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Schmidt: 200,000 Android devices sold each day

Speaking to reporters, Google CEO Eric Schmidt says that Android devices are being sold at double the rate they were two months ago. As for Chrome OS, it's still coming this year, he said.

TRUCKEE, Calif.--Google CEO Eric Schmidt said on Wednesday that Google believes that some 200,000 new Android devices are being sold each day, leading to significant revenue in the form of increased mobile search traffic.

"People are finally beginning to figure out how successful Android is," Schmidt said at the inaugural Techonomy conference here, pointing to recent studies showing the growth of the mobile operating system outpacing even the popular iPhone.

Schmidt file photo by James Martin/CNET

"The number was about 100,000 (a day) about two months ago," Schmidt said. "It looks like Android is not just phenomenal but incredibly phenomenal in its growth rate. God knows how long that will continue."

Even though Google doesn't get revenue from Android itself, Schmidt said Google loves the success of Android because it means more people have phones capable of doing lots of Web searches for which it does get paid.

"Trust me that revenue is large enough to pay for all of Android's activities and a whole bunch more," he said. "I should also say that we love the success of the iPhone because the iPhone also uses Google's search and we get a chunk of that revenue when people search on the iPhone."

As for Chrome OS, Schmidt said that Android's success hasn't caused the company to rethink its dual-OS strategy.

"Maybe we can get the same success out of Chrome OS," he said. "Chrome OS is targeted at a different part of the market."

Chrome OS, Schmidt said is focused on selling Netbook-class computers to early believers in cloud-based storage. The first devices, which he reiterated will come this year, will use either Intel or ARM chips, have a keyboard and won't have local storage beyond that needed to cache data.

"People who believe in cloud computing, believe in the benefits of Web computing and who are Chrome users will be the target market," he said. "It's probably a large market."

That said, Schmidt acknowledged it is a bit more of a departure from what's on the market.

"I think it is improper to be skeptical of Android and I think it is proper to be skeptical of Chrome OS," he said.

Schmidt's comments on Android and Chrome OS were part of a 40-minute question-and-answer session with reporters and followed comments on a rumored Net neutrality pact with Verizon as well as his thoughts on the demise of Google Wave, announced earlier on Wednesday.