The whole world will be using Android devices by 2024: Schmidt

The whole world will be using Android devices by 2024: SchmidtWith all the big MWC 2012 releases behind us (or so we believe), the only real shock surrounding Google chairman Eric Schmidt's Barcelona keynote came from Apple, who cheekily announced the iPad 3 launch date just as Schmidt was taking the stage.

But the former Google CEO still delivered plenty of talking points, including that Android smartphones would soon hit feature phone pricepoints, and that by 2024 we'll all be carrying an Android device in our pockets.

That's Google's aim, anyway, and Schmidt believes it's perfectly possible too, thanks to the work of an old friend, Gordon Moore.

Citing Moore's Law (that has seen mass-market processor speeds doubling every two years), he reasoned that the high-end devices of today will be available 12 years down the line for a fraction of the price they're going for now, which will make them affordable on a global scale.

“The smartphone revolution will be universal,” he said. “In 12 years, doing the math – Moore's Law – phones that cost $400 will cost $20, and if Google does it right there'll be an Android in every pocket.”

Of course, that ignores the fact that profits will continue to be concentrated primarily at the premium end of the market, and consequently those are the devices we'll be told relentlessly by advertising agencies and marketing campaigns are the ones worth having.

Then again, Android fragmentation might have reached such levels by then that Google will have a finger in every pie – or pocket, in this case.

Bringing things back a little closer to the present day, Schmidt feels Android is well placed to counter the likes of Windows Phone as it seeks to target the low-end smartphone market, predicting that Android phones would soon be hitting $100-$150 price points, eventually hitting the $70 mark, which would squeeze the feature phone market into the very lowest end of the market.

Schmidt had some other interesting things to say too, particularly on more general topics.

On the subject of internet freedom, he said: “The openness of the internet is one of the greatest achievements of our lifetime. Do not give that up, you will regret it.” Hopefully US lawmakers were listening, although we suspect many stopped doing that a long time ago.

“The unintended cost of regulation is often innovation,” Schmidt added, saying that regulation initiatives are often “well intentioned but often ill-defined.

“Don’t resort to soundbites – people need to understand what they’re winning as well as what they’re losing.” Schmidt may have failed to heed his own advice to an extent here, but we'll look past it given the larger point he's trying to make.

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