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Google Hopes to Disaggregate Carriers with gPhone

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the locutus-of-google dept.

Google 183

Hugh Pickens writes "The New York Times has a look at Google's plan to loosen the carriers' control over their mobile phone networks in an effort to bring the dynamics of the PC-oriented Internet to the mobile Internet hoping that it can beat competitors in an open environment. The Google Phone or gPhone which is expected to be unveiled later this year will not compete with the iPhone but will help Google distribute their online services. Google intends to provide software that will be built into phones sold by many manufacturers and, unlike Microsoft's Windows Mobile, Google is not expected to charge phone makers a licensing fee for their software. Google will make its money brokering ads on the mobile phones and even envisions a free phone service one day supported entirely through ad revenue."

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Diaggregate Carriers? Only one catch... (5, Funny)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904809)

In order to have any service, you have to be in a gSpot.

Re:Diaggregate Carriers? Only one catch... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20904895)

Wow, that gets funnier every time someone posts it.

Re:Diaggregate Carriers? Only one catch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905005)

From the article:

"Google may be responsible for the gPhone," said Karsten Weide, an analyst with IDC "But they are not in charge of gUndam."

Re:Diaggregate Carriers? Only one catch... (3, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905661)

How exactly will this loosen carriers control? Carriers in the US already dictate the features for each phone it offers [which are the majority of cell phones sold in the US]. Just look on the latest KRAZR, it's advertised by MOTO has being this fabulous phone, but each of the 4 major carriers sell it with a significantly different feature set. And just offering the OS for free doesn't make a difference to manufacturers as some cell phones already run Linux...

And it's a non-starter for Canada, given the outrageous data fees...

Re:Diaggregate Carriers? Only one catch... (5, Funny)

overtoperative (886928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905753)

and how many /.ers will be able to find these gSpots?

Dammit! (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905761)

> In order to have any service, you have to be in a gSpot.

And just where am I supposed to find one of those??

In between gPhone and iPhone lies... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905895)

Actually, you've confused the gPhone with its competitor, the hPhone -- the world's first pornography-supported phone developed for the Japanese market.

It's also the first phone to offer a magnetic induction recharger like those commonly seen in flashlights. It's assumed that normal usage will keep the battery topped up.

Re:Diaggregate Carriers? Only one catch... (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905979)

Since most cell/DSL duellusrs are scr*wed already by, say AT&T there's LOT's of headroom for a GPhone/G-ISP combo. Question is does Sergy et al have the b*lls to go for it! I would be very afraid if I owned AT&T stock ... very afraid.

Re:Diaggregate Carriers? Only one catch... (1)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#20906171)

Then sell the AT&T stock. Although it looks like it won't buy much google stock atm...like 42$ vs 610$ :P

First Post ! (0)

randalware (720317) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904815)

I would call someone to brag about it, but my gphone directory has no number in it.

Yet !

Re:First Post ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20906181)

I would call someone to brag about it, but my gphone directory has no number in it.

Wow, you have no friends - who would have guessed it?

But the cell companies like control (5, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904825)

They like control because it provides them a way to sell additional software and services for the phones. They don't want companies like Google stepping in and selling ads. Even on smart phones, Windows Mobile is customized for that purpose. Will Google allow that level of control to the cell companies? I'm guessing no more than they allow other third parties to control their content on the Web.
 

And (5, Insightful)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904901)

Mnay people, like myself, don't want ad-supported cell service. I want my money to be what controls the services, no the advertisers' money.

Re:And (5, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904995)

Hello, 911

"... one moment please. You have dialed 911. gPhone will place your call shortly. Please listen to these 3 contextual ads."

"Hi, need a lawyer? Call 1-900-SUX-2-B-U!"

"Need an ambulance in a hurry? Call 123-456-7890"

"Remember Forest Lawn - when it comes time to go to that big sleep."

"Thak you for waiting. gPhone will now connect you to 911"

"This is 911 emergency services. Your call is important to us. In the meantime, plase listen to these contextual ads ..."

Re:And (4, Funny)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905133)

And are you under the impression that your money has the slightest effect on the way the cell phone companies operate?

Re:And (4, Insightful)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905261)

Yes, it does make a difference. If T-Mobile meets my needs better, am I going to go with them or with AT&T? What about Verizon? Yes, these companies have to compete for our money, so yes, it does make a difference. That was the whole reason for number portability.

Re:And (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905745)

Yes, it does make a difference. If T-Mobile meets my needs better, am I going to go with them or with AT&T? What about Verizon? Yes, these companies have to compete for our money, so yes, it does make a difference. That was the whole reason for number portability.
Not quote. For prepaid you have a point, but you still have to keep in mind the cost of the phones as most are locked to a certain carrier. For service plan, most require a multi-year contract which really takes competition out of the equation.

