MOBILE AD DISTRIBUTION PLATFORM: Would it possible for Google to use the Nexus One smartphone as a mobile ad distribution platform? So, here’s how I think it might work: Google sells you an unlocked Nexus One for a subsidized price that is competitive to the Droid from Motorola and Apple’s iPhone, say about US$199. On the bottom (or top–you choose) there’s a little bar that shows ads. Wouldn’t that work? AdMob worked, and Google now owns AdMob.
BOON FOR ADVERTISERS: From an advertiser’s point of view getting access to potentially millions of Nexus One smartphones would be absolutely fantastic. So, if you’re on Google searching for say “smartphone case” the ads on the bottom (or top) would show related ads. Since Google’s business model is to monetize ads through search intelligence, getting the ad platform on a smartphone like the Nexus One would be a smart move. I also like that the Nexus One will be unlocked so I can move about the world with pre-paid SIM cards.
UNLOCKED BUT LOCKED: So the question then becomes: will consumers purchase an unlocked super-duper smartphone running Android 2.1a (‘a’ for Ad-enabled) for $199 in exchange for being locked into viewing unobtrusive ads for two years? I think so. One major reason why I think this is possible is because of the success of Gmail.
SUCCESSFUL CLOUD+AD SERVICES: Remember when everyone was extremely wary of a free webmail service that had ads? Well, millions and millions don’t seem to mind. Google Reader is, in my opinion, the best RSS reader on the planet and it has ads and I don’t mind–millions agree with me. There are other Google cloud services with the same business model. So Google bringing the cloud and ads to the smartphone platform, to me, is a no-brainer. But I might completely wrong. The Nexus One might simply be a smartphone sold only to developers.