Oct 18, 2008

The Google Phone - What Next ?

    About an year back, I blogged about Google Phone.. Quite a few developments have happened in this area after that..And a few days before, Google came up with its first Android based phone , manufactured by HTC.. 
      Quite a few of the applications in this G-phone or G1 happens to be similar to what I thought about last year.. quoting Larry Magid's article,
"there is already an application called iSkoop that lets you make free or inexpensive international and domestic calls using Skype".. -- This is a key point to Google's overall strategy..10  years later ( or maybe even before that ),  G-phone will be a device just to connect to internet..No SIM card as such..U'll talk to people using G-talk ..Just take the g-talk in your phone, tap the person's user ID, and make a call.. No complicated maths like STD/ISD rates or anything like that..Infact, the much hyped about number portability will come into existance this way..i.e, as long as u have ur gmail ID, u'll be accesible from anywhere..

Quoting another point in the same article... "Warning to merchants - my favorite application lets you use the phone's camera to "scan" a product's bar code to look up reviews and comparative prices"
-- I never thought John Battelle's fantasy ( check my earlier post ) would get converted into an application so soon :) .. 

  But Google had a major setback to this overall strategy last year  - They lost the bidding for the US Wireless spectrum 
     Consequentially, these concepts of No-SIM + mobile Ad based phone business model will take some time to come up. Maybe soon, Google might strike an alliance with Verizon(the winner of wireless spectrum bidding) ..Afterall, the AT&T - iphone combination is proving to be too good in US..
  Quite a few analysts are speculating whether this G-phone is going to be an iphone killer . The interesting thing about iphone is that, if you analyse its every feature, u'll find better offerings in market ( camera phones from Sony is better, Nokia's robustness is great ... etc )..Maybe in an aesthetic sense & battery backup , iphone is really great. But what makes iphone tick is that it brings to you a 'great' combination of 'good' ( not the best ) features and a strong tie-up with AT&T..  And Apple's itunes based music + phone + carrier tie-up business model is really great.. Atleast in the short run, no, i dont see any possibility of G-phone dethroning iphone.. For that matter, Nokia too has realized the importance of bringing in a multitude of features to its phones and is investing heavily in music & GPRS based maps..But in the long run, I'd bet that Google's strategy will succeed..
  So, what next to expect from Google ? 
My take

1) More efforts on wireless spectrum front-- maybe a tieup with Verizon or some other prominent player.

2) Music/Entertainment - This remains a strong point of Apple.. And I really wonder how Google is going to tackle this front..Maybe some innovation/business model based on youtube ? 
I dont know.. 

3) Gpay integration :- This would come soon 



ancientmariner said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Google came up wit their own version of OS for PC's!!

Deepak said...

@Ajith: As I had said before, barcode reader in phones is nothing new. It has been in Japanese FOMA phones for over 5 years now.