If phones were not tied to providers, providers didn't require contracts, and everything wasn't controlled by a handful of companies, I'd completely agree with you about letting competition sort it out.

Re:And (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905797)

For service plan, most require a multi-year contract which really takes competition out of the equation.
Only for a while. The question is do you want the carriers to care if *you* pay them or care if the advertisers pay them? That is the question.

Maybe the gphone will be good in opening up competition, but I won't go for ad-supported cell service.

Re:And (4, Insightful)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905173)

I was thinking the same thing, yet here I am using free Slashdot (I am fairly sure I've seen notices that I can pay for it if I want - does that get rid of the ads?).

However, I have nothing against an ad supported network, so long as I can still choose to pay (instead of ads) if I want to.

Re:And (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905631)

does that get rid of the ads?
yes. and so does adblock, except you don't have to help pay for Zonk's psychotherapy sessions.

Re:And (4, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905199)


but why?

"hey dave! let's go get some burgers!" ... bennegans has the best burgers in town and just around the corner....

"Holy crap what was that?" ... feeling down, the holy saviour church can help you.....

"Sorry, I get free cellphone through google, it plays ad's based on keywords from the last thing you said" ... verizon cellphones dont annoy you with advertisments every 12 seconds try one today....

"this sucks!" ... lonely? looking for a good time? www.sexpots.com is your source for low prices in companionship...

Oh yeah, I can see an ad supported free cellphone working just fine.

Re:And (4, Funny)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905867)

"Did you see those people around the Goat Sea earlier?"
...
"MY EARS!"

Re:And (4, Interesting)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905243)

I want my money to be what controls the services
But that is not often the case when a few large companies control everything. I recently got a mobile phone for my wife and I. After much searching, there was not much that differentiates the different companies. You will get basically the same features (depending on what you spend) and you will pay similar prices. All the big carriers I went to wanted to lock me in to a 2 year contract. All of them had annoying sales people that tried to sell me the latest whizz-bang phone. And all of them are way over priced IMO. The only thing I found my money could give me a choice over was if I wanted to pay a lot of cash for a phone to take crappy pictures or to listen to some songs, or maybe look at a web page in a crappy browser.

In looking at options to get the lowest monthly cost, well there just weren't many options to be truthful. One option was 700 shared family minutes for $79 USD/month or 1,400 shared family minutes for $89 USD/month. WTF? If I can get 1,400 minutes for $90/month, why can't I get 700 minutes for $45/month?

When it comes to the mobile market, my money doesn't seem to control much of anything.

Re:And (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905337)

1) Part of that $79/month is fees and basic charges whether or not you use _any_ minutes. The question is, why can't you get a cell phone with 0 minutes, for $69/month, and use it to only talk to each other (free mobile to mobile)?

Re:And (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905913)

Softbank in Japan does this- they call it the White Plan, and it's like 990yen/month for nothing but unlimited M2M.

Re:And (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20906081)

Softbank in Japan does this- they call it the White Plan, and it's like 990yen/month for nothing but unlimited M2M.
What a disgrace. It's called a "White Plan" but is only used by yellow chinks.

Easy way to save a ton of money on a mobile phone (2)

Optic7 (688717) | more than 6 years ago | (#20906077)

Use a third party reseller. They will have many more phones for free than the mobile provider will, and on some models they will even pay you to take them. I used letstalk.com and and got two motorola phones from T-mobile and they actually paid me $200! $100 came from letstalk, and the other $100 was the mail-in rebate from t-mobile itself. The price of the plans is the same, so there was no downside in my experience. I was actually even past the deadline on sending in some of the rebates and they still paid me. I know there are other companies that basically do the same thing as letstalk.com but they're the ones I used and can recommend. They also resell for all the major US carriers (verizon, sprint, cingular/AT&T, t-mobile). Good luck.

Re:And (1)

spud603 (832173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905717)

It seems more likely that this this will go the way of cable television: there are copious ads and you pay through the nose for features you don't want.

Re:But the cell companies like control (2, Interesting)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905073)

Hopefully DO NO evil will translate into UNDO evil.

If Google charges reasonable or no fees to the carriers, but then allows the carriers to still make a living with reasonable caps, then the carriers should shut the hell up, since it appears Google won't be charging them a fee, unlike mshaft. Afterall, they, like the smaller of us, have an OPPORTUNITY, not a RIGHT to do business. They need to update their aging business models.

Meanwhile, Chinese on the mainland (and possibly in Japan, Korea, and a few other places, customers replace their cell phones every 3 or 4 months to the tune of $300 to $400 a pop so as to not look behind the times.) Here, I pick a phone that is not FUGLY, one that I can live with for 2 or even 4 years and not get screwed upgrading a phone which I didn't like in the first place. (I recognized that not ALL upgraders get screwed, or pay a ton to upgrade the phone-- well unless they do it too soon or are trying to upgrade to too expensive a handset.)

