Android Shipping 60,000 Units/Day, “It’s Like Magic”


eric-schmidtGoogle CEO Eric Schmidt delivered a keynote speech at Mobile World Congress 2010 that, while not really unveiling any new products or services, positioned the company as a mobile powerhouse whom are looking out for the interests of consumers:

A device that is not connected is not interesting, it is literally lonely. An application that does not leverage the cloud isn’t going to wow anybody,” he said. “It’s like magic. (via RWW)

When I hear the whole “It’s like magic” reference I think about one of the videos that kicked off the birth of Android:

Back then (November 5th, 2007) Android was just a concept. Not only has the idea come to fruition – it’s flourishing: Schmidt also claimed that 60,000 Android-based mobile phones are shipping every single day. That’s a HUGE number, 21.9 million/year, and quickly gaining momentum. Yet still there are detractors who think Google has too much power and is selfishly destroying other industries as their business path travels like an unpredictable tornado. The issue came up more than once in the Q&A following the keynote:

One person asserted that Google wanted to turn the operators into “dumb data pipes.” The questioner went on: “You see the operator as the data supplier, you’re the one with the service.” Schmidt fired back, saying, “I disagree with your premise completely” and asking the man to explain himself. “I feel very strongly that we depend on the successful business of the operators,” Schmidt said. “We need advanced sophisticated networks.” Later on, yet another member of the audience asked Schmidt whether five years from now a mobile phone user would “feel like a Vodafone/T-Mobile customer or a Google customer.” Schmidt responded “both.”

Give me a BREAK. The mobile phone industry existed LONG before Google entered and innovation wasn’t exactly moving at a rapid pace. Microsoft could have pursued this vision with Windows Mobile. Research In Motion could have got on board with something more open with BlackBerry. Palm could have deviated from their ancient PalmOS. Anyone could have tried just about anything besides the boring old “status quo”. But nobody did… except Google. And now you’re going to blame the catalyst because they’re benefiting from improving the entire industry and creating a renewed sense of competition and creativity along the way?

But it isn’t like this criticism is only coming from Q&A bizarros – we’ve heard HTC CEO Peter Chou question Google’s motives and now Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao complains about their online ad dominance:

“With regards to Google, we need to be able to freely deal up and down the value chain. The fact that 80% of the advertising online goes down one funnel is something that should be looked at in the future debate on net neutrality,” he said, adding that the European Commission and FCC should ensure rules are put in place “to enable competition at all levels.”

Last month we heard the Telefonica CEO, Cesar Alierta, making even angrier remarks:

“Search engines use our networks without paying us anything. It’s a lucky break for them and bad luck for us,” he said.

Internet searches from Web sites such as Google and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) take up a big chunk of the bandwidth on telecoms operators’ networks, he said.

“We put up the network, we put the system there, we do customer care, installation service… This will change, I’m sure of that,” Alierta said.

If you ask me, that’s the price you pay for complacency. Perhaps mobile operators like Vodafone and Telefonica should have been attempting a little something called “innovation” a long time ago. Just ask Eric Schmidt how it affects the bottom line… “it’s like magic”.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Hey Rob, I really like your summary “innovation affects the bottom line like magic”. Many companies (in the mobile sector and elsewhere) could learn a lot by simply reading your blog ;-)

  2. “Search engines use our networks without paying us anything. It’s a lucky break for them and bad luck for us,” he said.

    Wait what? Is this guy saying somehow Google doesn’t pay for their bandwidth? Are they saying end users don’t pay for their bandwidth? These guys aren’t complaining because they aren’t getting paid, they’re complaining because they aren’t being paid twice, or three times, or as a percentage of the value of the companies that build on their services. As for the immediately preceeding quote, the only “rules” that should be put in place “to enable competition at all levels.” are rules preventing favored access of any sort by ISPs. It would be simple to convert the common carrier rules to apply to ISPs, but that wouldn’t be what lobbyists want.

    Sorry for the ranting, I just hate stupidity.

