Eric Schmidt: Google Has Conquered Apple

Android is now the runaway winner in the platform war over iOS, just as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was over Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the 1990s, according to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

Schmidt referenced data from a Gartner research last month that found Android-based smartphones had increased their global share in the third quarter to 72.4 percent from 52.5 percent a year earlier, while iOS fell from 15 percent to 13.9 percent. In addition, more than 1.3 million Android devices were being activated every day, helping Google stretch its lead even further, he added.

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“This is a huge platform change,” Schmidt said in an interview to Bloomberg. “This is of the scale of 20 years ago — Microsoft versus Apple. We’re winning that war pretty clearly now.”

The chairman said the search company’s strategy to keep the platform open and free was paying off because its widespread use was driving increased demand for ads and other Internet-based services. “The core strategy is to make a bigger pie,” he said. “We will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems.”

Schmidt added that Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was the newest member of the content-sharing platform provider business, along with Google, Apple, and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), but that Twitter and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) could soon join in as well.

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