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Google Unveils Android Mobile Operating System

Date: 11/7/2007 3:12:26 PM

Internet giant, Google Inc., announced its first major foray into the wireless industry yesterday, unveiling an ambitious plan to partner with carriers, handset makers, and software developers, and create an opensource operating platform for mobile phones.

Android, as the forthcoming mobile OS has been dubbed, will bring cell phone functionality closer to that of computers, making it easier for users to surf the web on the go. It will be designed to overcome the challenges of viewing web pages on a small screen, and encourage the cell phone industry to liberalize what subscribers can do with their phones.

A large customer base for Android will undoubtedly boost Google’s share of the emerging mobile advertising business. Wireless search advertising already generates revenues of $30 million per year in the U.S. alone, and is expected to grow to $1.4 billion by 2012, according to the Kelsey Group, a market research firm.

Google’s Android system will threaten Yahoo’s early lead in the mobile search sector, as well as Microsoft’s growing share of the mobile software market.

“This is the most direct challenge that Google has offered Microsoft to date,” commented Roger Kay, a technology analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates. “Microsoft has to take a real deep breath and decide what it is going to do here.”

Google has already assembled a consortium of 34 companies, called the Open Handset Alliance, which will support and promote the Android system once it is launched. This consortium includes wireless chipmakers such as Intel, Qualcomm, and Broadcom handset makers like Motorola, Samsung, and LG and potential carrier partners including Sprint and TMobile in the United States and Telefonica and Telecom Italia in Europe.

Each of these companies has agreed to support the development of Google’s software platform, although not all have formally committed to using it. Nevertheless, Google’s significant clout in the global technology sector has given it a significant base of support and resources to work with in the months to come.

The first Androidbased mobile devices are expected to hit the market sometime in the second half of 2008.  Phone Card News Stats


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