  3. Sounds like a lot of lazy CEOs crying about getting their asses kicked. They should start innovating instead of complaining. No one is stopping them from creating their own phone operating systems, and creating their own phones and services to compete with Google. Same with the cable companies and other pipe operators. Quit crying about how Google or Bing uses your networks and you get nothing. Make your own search engine for crying out loud.

  4. Wow! with the statement like that you’d think that their Nexus One phone would at least work on 3G networks of ALL GSM carriers and not only T Mobile with a choppy service.

  5. haha that dumb@ss at the end is retarded… complaining about search engines is the same thing as complaining about any internet-based business model such as: ebay, netflix, amazon, hulu and countless others.

  6. Those operator CEOs are so dumb it hurts. Give me a brake Why shall google pay more than other internet using companies? Google pays for infrastructure the same way I, you and all the people and companies do, so where’s the problem?

  7. To be fair, I think Apple did a lot more to shake up the market than Android. I love my Android, and prefer it to iPhones, but the iPhone really changed the way people use their phones (not to mention the data demands of users).

  8. Yeah, you could just as easily say that providers are accessing Google’s servers without paying Google for all the information that they pay to store.

  9. Yeah, Google does in fact want to turn carriers into dumb pipes, and I for one WHOLLY SUPPORT THIS PLAN.

    Look at it like this – Deutche Telekom is a huge, money-printing powerhouse, adn T-Mobile is just a little part of their business…so little they’ve made noise about unloading it.

    The way they make money? Being a dumb pipe everywhere except America.

    Eff the US Carriers. Tough luck to ’em. They can go cry about it in the corner with the record labels while I download direct from the artist’s MySpace from my smartphone with an “all-you-can-eat” plan.

  10. I agree with DanGrover, the iPhone was the original innovation and it already has people thinking that they are Apple and AT&T customers… Don’t give Google too much credit guys…

  11. HTC is complaining about Google / Android?

    Maybe they’re not so smart after all.

  12. @Peter

    Nexus One works with T-Mobile’s 3G and the REST OF THE WORLD (we have these things called standards in europe). AT&T is the odd one of the bunch with it’s weird 3G frequencies.

    Personally I can’t get over why us still struggles with the ancient CDMA networks which aren’t even compatible with japan’s CDMA which is the only other country where it’s used.

    I’ll just stop here to be polite. /rant after watching too many metric vs imperial system youtube vids last night :P

  13. Yea the mobile industry has no room to complain. The mobile industry had become completely and utterly BORING. The iPhone came along and sparked things up. Thats why it sold so big. The rest of the industry still sat on their butts making extremely lame attempts at competition. Google came along and sparked up competition for all and I’ve never seen the mobile scene this interesting before.

    And the comment about carriers being dumb pipes was well…..dumb. THEY ARE DUMB PIPES!!! They do nothing more than connect me to services be it Google or any other service. It the other companies out there were to stupid to build their own services before hand thats their business. Google has started putting together a nice portfolio of services and everybody else has no one to blame but themselves if they are left out.

  14. @Neemo, please tell me you did not refer to non-metric measurements as “Imperial”. Here in the state we have a standard too. That’s what we call our measurement system. I am not sure came up with the stupid idea of metric but I would thank all of his apologists to leave the free thinking world alone. I mean, you don’t hear Americans calling the metric system satanic (even with all its *eters and kill O’s).

  15. Google vs Vodaphone/T-mobile customers? How arrogant! I left AT&T to get the Droid. Had the Droid come to AT&T, I might have stayed. Do you think that Verizon is upset that my loyalty is with Android? Who cares! They got a customer from me for two years…if they really embrace Android, maybe longer.

    Ask an iPhone owner if they think they’re an Apple customer or an AT&T customer. My money is on the vast majority saying ‘Apple’ because they blame the dropped calls and lack of 3G service on Ma Bell. It’ll be really interesting to see what happens to them once they lose exclusivity.

  16. Rob, you have had quite a bust day. Now take a rest, mate. LOL.

  17. LOL “It’s would turn into underpants!”

  18. @Solid

    You do realize that the “American” system is legitimately called the imperial system right? And it’s not even based off of American imperialism, the name is a reference to the British Empire where the system originated. Also, this has nothing to do with free speech. Ever try doing physics or chemistry calculations with the imperial system? The conversions are not pretty.

