By now, many of you have heard about the Google announcement earlier today: no Gphone, but an open source development platform called Android, built as the central project for the multi-vendor, multi-carrier Open Handset Alliance.
Andy Rubin, who is director of mobile platforms for Google, writes today that:
Android is the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. It includes an operating system, user-interface and applications -- all of the software to run a mobile phone, but without the proprietary obstacles that have hindered mobile innovation. We have developed Android in cooperation with the Open Handset Alliance, which consists of more than 30 technology and mobile leaders including Motorola, Qualcomm, HTC and T-Mobile. Through deep partnerships with carriers, device manufacturers, developers, and others, we hope to enable an open ecosystem for the mobile world by creating a standard, open mobile software platform. We think the result will ultimately be a better and faster pace for innovation that will give mobile customers unforeseen applications and capabilities.
In the U.S., T-Mobile and SprintNextel will support these efforts. As a result, it is likely that by mid-2008, will be seeing carrier-branded phones optimized for all sorts of Google Apps and Googlecentric mashups. Maybe just one example: Google Street Views tied to Google advertisement businesses located within these street views?
And of course, the ads would offer phone numbers for one-click calling over the participating carrier network and phone.