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Eric Schmidt: Google hoping for an Android 'in every pocket'

Android activations now total 850,000 a day, Google chairmen Eric Schmidt said Tuesday at Mobile World Congress.

By Matthew Shaer / February 28, 2012

Eric Schmidt speaks at the Mobile World Congress in Spain this week.



Google chairmen Eric Schmidt says 2012 will be the year of the Android

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Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Schmidt told attendees that Google was now activating 850,000 Android handsets a day – so fast, Schmidt joked, that "we’ll need to produce more people soon." Schmidt added that "if Google gets it right, there will be an Android in every pocket, according to Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch, who was on hand for the event. 

As recently as December, Google was activating 700,000 Android devices a day, up from half a million in June and 400,000 in May. At some point, of course, the number of activations is going to hit a terminal velocity. So what happens then? Well, Schmidt said, manufacturers will produce cheaper devices, in an attempt to open up whole new markets. 

"Next year's $100 phone is this year's $400 phone," Schmidt said (hat tip to CNET for the quote). "Many people are working on [smartphones] in the $100 to $150 range. When you get to the $70 point you get to a huge new market."

That huge new market would presumably comprise folks in the developing world – or in the US – who previously balked at the $200 price tag on most modern smartphones – a $200 that does not include the price of a two-year data and voice contract. This plays into why Google started Android in the first place. In 2007, the company introduced its cellphone operating system has a way to excite Americans – but also to prepare for the next billion Internet users, people that would not use Google through a computer because they could not afford a computer. 

Android! Everywhere! All the time! That's the idea behind a pair of new Google goggles, allegedly bound for shelves in the US by the end of the year. As we noted last week, Google is said to be prepping a pair of augmented reality, Android-powered glasses, which would allow users to receive real-time information on their surroundings. 

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