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Android versus iOS is industry's defining fight, says Eric Schmidt

The battle between Apple and Google’s mobile platforms is an unprecedented one, Google chairman Eric Schmidt said in an interview with AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher (opens in new tab).

“The Android-Apple platform fight is the defining contest,” he said, before dismissing Microsoft’s reinvigorated Windows 8 effort and potential future competition from the likes of Amazon and Facebook.

“Apple has the cash, people and scale to do what Google is trying to do. Not sure about Facebook and Amazon,” Schmidt said.

The Google exec insisted that Android is coming out ahead of iOS in the smartphone arena, citing some 1.3 million Android activations per day which will soon lead the mobile OS to be running on one billion devices. Schmidt said he has seen data that indicates that Android devices are outselling iOS devices by a factor of four, though he did not reveal his source.

(opens in new tab)“The growth rate of mobile adoption exceeds everyone’s expectations,” he said. “The phones become so useful that ‘it’s good enough for normal people’ in lieu of a PC, for day-to-day events.”

“More mobility. Mobile first. Now companies build mobile applications first, Web apps second,” he replied when asked what’s next in technology trends.

Despite the fierce competition between Android and iOS, Schmidt was quick to point out that the two companies remain in communication.

“I was on Apple’s board, and I’ll always have a soft spot for them. I was very good friends and very close to Steve Jobs, and we miss him dearly,” said Schmidt.

Image Credit: Flickr (Fortune Live Media) (opens in new tab)