Re:But the cell companies like control (2, Insightful)

cuby (832037) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905155)

In Europe the majority of phones can be found unlocked, but they are also more expensive that way. Operators don't seem to care if a phone is unlocked and used in another operator. I don't remember to hear someone complaining about bricked phones... In the end is all about the price of the services they provide, not the devices.

The companies have the power given by the market regulator.
I think all consumers should complain more about the market regulator and less about the companies. They always try to maximise their profit. Its their obligation.

Um, okay (5, Informative)

jtroutman (121577) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904827)

FTFA: Industry analysts say that Google, which has little experience with complex hardware, faces significant challenges. I'd have to disagree [wikipedia.org] . Now, I'm not saying that the two technologies have any overlap, but that the statement that Google "has little experience with complex hardware" seems a little disingenuous.

Re:Um, okay (2, Insightful)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905365)

There's a big difference between putting a bunch of beige boxes into a rack and designing a piece of hardware. Google has experience with using hardware that was designed and built by other folks, but they don't do hardware.

TROLL? WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905851)

I'm not the parent poster who got marked as a troll, but seriously, what did they say that deserved that?

There's a lot of truth the what the parent poster said, but even if you disagree, maybe you should make an argument stating otherwise and explain yourself.

Re:Um, okay (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905917)

There's a huge difference between designing a network topology (even with the impressive performance and scalability that Google has achieved) and designing the actual devices used. One of the most impressive parts of what Google has done is that they've managed to put together quite possibly the most scalable network topology ever using predominantly commodity hardware.

That said, from the description of this project, it sounds like they don't intend to design and build their own phone. It sounds like they simply want to work with existing phone manufacturers and only plan on writing the software that will run on the phones produced by those manufacturers. That should be well within their core competency.

ads (3, Interesting)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904829)

Ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, and ads.

And then some ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, ads, and aslo ads and ads.

I think there is enough ads already, I'm starting to hate Google.

look an ad in my sig!

heurg!

Re:ads (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20904939)

I don't like Google's vision of a world paid for by Ads either. Because we'll end up paying for services one way or another, through the marketing budgets of the products we buy if not directly. The other consequence of this is that we never feel ownership of anything because we don't pay for it and we get a 'well you can have a refund, what do you want for nothing' if we complain about the quality of a service. Ads are damned intrusive (by their design), annoying and ugly!

Re:ads (1)

caswelmo (739497) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905167)

While I'd agree that dealing with ads is annoying, I think there may be another way to look at it. Companies will always seek a way to reach their customers. This can take many different forms, but they all fall under the guise of "advertisement". And make no mistake, they will make every effort to reach you. If it's not on your TV, it will be via email. If not via email, it will be on your phone. If it's not on your phone, it will be... You get the point.

So, it would seem that short of living in the woods we'll have to deal with ads in one form or another. Granted, some are less intrusive than others, but they will always be around and will always be looking for new ways to "intrude" into our consciousness. We might as well get something free for dealing with them. Right?...

Re:ads (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905667)

Sure, companies can TRY to reach me various ways, but the more they invade, the more turned off I am, and the more I resort to technological means to block these ads - Tivo, Adblock, Spamassassin, etc. I would not use an ad supported phone. Phones are slow enough now even in 3G areas, and screen real-estate is too precious to deal with ads without seriously degrading usability.

I'm sure some pre-teens will fall for free ad-supported phones, but nobody with any money at all is going to put up with it.

Re:ads (the critical measure of success) (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905429)

Remember the days of free-to-air television? All those I Love Lucy productions -- it's all been paid for by ads since the mid 1950's. Nobody minded when they were only a few minutes per hour.

The critical metric, the fulcrum, the absolute measure of success or failure of ad-supported media, in any form, is the ratio of ads:content. If ads outweigh content in terms of user attention, you'll lose.

I could argue that ads are more effective when they're in the background, and don't capture your attention directly, as they're less likely to trigger your conscious censors.

Re:ads (3, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905547)

You're right. Ads suck. I'll agree with that.

However, AT&T and Verizon's wireless arm sit somewhere among the RIAA, MPAA, and the guy who designed the packaging on jewel cases in terms of the amount of respect/patience I have for them.

If we can get a carrier that doesn't treat its customers like dirt, I think the ads are a decent tradeoff. Even better, if the carriers are indeed disaggregated, we'll wind up with a system like Europe, where the cost of the handset is often *completely* separated from the plan. The Mobile networks provide the airspace and the bandwidth -- that's it. Pricing schemes tend to be mostly straightforward.

