After parsing through all the stories and speculation, it seems Google will announce a mobile Linux reference platform, an initial manufacturer, and an advertising-driven business model for mobile services. Each one of those steps could spark a revolution:
- While efforts like OpenMoko are laudatory they can't reach critical mass without financial muscle behind them. Google has that muscle.
- The GPhone could be the best chance China has to take over the mobile device market. An open operating system, Firefox browser and a U.S. brand name lets Chinese strengths in low-cost manufacturing come to the fore.
- An ad-based business model, with Jaiku social networking as its killer app, puts enormous pressure on U.S. carriers, and policymakers, to open up more open spectrum and loosen rules on existing spectrum.
This is bigger deal than the Apple iPhone because of its direct challenge to carrier power. Apple eventually chose to work with one U.S. carrier, AT&T, with the kind of proprietary design such carriers prefer, while Google will offer an open design and an alternative to the present carrier business model.
While the iPhone has a great interface, but mainly offered Web 1.0 applications, the GPhone will focus on Web 2.0 applications from the start, integrating mapping, email, and search services in its design. The iPhone was a phone with data applications, the GPhone will be an Internet link with voice services.
So, how big a deal do you think this is? Use the links, which reach most corners of the specula-sphere, and discuss it below.[poll id=56]