On the Call: Google CEO Eric Schmidt

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SEATTLE (AP) - Google Inc. Chief Executive Eric Schmidt joined a conference call with analysts after the Web search leader released third-quarter results Thursday.

Schmidt hadn’t made an appearance on the call since Google released results for last year’s fourth quarter in January, but he surprised analysts by making time for questions before dashing off to catch a plane. Among the topics he addressed was whether applications downloaded to smart phones, or “apps,” could hurt Google’s search traffic.

QUESTION: Are smart phone apps drawing people away from searching Google for the same information those programs provide, and will this hurt Google’s business in the long term?

RESPONSE: “This is one of those sort of worrywart questions that we get all the time, that the success of one thing, could that impinge on something else, and in fact the rising tide lifts all boats. … What’s really happening is that all of the companies that are driving the Web and Web applications are all doing really well. People are moving from offline to online, and in the course of doing that, they’re using these systems more. They are searching more, using apps more, et cetera.”

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