Google Android Smartphone Rumor has it that Google is developing its own Google-branded Android smartphone. Some say that’s not possible as the move would compete with Android-based smartphone brands and piss them off. What if Google doesn’t care and wants to go the Apple way, controlling the entire user experience. In the end it is really about user experience. But the Google smartphone might be so different current partners may not care.
- Data Only: Some say it might be data only with VoIP for voice calls.
- Google Voice: Phone numbers can be issued via Google Voice.
- Universal: Not exclusively tied to any one wireless carrier via an unlocked dual-mode GSM and CDMA smartphone. No
- Feature Limits: Completely feature rich without limitations.
Sprint/Clearwire: Would the major carriers be involved? Rumor has it that AT&T is already bidding for Google’s smartphone business with a $20/mo data deal. The other GSM-based carrier is T-Mobile. But I don’t buy this for a second. Google has the right to purchase Sprint’s 3G and Clearwire’s 4G services and resell them thanks to the US$500 million that it invested in Clearwire. The Google smartphone would use one or both of these services and most likely offer an all-you-can-eat monthly data plan that would be at least competitive in price with the major carriers’ data plans. I would also expect Google’s unlimited data plan to not have a 5GB monthly limit. Tethering would be included and work right out of the box. I felt a strong sense of freedom just writing those last two sentences.
Ad Subsidy Others say that there might be no subsidies on the Google smartphone. But I think otherwise. What is Google’s profit backbone? Ads. If you allow ads on your Google smartphone then Google will give you a subsidized price. If you don’t, you get to pay the full price of the smartphone.
Futile Resistance Even with all of these differences will current Android partners not be happy if Google came out with its own branded smartphone? I don’t think it really matters. If you gave me an Android smartphone that gives me freedom from two-year agreements, from expensive calling plans and added features (tethering comes to mind) and provides unlimited phone (VoIP) and data usage worldwide… I don’t think I would be able to resist.