Amid slowing revenues and investor worries, web services giant Google offered up its Android mobile effort as a bright spot.
"Overall, it looks like Android is going to have a very, very strong year," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt during the company's quarterly conference call with analysts, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha.
Although Schmidt and other Google executives did not provide specific sales figures or revenues related to Android or Google's various other mobile initiatives, they generally sounded a positive note on the space. Indeed, Schmidt promised more Android action from hardware makers and carriers.
"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 fulfill much of the vision that we laid out more than a year ago," Schmidt said.
The news is notable since HTC is so far the only manufacturer in the world to commercially release a phone running Google's much-hyped Android platform, despite rumblings from a number of other vendors--including Huawei, LG, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson--on the topic. Thus, industry watchers are keen to see whether Android backers will ultimately replace the hype with actual products.
Indeed, Sony Ericsson's CEO said "there is still some time to go" before the handset maker would release an Android phone, according to Reuters.
Interestingly, an analyst pinged Google's Schmidt about a possible netbook running Android--a move that would be significant considering Microsoft's current domination of the nascent but growing netbook market. Schmidt all but confirmed the device: "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," Schmidt said, without providing specifics.
Overall, Google reported first-quarter revenue of $5.51 billion, up 6 percent from the year-ago quarter but down 3 percent from the previous quarter. The numbers mark Google's first ever decline, though they were in line with Wall Street expectations.
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