September 27, 2012, 7:42 AM — Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt will meet with Samsung's mobile executives -- and likely discuss the latest patent clash with Apple -- while in South Korea for the launch of the Nexus 7 Android tablet.
At a press conference in Seoul on Thursday, which was also Google's 14th birthday, Schmidt condemned the latest patent war among the tech giants, saying that one of the worst things in recent years is a belief that one vendor could stop another's product sales.
"[It] literally prevents choice and innovation. That is a bad outcome," he said, adding that Google is trying to stay on the "right side."
Schmidt also said that he's meeting with several key partners in South Korea, including Samsung Electronics, which uses Google's Android for its mobile devices and is involved in patent lawsuits against Apple in 10 countries worldwide, including here.
Last month, a U.S. jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages from the Korean firm. The iPhone maker subsequently asked for a permanent injunction against sales of Samsung's Galaxy phones including the latest flagship Galaxy S III. The court will resume the case in December.
After unveiling Nexus 7 in Japan on Tuesday at its first release in Asia, Google rolled out the device in Korea, where it will go on sale this Friday. The seven-inch tablet, manufactured by Taiwan's Asus, runs on Google's latest Android 4.1, also known as Jelly Bean. The device was first released this July in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia. The 16 GB model will cost 299,000 won (about US$ 268).
Schmidt said Google's strategy is to make the Android platform more open. He called South Korea a leading market for Android access; it boasts the world's second highest rate of application downloads from the Android app store. The country topped nearly 60 percent of smartphone penetration in 2012.
Also touting the evolution of Google subsidiary YouTube that has become a springboard for local artists to gain global access, Schmidt referred to Korean pop star Psy and his hit music video titled "Gangnam Style." It has surpassed 250 million views on YouTube since its release on July 15.
Later Thursday, Schmidt met with Psy at the company's Seoul office and was photographed with him dancing the Korean rapper's signature "horse-riding" move. Unfortunately, no YouTube video was made available.