Google's Schmidt: Android To Remain Open, No Special Treatment for Motorola

South Korea is home to Samsung, which in the third quarter outpaced competitors to become the world’s leading handset manufacturer. It’s also home to LG Electronics, another leading maker of Android-based smartphones and tablets.

Schmidt sought to soothe the concerns of manufacturers that bank on the Android software. Partners have been on edge since Google revealed its plans to purchase Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in August. The pending acquisition has raised anxieties that Google could become a rival to other Android handset makers, putting their access to the Android platform in jeopardy.

"In general, with all of our partners, we told them that the Motorola deal will close and we will run it sufficiently and independently, that it will not violate the openness of Android...we're not going to change in any material way the way we operate," Schmidt said in a press conference in Seoul Tuesday.

Google’s move to acquire Motorola Mobility, which was spun off from the larger Motorola last January, was an attempt to protect itself and partners against attacks from rivals Apple and Microsoft in an ongoing patent war. Both Microsoft and Apple have been taking action against Google, claiming that the Android operating system infringes on multiple patents.

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With the Motorola acquistion, Google will add 17,000 patents to its war chest to defend against patent suits. In September, for example, Google gave partner HTC nine patents to slap an infringement suit against its smartphone foe, Apple.

The free, open-source Android operating system now dominates the U.S. smartphone market at 48 percent, according to data from Nielson. Apple’s iPhone is in second place with 28 percent, while RIM’s Blackberry and Microsoft's Windows-based smartphones trail at 18 and 7 percent.

In September, Samsung entered into a patent-sharing settlement with Microsoft, agreeing to pay Microsoft royalties for its Android-based smartphones and tablets, and to work with Microsoft to develop products based on its operating system.

Addressing questions about Microsoft’s litigious moves against Android partners, Schmidt hit back, saying: "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."

Apple’s recently deceased founder Steve Jobs vowed to “destroy” the Android platform, and in the final months of his life filed ten suits in six countries seeking to block Android sales.

Schmidt declined to comment on statements made by Jobs in a recently released biography about the Apple founder but said that "the Android effort started before the iPhone effort."

This was Schmidt’s second visit to South Korea, where he met with executives from Samsung, LG Electronics, and also regional mobile carriers SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG Uplus. He also met with South Korean president Lee Myung-bak.

Schmidt will also visit Beijing and Taipei on his tour of Asia.