Google’s long awaited conference call announcing the Internet company’s mobile phone intentions came at noon today, est. Many of the rumors that have created a buzz can now be laid to rest, at least for awhile. There is no Gphone (Google phone) in the immediate future. The Gphone was supposed to be a low cost mobile device with the hardware and software of a military supercomputer, all paid for by advertising money. Now that the news is out, its time to go back to fantasizing about finding the wining lottery ticket on a recycled roll of toilet paper.
Google is going to compete in the mobile phone market by creating a software system called Android that will make the Internet run smoother on phones. It doesn’t look as though the mobile phone world is going through a revolution but the way business is done in the future may change.
Google is working with over 30 companies, including network providers, handset manufactures and chip makers to create a mobile internet experience smoother than a well aged single malt scotch. Handset makers will be given software kits in a week’s time, and it is hoped applications based on the Google platform will be available in the second half of 2008.
“It will open the mobile phone to do things that people now do on their PCs,” said Todd Greenwald, a financial analyst with Nollenberger Capital Partners in San Francisco.
“This approach is going to be far less costly,” Greenwald said, contrasting Google’s open partnership to proprietary phone industry strategies. “It should position Google to be an early leader in the mobile advertising market.”
And it is predicted that the next ten years will see a huge increase in the amount of advertising money that is spent sending advertisements to mobile phone handsets. If the Google software works as well is hoped, the company will be poised to rake in piles of ad money.
Sprint Nextel, one of the companies helping develop Google’s Android, said the system will be based on open-source Linux code and made available to phone makers and carriers without license fees. Look out Apple, unlocked, open and free is going to compete with the iPhone.
“Rather than trying to restrict customers and saying you can only use my services, which we think has limited growth potential, we’d rather give customers exactly what they want and benefit that way,” said John Garcia, Sprint senior vice president for product management.