Whatever else you may think of Google
’s Eric Schmidt
, good or bad, the man is not afraid to visit countries that others may consider dangerous or unstable. He took his daughter to North Korea
earlier this year, and according to Reuters, he’s headed to Myanmar next week.
Myanmar is no longer under military control, so Western nations have eased up on sanctions which opens the door for businesses of all stripes to tap into the country’s 60 million or so residents.
For the likes of Google, this is primo territory to expand their mobile business, as the report indicates that mobile penetration in Myanmar is a meager 5-10%. When we speak of companies targeting “developing nations”, this is precisely what we mean. As Myanmar’s telecom infrastructure develops, inexpensive Android
phones could flood the country.
While he’s in Asia, Schmidt will be visiting some other countries as well, including India
. "Eric is visiting several countries in Asia to connect with local partners and Googlers who are working to improve the lives of many millions of people across the region by helping them get online and access the world's information for the first time in the next few years," Google told Reuters in a statement.
At this point, much of the Western mobile market is saturated, so companies like Google and Apple are essentially trying to steal each other’s customers. In these nations where there is no mobile presence to speak of, it’s a completely untapped market, which must be terribly exciting for entrepreneurs like Schmidt.