Top Google Executive Predicts Android Will Usurp Apple in 6 Months

Smartphones that run on the Android Operating System are edging ahead of Apple's iPhone in terms of popularity and appeal to consumers and designers, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was reported as saying by U.S. media including Forbes on Friday (local time).

Android-based smartphones are gaining an advantage due to the number of cheaper-price devices, the array of network providers on board and the sheer number of handsets in production, Schmidt told programmers and developers at the LeWeb conference in Paris.

Although programmers and developers tend to focus on Apple's iOS first and Android second, Schmidt said this will soon come to an end.

"My prediction is that six months from now you'll say the opposite," he said, adding that Android is ramping up its threat with its newly launched, 4.0 OS "Ice Cream Sandwich."

Schmidt's comments come as Samsung Electronics' new Galaxy Nexus device, which also runs on Ice Cream Sandwich, is about to debut in the U.S.

"Ultimately, application vendors are driven by volume, and volume is favored by the open approach Google is taking," he said. "There are so many manufacturers working so hard to distribute Android phones globally that whether you like ICS or not -- and again I like it a great deal--you will want to develop for that platform, and perhaps even first."

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 12, 2011 10:34 KST