Google’s (GOOG) Android mobile operating system has not taken off yet. But that’s OK — it has at least another year to prove itself. And during Google’s earnings call yesterday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told us to keep paying attention:
Via Seeking Alpha: Overall it looks like Android is going to have a very, very strong year. We are already aware of many, many uses of Android, which as you know is open source, where literally the devices we hear about near the announcements, so the open source part of the strategy is working. We have also recently just announced an upgrade in new software for Android which is out now among the technical community and again, the stability, the proof points are really there now.
There are announcements happening between now and the end of the year that are quite significant from operators and new hardware partners in the Android space, which I won’t preannounce except to say that they really do fulfil much of the vision that we laid out more than a year ago.
On the netbook side, there are a number of people who have actually taken Android and ported it over to netbook or netbook-similar devices. So we think that’s another one of the great benefits of the open source model that we’ve used. We’re excited that that investment is occurring. And again, largely outside of Google, which we think is great.
Again, Google’s big-picture reason for investing in Android: Not to make money from licensing it — it’s free — but to get more than 15% to 20% of mobile subscribers using the Web on their phones, using search on their phones, and clicking on Google-brokered ads. We won’t be able to judge Google’s success there for a few years. But we’re still hopeful it won’t be a bust.