So what’s Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt been up to lately on his trip through Asia? A lot it turns out. A summary of the news he’s made today, mostly in his talk with Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger at a conference in India:
- Schmidt defended his trip to North Korea. According to a report by the Guardian, Schmidt reiterated his common explanation of the trip: “This is a country that has suffered from lack of information. The Internet was built for everyone, including North Koreans. The quickest way to get economic growth in North Korea is to open up the Internet. I did my best to tell them this.”
- In the same talk, he reportedly suggested to audience members that Google was ready to spread the app Google Now, but the app’s launch was in Apple’s court. Hours later, Apple responded to TechCrunch that no such app had been submitted to the app store.
- He also said that he was still addicted to his BlackBerry, despite his company’s attempt to convert him to a more Google-friendly phone, according to a CNET report: “Look, I’ve tried to go cold turkey. I’ve tried to wear gloves all day. I’ve even tried screaming at Larry and Sergey that they should move to Canada. But nothing works. I’m addicted.”
- When asked to identify problems with internet in India, Schmidt put a lot of blame on the country’s government, The Economic Times reported. “My guess would be that having been satisfied with the great success of IT, the Indian government and the leadership has made the same mistake that companies do, they rested on their own laurels,” he said.
[*} And according to Reuters, he said the despite the change in leadership at Android, Android and Chrome would remain separate products.