Google Chairman Eric Schmidt Insists Android Is Way Ahead Of iOS

During an interview at the Le Web expo in Paris this week, Google chairman Eric Schmidt took a stab at Apple and insisted his company’s Android operating system is way ahead of iOS in a number of ways, including affordability and choice. What’s more, Schmidt claims that in six months, Ice Cream Sandwich will offer better functionality.

“I actually say that Android is ahead of the iPhone now,” Schmidt declared. “In terms of unit volume, with ICS features, prices are lower, more vendors, lower price-points – do I need to continue the list? It’s free.”

A member of the audience probed Schmidt about iOS’s popularity among app developers, and asked whether Google needed to change something in order to attract big developers.

“Apple has done an excellent job with iOS in delivering functionality,” Schmidt said. “But in six months from now, you’ll say the opposite. Because ultimately applications vendors are driven by volume. The the volume is favored by the open approach that Google is taking.”

When asked whether Android was inspired by the iPhone, Schmidt insisted Google’s mobile operating system was founded before Apple’s iPhone. “Use your favorite search engine — do the history,” Schmidt said. “I’m sure Bing will tell you this answer.”

While I certainly agree that Google is improving Android, and that Ice Cream Sandwich is a fantastic operating system for smartphones and tablets, I would argue that application developers will not favor Android in six months time.

Sure, the Android Market may steadily catch up with the App Store in terms of apps on offer, but I think it’s unlikely developers will turn away from the hugely successful App Store in favor of the Android Market.

Do you think Android can overtake iOS in terms of usability and third-party apps?