I happen to be in Paris at LeWeb where Eric Schmidt spoke today. I missed the talk, though several blogs summarized the more interesting bits. Namely, Schmidt seems to really believe that Android development will overtake iOS development in the next 6 months.
This is, of course, crazy talk.
John Gruber hits on the first key point that Google doesn’t seem to comprehend:
I think maybe the biggest reason iOS has such strong developer support is that developers like iOS. They use and prefer iPhones and iPads personally, they like Cocoa, and they like the App Store.
For 99% of developers I’ve ever spoken to, this is the case. And that makes the following quote by Schmidt all the more interesting:
Whether you like Android or not, you will support that platform, and maybe you’ll even deliver it first.
Marco Arment wonders if this is “a prediction or a threat?”
While it certainly reads like a threat, I can’t believe Schmidt’s intention is to be openly hostile here. Instead, thinking about his probable intention, it reads more along the lines of a parent telling a child: “you will eat all your vegetables!” Or, more succinctly, “I’m the boss!” Schmidt may just think is is good parenting, so to speak.
No matter how you read it though, it doesn’t come across well. It sounds arrogant and worse, as Gruber follows up with, it sure sounds like Google is missing the bigger picture: it’s not just Android these developers are overlooking, it’s Windows.
That’s an extremely powerful thought. If all developers cared about was scale, they’d go with Windows. But they don’t. And Google would be wise to at least try to understand why this is the case.
Anyway, let’s mark down June 6, 2012, shall we?
Update: CNet’s Stephen Shankland misquoted Schmidt, which led to other publications subsequently misquoting him. He actually said the following:
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.
But that doesn’t really change anything above. I never read it as a threat (even when it was translated to be more like one). It’s simply a fundamental misunderstanding of what the next 6 months will be like.