Google (NAS: GOOG) executive chairman Eric Schmidt opened fire on claims that the company's Android mobile operating system violates Microsoft's (NAS: MSFT) software patents, contending that Microsoft is "scared" by the growth of the Android platform.
During a Tuesday news conference in South Korea, Schmidt was asked about a September 2011 agreement between Microsoft and Android device maker Samsung Electronics -- per terms of the deal, Microsoft will receive royalties for all Samsung smartphones and tablets running Android. The Samsung deal marks the seventh licensing agreement Microsoft has signed in the past three months with manufacturers building Android-powered devices. Schmidt did not address the agreement directly, but took the opportunity to criticize Microsoft's actions.
"Microsoft is not telling the truth on this issue, and they are using tactics to scare people because they are scared of the success of Android," Schmidt said.
Android continues to extend its dominance in the U.S. mobile market and now powers close to 45 percent of all smartphones nationwide according to new data issued by research firm comScore. Android closed out September with 44.8 percent market share, up 4.6 percentage points since June 2011 -- Apple's (NAS: AAPL) iOS follows at 27.4 percent, while Microsoft's Windows Phone trails at 5.6 percent, down from 5.8 percent in June.
Schmidt also reiterated that Android will remain free to manufacturing partners, vowing that Google's $12.5 billion agreement to purchase Motorola Mobility (NYS: MMI) will not impact its relationship with other firms building Android devices. "We will run [Motorola] sufficiently independently so it will not violate the openness of Android," Schmidt said.
Schmidt went on to praise the South Korean software developer community, citing recent strides in new Android applications originating from the region. He added that Google plans to roll out a new program to help Android developers more effectively target the South Korean market.
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