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Google's Schmidt: The 5 Billion People Without Smartphones 'Are Just Like Us'

6:26 PM, May 6, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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In an NBC interview, Google's Eric Schmidt reminded America that "It's important to remember these 5 billion people are just like us. They're just trapped in bad poverty and bad governance and so forth." The CEO of Google was referring to those in the world who don't have smartphones:

"It's always been a  gradual process with sort of early adopters, then a major adoption and then some laggers, but the even the more interesting thing, which we document quite thoroughly in the book, is in the next five years, 5 billion people will also join us in this conversatio--billion with a 'B,'" said Schmidt, who was on the program to promote a new book. "Today there are roughly a billion people on smartphones, roughly 2 billion connected to the Internet, roughly 6 billion on mobile phones. As those phones get upgraded to this world, they'll participate as well. Now, they're not going to be waking up to sophisticated alarms and special screens, but the impact on them is even greater than the impact on us."

Host David Gregory cut in, "And this is so significant, Bill Gates has talked about this in terms of disease prevention, in terms of notification for immunization. Even in parts of the undeveloped world, in parts of the third world, you see mobile phone technology proliferating in such a way that that kind of connectivity can actually change people's lives. We're not just talking about first-world people having greater access to Starbucks here."

The billionare Google chief added, "It's important to remember these 5 billion people are just like us. They're just trapped in bad poverty and bad governance and so forth."

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