Schmidt on Nokia: “We would have loved that they had chosen Android”

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has delivered his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress in 2011. In it, he admitted to the company’s disappointment that Nokia had opted for Windows Phone 7 over Android. He told delegates: “We would have loved that they had chosen Android, but they chose the other guys. We would like them to choose Android at some point in the future, and the offer remains open. We think Android would have been a good choice for Nokia and we did try.”

Schmidt also talked about mobile advertising. In response to a question about personalisation and targeting in mobile advertising, Schmidt referred to the creativity of TV advertising, and said that applying that creativity to advertising on mobile in a more personalised way was “the next frontier in mobile advertising”. He added that the better the ad, the more satisfying it is to the person who sees it, and produces a better return on investment, saying: “People advertise to get revenue…they really are trying to sell something; it’s called commerce.”

Schmidt also told delegates that there are now 150,000 apps in Android Market, and 300,000 activations of Android devices each day. He also noted the rate at which the power of smartphones is increasing, saying: “It’s alarming how powerful these things are”. And in an echo of last year’s speech, he referred to the way in which, with a smartphone working in tandem with powerful servers in the cloud, “you really can do magic.” As an example, Schmidt referenced Google Translate, and the way it enables a user to speak into the phone in one language, and hear the phrase back in another. 

Schmidt also talked about mobile health, saying: “It just seems obvious to me that your mobile device should provide real-time telemetry of your health.” And he said he had been very impressed by the monetisation of apps in the Apple and Android ecosystems, saying: “You always worry that this is not going to happen, that you’ll have some very cute ads with no monetisation.”
Overall, however, Schmidt’s speech here today seemed a little lacklustre compared to last year. Most of the interesting stuff came out of the Q&A. The live demo was of a photo-video composition on a Motorola Xoom tablet, showing how easy it was to create the show, edit it and export it. Compare that to last years demo where a German menu was translated into English using an Android phone, and today’s seemed a bit underwhelming. Still, Schmidt is always a great draw, and the Android stand at Mobile World Congress has been receiving rave reviews. We’ll have a report on that tomorrow.