a question about the Finnish firm's decision to adopt Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system.

“We certainly tried,” Schmidt said, adding that he hopes Nokia will develop handsets based on Android in future.

Schmidt's audience was determined to get answers from him regarding Google's OS strategy, which a number of attendees described as fragmented or confusing.

With regard to the fragmentation within the Android platform that sometimes means applications developed for one Android device will not work on another, Schmidt said he was aware of the problem and insisted that the company has an “anti-fragmentation clause for vendors”. He also noted that the arrival of HTML 5 will help solve the problem.

Schmidt also revealed that Google is planning to merge its Gingerbread version of Android for smartphones and the Honeycomb tablet OS in six months.

“You can imagine the follow-on will start with an 'I' and it will be a desert,” he said.

However, Schmidt would not be drawn on rumours that Google is keen to acquire microblogging site Twitter and he sidestepped questions about the possibility of his company contributing to the cost of rolling out mobile networks.

“We love Twitter and I like to Tweet,” Schmidt said, without elaborating. “[We] recognise that the investment cost for operators is very high,” and that many have a capacity issue on their mobile networks,” he added. “Governments have to make more bandwidth available,” he said, noting that this is happening but at present it is happening too slowly.

Schmidt talked a lot about the future of the mobile industry, focusing particularly on context and location-aware services, and more personal search tools. Key to his vision, though, was privacy, with the phrase “with your permission,” featuring multiple times during his speech.

Finally, Schmidt left the audience with a prediction for the industry in 10 years' time.

“Mobile World Congress will be a lot bigger, and Google will certainly be a lot bigger,” he declared. The jury's still out on which one of those predictions is the scarier.

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