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5 November 2007 @ 10am

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No Gphone – Enjoy Android instead

Google’s Gphone turns out to be somewhat similar to the OpenSocial announcement. While this might be a disappointment to many, Google says this is a more important announcement than just a phone:

However, we think what we are announcing — the Open Handset Alliance and Android — is more significant and ambitious than a single phone. In fact, through the joint efforts of the members of the Open Handset Alliance, we hope Android will be the foundation for many new phones and will create an entirely new mobile experience for users, with new applications and new capabilities we can’t imagine today.

Right now, the announcement is heavy on the cute and low on information, except that Motorola, Qualcomm, HTC, T-Mobile, Marvell, PacketVideo, SONiVox, Intel, Sprint, and Wind River and many others are all part of the alliance (for the full list, go to the press release).

An SDK is coming November 12th, though I don’t see any announcement for any real product yet, though they should be out by the second half of 2008. With no products to show, why did Google even release this info yet?

Thanks to Engadget, we at least know that Google isn’t planning to annoy the heck out of us with advertising. From the conference call:

One of the interesting things about G’s business is the flexibility and relevance… part of this Android solution is a very robust HTML web browser… contrary to a lot of the speculation out there, you won’t see a completely ad-driven cellphone based on this platform.

The ‘completely’ leaves some wiggle-room, of course, and vendors could probably do whatever they want to, but it’s good to see that Google isn’t going completely overboard on advertising on phones.

Also, I wonder if the “very robust HTML web browser” will be a mobile version of Firefox (ever seen a browser that doesn’t do HTML, by the way?)?

Update: The NYTimes has the most in-depth article on the alliance so far. Interesting snippet:

But for now at least, Google will not put its brand on a phone. The software running on the phones may not even display the Google logo. Instead, Google is giving the software away to others who will build the phones. The company invested heavily in the project to ensure that all of its services are available on mobile phones. Its ultimate goal is to cash in on the effort by selling advertisements to mobile phone users, just as it does on Internet-connected computers.

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