2.7 Billion people could potentially use Google’s latest offering next year. It is not the highly speculated GPhone. Instead, Google yesterday announced the Open Handset Alliance and the Android open platform for mobile devices.
Over the past few months the blogosphere has been buzzing with rumours about Google’s next foray in the mobile market. While most knew the announcement would go far beyond just another mobile search feature, speculation ranged from Google introducing a revolutionary piece of hardware, nicknamed GPhone, to launching special software that would run on mobile phones.
Google have ended all speculation by finally confirming that they have founded the Open Handset Alliance, in partnership with over 30 mobile and technology industry leaders. Members of the alliance are committed to creating an open mobile ecosystem, allowing companies to innovate and be part of the astonishing growth in mobile device adoption.
AndroidTM is the first result of this alliance – a complete set of software for mobile devices: an operating system, middleware and key mobile applications. A Software Development Kit (SDK) will be made available on November 12, to allow developers to build rich mobile applications. Handsets based on the Android platform, however, will only be available in the second half of 2008.
This open platform strategy is no different than the OpenSocial strategy that Google have adopted for social media, and will probably benefit them in the long run in the same way – by making it easy for developers to include Google AdWords mobile ads onto their applications.
While most of the world’s mobile phone owning population of 2.7 billion people might never use Android, Google have nevertheless made yet another strong move towards expanding their target market from 850 Million PC users to an audience that is three times as large.
Founding members of the Open Handset Alliance include the following companies:
- China Mobile Research Institute
- Deutsche Telekom
- HTC Corp.
- Marvell Semiconductor
- NTT DoCoMo
- Nuance Communications
- Sprint Nextel
- Telecom Italia
- Texas Instruments