Google CEO preaches 'mobile first'

CEO Eric Schmidt put mobile devices squarely at the center of the computing universe in his first keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in an address that follows up mobile announcements including and .

In his address late Tuesday, Schmidt touted the growth and importance of mobile devices in fairly glorious terms, and urged application developers inside and outside of GoogleGoogle to "work on mobile first," ahead of desktop computers. Alles zu Google auf

Some of his observations apparently seemed obvious to industry insiders in the audience, whom Schmidt had to chide when they did not loudly applaud Google's latest search-by-voice and search-by-image applications.

Schmidt was right, in a way. Perhaps mobile phone industry insiders are jaded about how important smartphones and other small mobile devices have become since they are so powerful, personal and portable.

Schmidt reminded listeners of two Haiti earthquake victims, one who used a mobile phone to help rescuers locate her and a man who used an iPhone app to diagnose his wounds.

However, for Google and other companies, the value of mobile phones is their sheer rate of adoption and their numbers in the hands of users. Schmidt noted that sales of smartphones are growing at 30% year-over-year, and will soon surpass global PC sales.

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