I pay 10p ($0.20 USD) GBP per minute outgoing, and 5p ($0.10 USD) per SMS outgoing on my UK mobile. No monthly fees or bizarre restrictions like you see on US prepay carriers. If you're a heavy user, a prepay scheme might cost you a bit more money, but for someone like myself who rarely gabs on for more than a minute or two, it's much cheaper than what I used to pay in the US. (OT: This is more or less the *only* instance under which something is cheaper in the UK than the US. This graph [yahoo.com] should scare the pants off of you if you're an American.)

I didn't mind paying for my handset [wikipedia.org] either. I needed a basic but durable handset, and the fine forces of capitalism indeed produced such a device at a reasonable cost. I'm pretty sure that all Verizon users can testify that their entire line of devices is absolute garbage.

So... bring it on. I welcome some 'real' competition in the industry.

Chris Benoit was Framed! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20904831)

Eddie Guerrero faked his death in 2005 and hid in Guatemala training himself with commandos. Upon crossing the border and hiking to Georgia he discovered his former lover involved in a heterosexual relationship.
In a fit of rage, Eddie strangled Mrs. Benoit with a phone cord and Chris's son with his bare hands. Upon arriving home Chris found the scene and screamed in horror. Eddie leapt from the shadows, tore off Benoit's tights and shoved his engorged mexipenis into Chris's canadasshole.
Wanting to experiment with sexual asphyxiation, Benoit rigged up his weight set and said, "You get into one little fight then yo' momma will get scared and she'll say you're movin' in with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air!"
Desu

The users will pay (1)

AlbertEin (924430) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904841)

So, the users are the ones who are going to pay for it, every Ad showed to the user will be paid by them (Your phone will need to download them).

I've never thought of paying to see Ads.

Re:The users will pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20904949)

But does it run AdBlockPlus?

Re:The users will pay (1)

AlbertEin (924430) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905515)

What about linux?

Sounds Good! (1)

HartDev (1155203) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904861)

Although I hate, loathe and despise ads and marketing, it is not like it is gonna go away, so if I get free phone service that would be fantastic! I also just want openmoko to dominate the cell phone software market, this will push things towards less control from carriers and more control to the software and hardware underbelly of the whole cell phone market. Good job Google, OpenMoko, and the iPhone hackers that makes things much better for everyone!

It's cool that Google won't be charging for it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904865)

Because I'm sure the manufacturers will pass the savings on directly to you and me.

Re:It's cool that Google won't be charging for it (1)

Cuppa 'Joe' Black (1000483) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905183)

Ha. Mod parent funny.

Re:It's cool that Google won't be charging for it (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905323)

Oh please!

I remember when DVD players launched at $600 and then hovered around $400. Today, you can get a Coby brand DVD player for $29.99 MSRP. Cheaper yet, I could purchase a DVD player for just under 5 US dollars while in Shanghai.

Besides, why shouldn't the early adopter manufactures not make a profit? I know I'd milk this market for as long as I could...until the Chinese come in and undercutted me.

Re:It's cool that Google won't be charging for it (1)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905475)

That's fine. And if the phone is free (without a lengthy service contract), then cool. But ads are not forced upon you with your $5 DVD player. It is cheap because the technology is less expensive these days not because it is being subsidized. Though, you could argue that sweatshops are a type of subsidy.

Either way, I can guarantee you that you will never walk into a cell phone store and receive any type of discount due to Google's magnanimity.

Re:It's cool that Google won't be charging for it (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905853)

Google is not expected to charge phone makers a licensing fee for their software. Google will make its money brokering ads on the mobile phones

&

Because I'm sure the manufacturers will pass the savings on directly to you and me.

Even if they would, I'd rather pay the $10, or $20 more than watch ads. On a tiny mobile screen, you lose from ads in 4 ways:

1. Extra time required to download the ad (we're not all on the latest 3G).
2. Extra fees for the extra bandwidth from the ads (unlimited data plans are rare outside US, and the cost per MB is insane).
3. Limited screen space because there's actually some ad sitting there, I lose productivity since I have less screen space.
4. Ads distract me from doing my work.

All in all, Google, I know all you have is hammer, but we're not all nails.

I'll pass on the gPhone.

Just curious (4, Interesting)

jtroutman (121577) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904871)

What is the possibility that Google gets the 700MHz spectrum and then uses it for their own phone service? I have no idea if that's even feasible, but if so, it would bypass any problem they may have with the current carriers not using their software because they see them as competition for advertising dollars.

Re:Just curious (4, Insightful)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905951)

They'll need more than the rights to the spectrum. They'll need to set up antennas everywhere, which includes both the broadcast equipment, tower, as well as renting/buying the space occupied by the towers. If memory serves, an unobstructed GSM tower covers about a 2-mi radius (say, 12.5 sq mi), so covering the most populous tenth of the (nearly 3 million sq mi total) lower 48 states would involve 24,000 towers. CDMA can be configured to cover a wider area, but this should give you an idea of the scope of the project.

