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Last Updated: June 5th, 2012

In an AndroidPolice exclusive, a tipster has provided us reliable information that Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google (GOOG), has recently become an investor in the 3rd party mobile app distributor PocketGear. What does this mean? It seems most likely that Schmidt, and perhaps Google itself, are looking to see if PocketGear can provide a suitable distribution platform for Android apps. It looks to be classic Google strategy; invest early, foster growth, and if all goes well, acquire. While Schmidt and Google itself are not entities of completely parallel financial interests, Schmidt is the man in charge, and it is his own intuition that helps to guide Google as a company. Thus, it would not be the biggest leap in the world to say that what interests Schmidt’s tech portfolio, probably also interests Google’s.

User complaints about the quality of content control on the Android Market have been around since day one, and Google has done little to tame the three-headed beast the Android Market has inarguably become. Clearly, the task of developing an entirely new app distribution platform is something the Android team, presumably now chipping away at the next release of the Android OS dubbed “Gingerbread,” cannot devote massive resources to. Google’s best bet is to carefully eye these 3rd party app distributors and, as it seems Schmidt has done, cherry pick candidates for investment. Only time will tell if Schmidt is serious about PocketGear, but the very fact that he is interested in such a company is probably good news for Android users.

The source? An official PocketGear e-mail sent out to application developers..

Dear [EDITED FOR PRIVACY],

We want to help you reach the 20-30% of users that choose to acquire content outside of the Android Marketplace. PocketGear, the world's largest cross-platform mobile app store, distributes applications online and through on-device app stores with leading handset manufacturers, carriers, and media brands worldwide. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, believes in us and is one of our most recent investors. (not yet announced)

Sign-up is quick, easy, and best of all free. We offer 80% commission of net receipts on paid applications. Free applications are 100% free. Please let me know if you would be interested, or if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Jeff Huber

Content Business Development Specialist, PocketGear, Inc.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Marshall Kirkpatrick

    Come on. I don't think so.

  • Phil

    If he was investing before Google planned to give them work then this would be insider trading.

    • David Ruddock

      PocketGear is not a publicly traded company, so that is a moot point. Schmidt has every right to invest, even if he knows Google is planning to work with or buy the company.

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