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Googles answer to the iPhone...the GFone

post #1 of 9
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20...kZxlStO0Rk24cA

San Francisco (IDGNS) - Google has developed a prototype cellphone that could reach markets within a year, and plans to offer consumers free subscriptions by bundling advertisements with its search engine, e-mail, and Web browser software applications, according to a story published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal.
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Google is showing the prototype to cell phone manufacturers and network operators as it continues to hone the technical specifications that will allow the phone to offer a better mobile Web browsing experience than current products, the story said.

Google did not return calls for comment.

The move would echo another recent product launched by a phone industry outsider, Apple's iPhone. But Google's product would draw its revenue from a sharply different source, relying on commercial advertising dollars instead of the sticker price of at least $499 for an iPhone and $60 per month for the AT&T service plan.

Negotiating the fairest way to split those advertising revenues with service providers could be a big hurdle for Google, one analyst said. Another problem is the potential that consumers could be scared off by the prospect of listening to advertisements before being able to make phone calls, said Jeff Kagan, a wireless and telecommunications industry analyst in Atlanta.

"I don't know how successful it's going to be. The model of an ad-supported wireless Web has not been successful over the past 10 years," he said, referring to municipal Wi-Fi networks that offer free Internet connections to users willing to view advertisements while they surf the Web.

"The average adult who can afford a cell phone is not going to want to listen to ads. So this is mainly for teenagers, twenty-somethings, high schoolers or people who can't afford a phone," said Kagan.

Industry watchers have long heard rumors that Google was designing its own mobile phone. Google added fuel to that speculation in July when it announced it was willing to spend $4.6 billion to buy wireless spectrum in a U.S. Federal Communications Commission auction.

At the same time, an increasing number of industry newcomers have made bids to enter the market, such as Apple with the iPhone and The Walt Disney Co., which launched a wireless version of its ESPN cable sports channel that ultimately failed.

"We see the cell phone industry continuing to evolve," Kagan said. "We're still going to see traditional handsets, but the Apple iPhone was a brand new category in wireless, and it wasn't from a handset vendor and wasn't from a network."

Google's success in its venture will depend largely on the details it is still defining with its manufacturing and network partners, and whether customers are willing to trade user fees for intrusive advertising, he said.

"There are a lot of unknowns, but generally speaking, it hasn't worked yet," said Kagan
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post #2 of 9
This would go along nicely with their GrandCentral service.
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post #3 of 9
Everyone should get pretty nervous at the prospect. I love my iPhone so very, very, much, but Google will probably come out with a very enticing phone.
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post #4 of 9
I don't get this. Did Google turn into a hardware manufacturer and forget to tell anyone? Has Google developed great handheld UI mojo that they they've been keeping secret?

If not, why should I get excited about a rebranded phone with some software hooks to Google services?

Is the hardware going to be better, somehow, than whoever Google's manufacturing partner is already making? Is it going to have a sophisticated, intuituve UI? Designed by who? Because it sure as shit isn't going to be Google.

There's no reason to think that anyone in the Google organization knows the first thing about phone design, beyond figuring that a hand held client for half a million perpetually in beta "services" would be teh awesome.

There is also no reason to think that just because they approach someone that does know something about phones that some magic synergy happens and an amazing phone gets made.

It's not like the same people that have been making all these crappy phones are going to go "Oh! You want to put Google stuff on it! Well, then we better make a kick-ass phone then, we just never had a good enough reason till now!"
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post #5 of 9
Null.
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
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Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I don't get this. Did Google turn into a hardware manufacturer and forget to tell anyone? Has Google developed great handheld UI mojo that they they've been keeping secret?

If not, why should I get excited about a rebranded phone with some software hooks to Google services?

Is the hardware going to be better, somehow, than whoever Google's manufacturing partner is already making? Is it going to have a sophisticated, intuituve UI? Designed by who? Because it sure as shit isn't going to be Google.

There's no reason to think that anyone in the Google organization knows the first thing about phone design, beyond figuring that a hand held client for half a million perpetually in beta "services" would be teh awesome.

There is also no reason to think that just because they approach someone that does know something about phones that some magic synergy happens and an amazing phone gets made.

It's not like the same people that have been making all these crappy phones are going to go "Oh! You want to put Google stuff on it! Well, then we better make a kick-ass phone then, we just never had a good enough reason till now!"

Reminds me of the very same criticism flung at Apple before they launched the... iPhone.

Google is full of smart people, attracting smart people, and buying smart people. Making the phone isn't the issue. Companies like Apple and Google can make phones.

The issue is the changing relationship between voice and data. Google's mission is to make the world's knowledge readilly available. A wireless handheld device optimized for their internet services would help do that. To think of a google phone as primarily a phone is so Pre-June 29th.

Google's interest in the beachfront wireless auction confirms this. They aren't just bidding on spectrum for partners, they're interested in it for themselves. Google has hired game theorists to assist them with the auction, including getting what they want without winning the auction. Forget about voice, which will eventually be free on every phone. And forget about the first 30 hours of sales. Over the next decade or two, the iPhone will leverage Apple technology; the GPhone will leverage Google's.
post #7 of 9
Null.
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
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Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
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post #8 of 9
Nobody is bringing up the fact that Google's vision is to have ads running on their phone service. That's where they think the profits will be. It's uncharted territory that I wouldnt bet on.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duddits View Post

Reminds me of the very same criticism flung at Apple before they launched the... iPhone.

Google is full of smart people, attracting smart people, and buying smart people. Making the phone isn't the issue. Companies like Apple and Google can make phones.

The issue is the changing relationship between voice and data. Google's mission is to make the world's knowledge readilly available. A wireless handheld device optimized for their internet services would help do that. To think of a google phone as primarily a phone is so Pre-June 29th.

Google's interest in the beachfront wireless auction confirms this. They aren't just bidding on spectrum for partners, they're interested in it for themselves. Google has hired game theorists to assist them with the auction, including getting what they want without winning the auction. Forget about voice, which will eventually be free on every phone. And forget about the first 30 hours of sales. Over the next decade or two, the iPhone will leverage Apple technology; the GPhone will leverage Google's.

Uh.... Apple: over 25 years of hardware design and manufacturing experience. Google: never designed or manufactured a single piece of hardware.

Finding some equivalency between "Apple never made a phone before" and "Google never made a phone before" because they both employ smart people makes no sense at all.

You might as well say that Toyota and Exxon are on equal footing when it comes to bringing a solar powered electric car to market because neither of them has done it before.
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