I hate carriers at least as much as anybody else, but after Google makes that kind of investment they may find it hard not to be Evil with their pricing.

It'll be alright (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20904875)

As soon as someone developes AdBlock for the gPhone

obligatory (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904889)

The New York Times has a look at Google's plan to loosen the carriers' control over their mobile phone networks

ph0wned!

Single Page (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904899)

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/08/business/media/08googlephone.html?pagewanted=all [nytimes.com]

My basic issue is this: How much cheaper is an ad-subsidized gPhone going to be in comparison to some relatively nice pre-paid phone?

But if Google-powered phones prove to be a hit with consumers, other carriers may feel pressure to follow suit, said Richard Doherty, director for the Envisioneering Group, a consulting firm.
Why? You could replace "Google-powered" with just about anything and the statement would hold true.

Other than a low(er) price... a Google Phone isn't magically going to bring the internet to the masses. Are Google ads going to subsidize a 3G network? Even the iPhone isn't anything special unless you're within range of a wifi network and/or are paying AT&T $2,000 for their service plan over the next two years.

As far as I noticed, TFA never comes out and says what a gPhone is going to bring to the market that will win over consumers. Brand name? Features? Function?

Re:Single Page (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905279)

As far as I noticed, TFA never comes out and says what a gPhone is going to bring to the market that will win over consumers. Brand name? Features? Function?

I don't know about TFA, because like most people around here I didn't bother to read it, but I do have a bit of a background in the wireless industry. And ANYTHING that ANYBODY can do to loosen the tight grip that the carriers have on our collective balls is a good thing.

Right now the carriers control what types of phones you can use on their networks. They want to lock out anything that might compete with their own content offerings. It's bad enough that Microsoft can make all their own services (MSN Search and IE come to mind) the default in Windows. Now imagine if they made it outright impossible to install other software or content that didn't come from them. Because that's what the cellular carriers do!

There is no reason that there shouldn't be a wireless version of carterfone. This document [ssrn.com] provides an interesting read into the current state of affairs. Consumers on Verizon and Sprint are screwed. AT&T and T-Mobile customers fare a little better, since they always have the option of buying unbranded/unlocked GSM phones. But even at that the carriers are attempting to impose artificial limitations -- like T-Mobile's claim (false, but they still sell this to the unwashed masses) that MyFaves won't work on a non-MyFaves phone.

All the power to Google if they can open up this market just a little bit. I won't ever be owning an ad-sponsored phone. But maybe they will bring something similar to carterfone to the market. They certainly have nothing to fear from the carriers, unlike the equipment makers (Mororola, Nokia, etc) that are afraid to speak up for fear of losing that carriers business.

Re:Single Page (1)

cuby (832037) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905281)

"How much cheaper is an ad-subsidized gPhone going to be in comparison to some relatively nice pre-paid phone?"

The real money in telecommunications is in paid services (cals, data, sms...).
If the ads are not intrusive (like an sms bombardment), they may increase the revenue (hence a cheaper device), but I think they are a complement for the main business plane... Google is already to much exposed to the advertising market. I think they want to diversify their revenue.

Will not compete? (3, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904915)

> The Google Phone ... will not compete with the iPhone

I don't really think they expect me to carry a gPhone in one pocket and an iPhone in another.

Re:Will not compete? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905157)

hey, baby - you wanna see my hPhone?

Re:Will not compete? (2, Funny)

andrewcharles420 (1169635) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905205)

> The Google Phone ... will not compete with the iPhone

I don't really think they expect me to carry a gPhone in one pocket and an iPhone in another.


I'm sure they'll keep this in mind when designing the new combination giPhone... now where should one put that? ;)

Re:Will not compete? (2, Funny)

Belacgod (1103921) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905391)

I'm sure they'll keep this in mind when designing the new combination giPhone... now where should one put that? ;)

Iraq?

Re:Will not compete? (1)

garbletext (669861) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905691)

"It was a million to one shot, Doc. Million to one."

Re:Will not compete? (1)

dmadzak (997352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905807)

You are right to the extent that they are both phones, but Google doesn't plan to compete in the multimedia phone market. I don't see them stressing the fact that it can play audio or video unless I am missing something. It may have those features, but it isn't a selling point from what I can tell.

At the end of the day they are competitors in some respect and probably will pitted against each other shortly, but it doesn't sound like Google will be marketing, "please turn in your iPhone because the gPhone is better".

Not Competition? (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904929)

How do they figure that?

its a phone, it has applications, it has internet access.. Of course its competition..

Re:Not Competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905379)


its a phone, it has applications, it has internet access.. Of course its competition..


One word: market segmentation.

