Thursday, August 7, 2008

Android: gPhone is 80% Done

We know Android is coming before the end of the year. It has been promised over and over again. Every time a rumor would pop up, forcing Google or its phonemaker-in-chief make a statement to the contrary. Now we know it's 80% complete as reported by Information Week (Via MocoNews, Engadget). 

This number came about after Eric Chu, a group marketing manager for the Android effort, said Google will not be joing the LiMo, Linux Mobile Foundation, especially during the development phase of Android. As of today, there are no Android phones on the market as to be expected given that its a relatively new effort. LiMo has accounted for twenty-one phones with more on the way.

Chu attributed to the complexity of building a mobile phone and working with developers are the reason for going at it alone with Android. Involving too many during this phase may not necessarily be helpful, according to Chu. In addition, he stated recent changes in the mobile platform industry as a factor in Google believing it can do better. 

While the iPhone is certainly one of those changes in the last year, Nokia decision to release Symbian to as an open-source project certainly weighs heavily on Google and its allies. But what it really comes down to is control and the ability carry out a vision and it's a lot easier to do that as the Android's founder.

A bit of analysis. Forget about tying an Android phone into any kind of network launch like T-Mobile's 3G service. Eighty percent complete. If this estimate is close, one begs to ask just how far along the hardware integration is. In addition, is Chu talking about the OS only or is he also talking about the app store as well? Remember, the iPhone did not have an app store during its first year either. In fact, no one else but the iPhone platform has anything like this.

It's now the beginning of August. To make the Christmas rush, phones would need to be in the stores by November at the very latest. This give a phone maker like HTC only a couple of months to get the phones manufactured and shipped. But then, neither Google or HTC promised the gPhone will be sitting under the Christmas tree. But as long as it's in the stores before January 1, 2009, it's a win.

Note: Google is betting more than anyone else on Android to succeed as Apple did with the iPhone. Onxo is not going to make one of those "if anyone can do it, it's Google" comment. But they better or else, the loss of their creditability and agendas for the mobile market will be largely diminished. 

Expect more to come from Google. This is going to start buzzing on the Internet. 80% done does not sounds like good news. 

Impact: Mobile Warriors, listen, up. We want Google to succeed. So much as been put on their shoulders, some of it their own fault and some of it ours for believing that Google will have a positive impact on wireless industry and change how we working and play wirelessly. There are other positive influences like the iPhone but still, Google is a large part of the mobile future.

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