  19. @Solid
    WTF? I won’t even start in on you. Aren’t you due back at an institute somewhere?

  20. Net Neutrality FTW!
    Freedom for the people!
    I am happy for any company that supports Net Neutrality.
    “Search engines use our networks without paying us anything.” WTF you want to block content like China?

  21. Brand name goods…. expensive with only a few able to afford…. with Google everyone can afford to use the best brand out there …. Why do I Google? It works! Why use Android? It is relevant.It fits data together. It is dynamic. It adapts….It works!

  22. LOL @ Solid. You were joking right? ..right? ..please?

    Sometimes I’m ashamed of the products of the American “education” system…

  23. RE: Solid — Sorry, I didn’t mean to let him use the computer alone. He was supposed to be in time out. He’s a French exchange student masquerading as an American. In fact, most American schools do teach the metric system starting in the early grades. It’s only a few nut cases that get their knickers in a knot. The biggest problem with switching from the old American standards to more universal standards is the existing investment. It’s hard to kiss that goodbye whether it be CDMA, the Imperial system or tied contracts.

    As for the CEO whining…that’s what they do when they can’t compete. Is there really a consumer out there that wants their phone company to be the dictator of their information. That’s like using AOL to access the internet.

  24. So…you’re not talking about the HTC magic!

  25. “Search engines use our networks without paying us anything. It’s a lucky break for them and bad luck for us,” he said.

    Is this greedy tyrant kidding me? How about we take down the search engines all together… or better yet, let’s take down the entire internet since he seems to feel that they can function without it. I got news for you retard… without the internet there would be no network for you to provide access to.

  26. @ Neemo,

    Ha Ha Ha, Good comment.. I agree with you on those CDMA standards, I wish Verizon and Sprint here in US used GSM like the rest of the world and not their own proprietary crap. Although the ATT 850mhz 3G frequency aren’t so odd I’m pretty sure some carriers in Europe use the same frequency.

  27. Stanley, unfortunately that the mentality in some parts of the world. You don’t even have to go as far as China. Rogers/Bell/Telus do control information flows in Canada. They block services, standards, innovations… They lobby (read “own”) the very organization that supposed to control them and protect consumer’s rights.

  28. “Search engines use our networks without paying us anything.”

    Surely the networks aren’t that dumb are they? Without the internet based businesses, the networks wouldn’t make $ as an IP. People only pay for access to the WWW so they can access these sites.

    They need to be THANKING internet based companies, like Google, for giving them a business model.

  29. [quote]“Search engines use our networks without paying us anything. It’s a lucky break for them and bad luck for us,” he said. [/quote]

    So why don’t we close down all search engines since they aren’t important to the internet? Or better yet, why don’t we just shut down the internet since this greedy tyrant can supply everything to you without any help from anyone else. Who does he think his carrier is going to supply connectivity to if there is nothing to connect to? What a morong. Typical fat greedy CEO that should have jumped off a building a long time ago.

  30. I think that there is a consistent misunderstanding about why two of the major US carriers went with CDMA instead of GSM.

    GSM has a shorter range per tower. Considering how much more territory that these wireless companies have to cover in the us (especially in the mountain west region) it seems pretty obvious as a business decision.

    Of course, the ‘standard’ for 4G is LTE, which is based on CDMA. Sounds like everybody was just a little bit wrong on the standards. :)

  31. The argument is not which is better GSM or CDMA its the fact that GSM is more or less a global standard which means as long as your phone is a GSM unlocked phone you can use it on any network in any country just buy swapping out the SIM card. With a CDMA phone your pretty much stuck with the carrier you got and if you decide to switch carriers you may as well trash your phone too.

  32. Being the competitiveness of the markets today, you can’t blame Google for trying to expand its business into other markets. Search has taken Google to the level they’re at today, but what will keep them there tomorrow is what they’re trying to figure out. Kudos to Google!!

  33. Carriers in Canada are making record profits and (up until the last time I checked) had some of the fastest networks around. US and Canada markets are basically the same. Canada has a a lower population density (higher cost to the carrier), and we are doing fine – whats the matter with USA businesses?

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