BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — During his keynote speech on Tuesday, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said, seemingly with all seriousness, that someday, “there will be Android in every pocket.”
For someone who has been prowling around Mobile World Congress for the past four days, it’s a statement that’s hard to react to without spraying crumbs. Schmidt couldn’t sound any more delusional if he were sealed up in a hermetic chamber with a scale-model of the Spruce Goose. The iPhone dominates Mobile World Congress. Google can’t even get an Android in every pocket at its own tradeshow.
Mobile World Congress is by and large an Android-dominated show. Most of the phones shown here run on Android, as do most of the tablets, apps and even some of the laptops. Likewise, most of the people here are in the business of Android. In other words, the clear majority of people at Mobile World Congress owe their paychecks to the Android ecosystem.
Yet look around you as you’re wandering around the tradefloor, and even though everyone here makes money off of Android, iPhones and iPads are everywhere. What Apple is going to do next is on everyone’s lips, and the iPad 3 invitation — sneakily arranged to go out while Schmidt was delivering his keynote — was the major topic of the third day of Mobile World Congress 2012. And it wasn’t just that people wanted to know what the iPad 3 meant for their next product, or their business? It was that people here just wanted one.
Eric Schmidt seems to think that Android’s on the ascendency, that it’s on its way to ruling the world. What a joke. Google can’t even set the mobile agenda or get people interested in Android at a tradeshow dominated by people who owe their livelihoods to it. Instead, the hottest topic at Mobile World Congress 2012 is iOS, not Android. Android may very well be in most people’s pockets here, but it’s Apple who is in their hearts.