The "more money than brains" set get iPhones. The skinflints, tightwads, misers and niggards (look it up you idiot) get gPhones.

Google's Experience (2, Interesting)

jeremiahbell (522050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904957)

From Article - "Running a Web site and a search engine is one thing," said Mr. Weide of IDC. "But developing a phone is a whole different game. It will not be easy for them."

They claim that Google will have hard time because it doesn't have the experience dealing with complex hardware. Sure, maintaining what is probably the world's largest search engine isn't complex. And as far as the handset hardware goes they won't be the first to port the kernel to a mobile platform, and someone else may have already done the work for them. Communication is Google's business, and they have spent a ton of R&D time and money to prepare and launch their product. I bet they are further along than IDC thinks.

Re:Google's Experience (replying to myself) (1)

jeremiahbell (522050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904991)

I was being sarcastic when I said maintaining the world's largest search engine isn't complex.

Re:Google's Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905107)

Building and maintaining a server farm isn't child's play, but hardware in customers' hands is an entirely different beast. You can't just use cheap components, decommission faulty hardware and replace in bulk like Google does with bad servers. Besides, if you've ever dealt with Google "customer service", you know that it practically doesn't exist. Google only has public relations and automated procedures. A company which believes that strongly in automation is probably not a good candidate to develop end user hardware with, because that requires a deep understanding of requirements that arise from making something that can not be updated in the field.

Re:Google's Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905901)

I'm fairly certain that google has funds and could hire the best engineers/etc. or steal them from competitors to do whatever they want to do...:-)

Not just ads. Ads tailored to your conversation (5, Funny)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20904983)

"Hey, let's have dinner tonight"

(Robotic Google voice) "May we suggest ... Chez Panisse ... which is 2.4 miles from your present location, Bill, and 1.3 miles from your present location, Karen. Reservations are available at 7:30 and 7:45 PM. A reservation has been made for you at 7:30. Bill, please turn right on Western. Karen, go 1 mile straight ahead to Central, then turn left on Western. Chez Panisse is at 1540 Western. Have a nice dinner, and thank you for choosing Google for your phone service."

Re:Not just ads. Ads tailored to your conversation (2, Informative)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905109)

And then someone hacks, umm, cracks the database and steers them both to Chez Poosay, right in the middle of a police raid on massage parlors...

Re:Not just ads. Ads tailored to your conversation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20906119)

Nah, that was on the other side of campus. Got shut down when the wife of a Port of Oakland guy caught on. Damn.

Re:Not just ads. Ads tailored to your conversation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905135)

And we know how well voice recognition software works, just wait till some bible belt folks mention cornpone.

When are these advertising idiots going to realize that there was a reason the do not call list was set up? They would have to pay me and pay me a lot to take one of these phones and then it would be locked away somewhere with the ringer off.

Re:Not just ads. Ads tailored to your conversation (1, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905141)

"I worked like a slave today ..."

gPhone ad: "Are you looking for slaves? Say 'yes' to search for slaves in your area."

"I hate this gPhone!"

gPhone: "Thank you for your user input. We have subscribed you to 5000 email lists for gay pr0n, and sent out invites in your name to everyone in your phone book, as well as everyone in THEIR phone books. Have a nice day."

Re:Not just ads. Ads tailored to your conversation (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905151)

"Hey, let's have dinner tonight"

(Robotic Google voice) "May we suggest ... Chez Panisse ... which is 2.4 miles from your present location, Bill, and 1.3 miles from your present location, Karen. Reservations are available at 7:30 and 7:45 PM. A reservation has been made for you at 7:30. Bill, please turn right on Western. Karen, go 1 mile straight ahead to Central, then turn left on Western. Chez Panisse is at 1540 Western. Have a nice dinner, and thank you for choosing Google for your phone service."

Okay, it's funny, and it's a little scary. But consider that, in a gift economy, this kind of interaction might actually prove beneficial. Imagine, for example, if Chez Panisse actually turned out to be the right place for a date? Bruce Sterling wrote a charming story about this, titled Maneki Neko [amazon.com] . While the spectre of Big Brother and Total Information Awareness looms large over any information-based society, we sometimes lose sight of the fact that this power can be used for good as well.

They key to this is to understand one of the second-level effects of the adage 'Information is Power'. As long as nobody gets a stranglehold on the information, it can be used to mitigate and even subvert the efforts of governments and corporate entities to control the message, to tell us how we feel. To the extent that Google is willing to do help with this, I support them.

Re:Not just ads. Ads tailored to your conversation (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905339)


"Hey, let's have dinner tonight"

(Robotic Google voice) "May we suggest ... Chez Panisse ...


Reservations at Chez Panisse without waiting 6 months? Unheard of.

Re:Not just ads. Ads tailored to your conversation (1)

benedict (9959) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905689)

Wrong. They start taking reservations for date X at date X - 1 month.

