Google CEO Eric Schmidt says 2009 will be year of the Android, suggesting Apple's iPhone may have a tougher competitor in the Smartphone market than previously expected.

During Thursday's conference call, Schmidt addressed the status of Google's Android mobile operating system. Overall, it looks like Android is going to have a very strong year, he said.

There are announcements happening between now and the end of the year that are quite significant from operators and new hardware partners in the Android space which I won't preannounce, Schmidt hinted.

The CEO added that the company is also working on new partnerships with mobile service providers and device makers.

Some of the manufacturers that are interested in Google's mobile operating system come from the personal computer area, where the platform is expected to surface in different types of devices, such as netbooks, low-power laptops that have seen a lot of traction in the past several months, or other Internet-enabled products, though Eric Schmidt says that Google won't be involved in this.