The much speculated "Google Phone" or gPhone or GPhone or Gphone is turned out to be a mobile platform and not a phone optimized for running Google apps. Andy Rubin on the Google blog has announced the launch of Android as part of the Open Handset Alliance, an organization that has a lot of other important members: Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, Intel, NVIDIA, LG, Motorola, eBay, Nuance Communications and more.
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.
….e recognize that many among the multitude of mobile users around the world do not and may never have an Android-based phone. Our goals must be independent of device or even platform…..
It's important to recognize that the Open Handset Alliance and Android have the potential to be major changes from the status quo -- one which will take patience and much investment by the various players before you'll see the first benefits. But we feel the potential gains for mobile customers around the world are worth the effort. If you’re a developer and this approach sounds exciting, give us a week or so and we’ll have an SDK available. If you’re a mobile user, you’ll have to wait a little longer, but some of our partners are targeting the second half of 2008 to ship phones based on the Android platform. And if you already have a phone you know and love, check out mobile.google.com and make sure you have Google Maps for mobile, Gmail and our other great applications on your phone. We'll continue to make these services better and add plenty of exciting new features, applications and services, too.
What would your phone do?
In a conference call that followed the announcement, Eric Schmidt said that an Android phone "with a real browser, won't need customized programs and websites, so it'll be easy for devs to support the phone by supporting any desktop browser". Apparently, the browser is a very strong point of the phone. By bringing the web closer to mobile phones, Google could become even more important in people's lives of and could increase its reach.