Eric Schmidt of Google: Our Battle with Apple is Over. We Won.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, in a recent interview with Bloomberg declared that Android’s undeclared war with iOS is pretty much over … and his side won.

The key to the victory, he said, is massive demand for Android-based smartphones, that category being the fastest-growing part of the computing market.

In the 3rd quarter, according to the Gartner Group, Android grabbed 72 percent of the market leaving Apple with only 14 percent. Schmidt said customers were activating over a mind-bending 1.3 million Android devices a day.

He compared Android’s battle with iOS to Apple’s battle with Microsoft 20 years ago. Apple chose to have a closed system, while Microsoft opened up their design and OS to OEMs. He went on to add that in his opinion; “we’re winning that war pretty clearly now.

Bloomberg gives Schmidt’s rationale for an open OS;

Schmidt’s remarks reflect Google’s growing confidence in its ability to attract users and advertisers as more customers rely on handheld devices and shun traditional computers. By giving away Android, Google cedes revenue to hardware partners, such as Samsung Electronics Co. Schmidt is willing to make that sacrifice because it drives demand for ads and other Internet- based services that benefit Google over time.

“The core strategy is to make a bigger pie,” he said. “We will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems.”

Research firm IDC recently reported that during the third quarter, Android accounted for 75 percent of the worldwide mobile market. Apple’s iOS secured 14.9 percent share in second place.

Over the same period in 2011, Android’s share was 57.5 percent, compared to 13.8 percent share for iOS.

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While Apple allows no one to manufacture iOS smartphones or tablets, there are many Android-based devices in the market for both smartphones and tablets.

Following Schmidt’s logic, the iPad will similarly experience reduced market share in the tablet market as Android devices proliferate.

Google’s new confident posture is also reflected in its assertive battle with Microsoft, keeping Android apps of that platform. It will be interesting to see if Apple and Microsoft will make common cause against Google somewhere down the road.

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