Oh, and to the first poster: it's on Shattuck Ave.

Re:Not just ads. Ads tailored to your conversation (1)

JustinRLynn (831164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905833)

"Through the patented gMagic process, we turn forward time for you. Never wait for anything, including your massively detailed search results, again!"

Re:Not just ads. Ads tailored to your conversation (2, Funny)

lelitsch (31136) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905907)

If the GPhone can get a same day reservation for Chez Panisse [chezpanisse.com] , I am so buying it.

I don't see this happening in the US (5, Insightful)

doit3d (936293) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905065)

I really do not think their apps will be integrated into phones sold in the US for the major carriers. The manufacturers will have it in the original OS install of the phone probably, but let us not forget that when US carriers purchase the phones to sell for their network, they tend to heavily modify the phones OS. Generally all useful features installed on a phone that are free to use are disabled, or erased (Motorola phones, and Verizon policies come to mind). The US carriers want you to pay them more money, when it comes to having something useful (fully functional Bluetooth, easy transfer of files, ect). They like playing the "nickel and dime you to death" game. This is why phone modding is so popular. People want the functionality back in the phones, that the carriers removed.

In European markets, as well as others outside of North America, however, might see a great benefit here.

Re:I don't see this happening in the US (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905897)

In European markets, as well as others outside of North America, however, might see a great benefit here.

As a European, I gotta tell you we don't have some special love for ads on our phones either. I've changed two service providers since the previous ones would demand sending me SMS for various promotions and lotteries I couldn't care less about.

Google is milking the ads idea horribly and starting to piss off people.

They better come up with a new trick if they want to expand outside the desktop search business.

Let me be the first to say... (3, Funny)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905105)

"Google's agenda is to disaggregate carriers," said Dan Olschwang, the chief executive of JumpTap, a start-up that provides search and advertising services to several mobile phone operators.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Why Would Google Tip its Hand? (3, Interesting)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905125)

It occurs to me that it is not in the best interest of Google to tip its hand prematurely on this announcement, before the spectrum auction of 700 MHz, in which Google is a bidder, is complete. If this is true then Verizon, Sprint/Nextel, and AT&T will know that Google represents a serious competitive threat and must therefore be outbid in the spectrum auction at any price so that Google can be denied the spectrum that it needs to roll out the competing services. It should be abundantly clear to everyone that the type of services that Google wants to offer in the mobile space are anathema to the entrenched providers who are used to the revenue stream from nickle and dimming practices that are enabled by absolute control of their networks. The existing carriers will certainly not offer the Google mobile OS on terms that Google would accept (Google wants freedom whereas the telcos want lock-in). This upcoming spectrum auction may prove to be very interesting indeed.

Re:Why Would Google Tip its Hand? (4, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905277)

You're assuming google actually wants to acquire the spectrum, rather than make the carriers do a repeat of the dark fibre build-out.

  1. get competing cell-phone carriers to overbid on spectrum
  2. now that carrier has spectrum, they build out the infrastructure at great expense
  3. oops - not enough revenue coming in - google buys out their infrastructure and license for cents on the dollar

Re:Why Would Google Tip its Hand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20905401)

which would serve those fuckers right. I hope it is a scam on Google's part.

John

Someday... (3, Funny)

ChangeOnInstall (589099) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905153)

Someday, when Google takes over the world, everything will be ad-supported, and everything will be free. My cell phone will be free and display ads to get a free ad-supported car. The car, in turn, will be painted with an ad for a free ad-supported house. The house will be totally free as well, but be plastered in advertising for free ad-supported cell phones.

Disaggregate, a euphemism for... (-1, Offtopic)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905293)

"I'm going to fawk you up!!!" hehe gogo Sergei(sp)

in the year 2050... (2, Insightful)

Seismologist (617169) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905389)

I will be driving in my Gmobile supported entirely by add revenue and the occasional mandatory detours to "suggested vendors" while en route to my destination, using of course, Gmaps. But on the way there, I need to fuel my Gmobile with some environmentally friendly and sustainable/renewable Gfuel, which is supported solely from advertising revenues which I'm forced to watch at the pump station. But before I leave the pump station, I plan to make a visit with my Gdoctor of course which the appointment has already been setup for me through Google calendar as Google knows my schedule by now anyway. I didn't need to confirm this, nor even ask for the appoint thanks to Gpsychic. The Gdoctor knows all my medical needs thanks to Grecords, all of which is sponsored by tailored advertising supported by the drug manufacturing consortium. I'm even planning on selling my Ghouse next week, to by a bigger house, for which G mortgage will help me out on the loan....

or the apple version (1)

lukesky321 (1092369) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905499)

