<< by on July 21st, 2008
People have been speculating for a while now about Google unleashing their own phone (already dubbed the Gphone) to compete with the technologically drenched Iphones and Blackberries of the world, but last Friday the rumors really started to heat up. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin and CEO Eric Schmidt sat down with media members and discussed the state of the technology community and how Google fits in. Surprisingly they made mention of their efforts to build a phone of their own and added fuel to the mobile phone fire that Apple started with the introduction of their new Iphone a couple of weeks ago.
Hollywood Reporter Dan Cox summarized the meeting by saying “The trio of Google execs also used the opportunity to talk about the inroads the company is making with its own branded mobile phone as a replacement for the iPhone”. Others, however, disagreed and say that Page, Brin, and Schmidt were misunderstood and that the real issue was with the development of the Android Platform. Whether or not the rumors of true, thoughts of a Gphone are extremely enticing.
First of all, Google could offer much more affordable plans than large mobile phone providers because they could make up the difference in advertising revenue from mobile ads. This could mean that the Gphone would probably cost much less the the Iphone or a Blackberry and that service fees would most likely be much more affordable (as opposed to paying upwards of $100 a month in service fees for the Iphone). And who knows? Google may even continue their policy of giving the phones away for free as they do with their software and online applications. Or they may provide a basic package for free and then charge minimal fees for upgrades.
A second reason for Google launching a phone of their own would be to give their mobile advertising efforts a nudge. As I wrote about a few weeks ago, Google is already dominating mobile searches, but so far, traffic is just a blip on the paid search radar screen. A more affordable, powerful, internet ready phone would provide a much larger proportion of mobile device users with online access, which would in turn lead to more advertisers starting to utilize mobile ads.
I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens. I for one, however, would love to see Google put out their own phone, but until then I guess I will have to continue to use Gchat to talk to my friends.