The Macalope Daily: Say what?

Google’s Eric Schmidt took to the stage at the LeWeb conference in Paris the other day and promptly made an amuse bouche out of his pied.

Whether you like [Ice Cream Sandwich] or not, and again I like it a great deal, you will want to develop for that platform, and perhaps even first.

Schmidt was originally misquoted as having said something rather more forceful—“you will support that platform”—but even in its accurate form you have to wonder if he isn’t a few parameters short on his function call. (Nerd jokes! The Macalope buys them in bulk at Costco!)

John Gruber paints this as blinkered misunderstanding of the real economics of the situation for developers, which it might be. Or it’s possible Schmidt isn’t that dumb and just thinks that if people repeat “developing for Android first is the way to go” enough times, it’ll become conventional wisdom. The problem, however, isn’t one of perception—it’s one of Android users not buying as many apps as iPhone users.

No matter what rationale you come up with for Schmidt’s words, they don’t exactly seem PhD-level. Despite its wide adoption, Android seems to have a fundamental problem. How you get the kind of price-sensitive customer that Android attracts to suddenly start shelling out cash for apps is beyond the Macalope, but that’s the open bed Google’s made for itself.

“Ultimately, application vendors are driven by volume, and volume is favored by the open approach Google is taking,” Schmidt said.

Actually, no. Application vendors are driven by profit, not volume.

Can you imagine a business course taught by Google executives?

“It’s here on the supply and demand curve that the fairies begin to appear…”

One Android-toting audience member said he was frustrated to see iOS apps beating Android versions to market. But in part because of Ice Cream Sandwich, “my prediction is that six months from now you’ll say the opposite,” Schmidt said.

Notice he just said that the audience member would say it. He didn’t say it was going to be true. Apparently Schmidt thinks Android users are a bunch of liars. Seems like an odd message to send.

Well, let’s put aside, for a moment, the crazy things Schmidt said about Android and focus instead upon the crazy things he said about Google TV.

Google’s Executive Chairman told the audience that, “By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded.”

Shorter Schmidt: “Do you smell burnt toast?”

As the Verge’s Jeff Blagdon notes:

The claim would seem to run counter to mixed reviews, disappointing sales numbers to date, and the growth of competing connected TV platforms. Perhaps Schmidt knows something we don’t?

Exactly. Note that six months is the same time frame over which Schmidt believes developers will switch in lockstep to developing for Android first. Does Google’s orbital mind-control ray come online this spring or something?

[Editors’ Note: Each week the Macalope skewers the worst of the week’s coverage of Apple and other technology companies. In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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