Interestingly, he noted that there are just as many mobile connections in the world today as there are people who are not online: 5 billion. More seriously, Schmidt said that he predicted that by next year this may no longer be an issue because of falling prices. “Many of our partners are working on phones in the $100-$150 range,” he said. “The ultimate goal is a $70 device.” He noted that when a phone is sold in the channel at that price, the price down to consumers would be between $20 and $30.
Mr. Schmidt, chairman and former chief executive of Google, gave the centerpiece keynote of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday.
“We need to be realists about technology,” he said. The future, most easily, belongs to “ultra connected people” who can embrace the future of technology, but the majority of people do not fall into that category, he said as he kicked off a speech about what he sees as the role of technology in the world today, and carefully suggested what role Google could play in the game.
“A new intelligent infrastructure will emerge, we would argue, powered by Android,” he said. “This is something Google is working on.”