I will be driving in my Imobile supported entirely by add revenue and the occasional mandatory detours to "suggested vendors" while en route to my destination, using of course, Imaps. But on the way there, I need to fuel my Imobile with some environmentally friendly and sustainable/renewable Ifuel, which is supported solely from advertising revenues which I'm forced to watch at the pump station. But before I leave the pump station, I plan to make a visit with my Idoctor of course which the appointment has already been setup for me through apple calendar as apple knows my schedule by now anyway. I didn't need to confirm this, nor even ask for the appoint thanks to Ipsychic. The Idoctor knows all my medical needs thanks to Irecords, all of which is sponsored by tailored advertising supported by the drug manufacturing consortium. I'm even planning on selling my Ihouse next week, to buy a bigger house, for which Imortgage will help me out on the loan....

Re:or the apple version (1)

AlbertEin (924430) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905585)

I thought you will be driving your Imobile supported in part by road excusivity contracts, so you could only transit on supported roads (with expensive tolls), you would hack it to be able to go drive on another roads but it would be bricked the next time you fill the tank on the iGas station.

Finally a competitor in a non-competative market (3, Insightful)

Klowner (145731) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905397)

Considering I pay over $55/mo for my blackberry with an unlimited data connection, and I can't even tether to my laptop (use as a modem) via bluetooth or USB (at least in Linux), anything that allows more connectivity and openness is sure to be a hit with more technical users. I couldn't give half a hoot about being able to buy annoying ringtones, it's the connectivity that I want.

So, hurry up google, I need you.

Re:Finally a competitor in a non-competative marke (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905639)

Hardly fair -- it costs me ~$105 a month for unlimited data/talk...

Re:Finally a competitor in a non-competative marke (1)

garbletext (669861) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905819)

That's what I'm saying. Assuming they're not incredibly intrusive, I'll sit through some ads for free stuff. Don't expect me to ever act on them, though. Google is pretty good at making advertising palatable, and chances are, we'll be able to use our devices more fully if google has its way. Anything has to be better than the current mobile landscape. The US wireless industry is in the dark ages, it needs something to give it a good kick.

Re:Finally a competitor in a non-competative marke (1)

Monx (742514) | more than 6 years ago | (#20906129)

Get a used Treo 650 that works with Sprint.

The plans are cheap. You can tether. You can install any Palm software you want -- and there's a lot of it. You can also write your own. It's a good phone that also takes photos and videos, plays videos, plays audio, displays pdfs, has imap and pop support out of the box, supports the gmail and google maps apps, has a full-sized sd slot, comes with editors and viewers for MS docs, and supports ssh (client, not server). It doesn't run Linux, but other than that, it's darn near perfect.

The Blackberry and the iPhone have nothing (important) on this 4-year-old Treo.

Forcing the Airwaves Open (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905451)

Google and others like it should force open the airwaves for mobile telecom. Telcos like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon have fled to their mobile divisions because it's still much more regulated against competition, though without the "common carrier" regulations that forced competition in landlines, and cable, and carried over into Internet. Even though radio phones are the least reliable, and often the most urgently needed, the redundancy that any phone connecting to any network available at the time/place is still out of reach. Except at outrageous roaming rates. Including the charges for text and other async messaging.

Google tried to force the 700MHz band open to any terminal device, unbundling the network from the dialtone. It didn't work. But there are other ways, and Google is persistent. Google bought lots of fiber and built lots of datacenters, so it can mount its own competitive telco. But Google's model calls for everyone to have unfettered access to all content and people on all the networks, so Google can help everyone navigate everyone else's content (and each other). They'll get there. And the incumbent telcos (and cablecos which keep their own bundled monopolies, though they just got the cableboxes unbundled from them this year) can't compete with Google. It's too rich, too popular, too smart. Unfolding history is on Google's side. I just wish it would all happen a lot faster.

ads everywhere (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905945)

I don't like this trend to putting advertising everywhere.... we have more then enough advertising in society. no more is needed or wanted.

Re:ads everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20906161)

LEELA: Didn't you have ads in the twentieth century?
FRY: Well, sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio... and in magazines... and movies, and at ballgames, and on buses, and milk cartons, and T-shirts, and bananas, and written in the sky. But not in dreams, no sirree.

Enough with the @#$@#$ ads! (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20905967)

Seriously. What's next? A toilet that looks at my poop and tries to recommend the right kind of diet, brought to you by Google?

People that think services are "free" if advertisers pay for them are pretty silly. In the end, we still pay for them.

Mobile lessons for this Dummy... (1)

gbalaji (1044174) | more than 6 years ago | (#20906051)

Should not we be having the option to choose the Handset, carrier and the software (display, browser, yadda, yadda) already on our phones?!! Have the mobile players succeeded where Mac failed in the PC-market. (yeah ok, Apple has not failed but trying...)
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