Google’s big mobile splash: Handicapping the winners and losers by ZDNet's Larry Dignan --
Dignan provides his perspective on the impact of Google's move in the mobile space, giving us the winners, losers, and the companies left on the fence. This is a condensed version - check out Dignan's article for the full scoop:
- Google: The search giant has managed to line up a big chunk of the wireless industry, cordoned off some mobile advertising inventory and may have found away to commoditize the wireless operating system.
- Sprint: The wireless carrier is struggling and needs a plan. By aligning with Google–by most counts Sprint will be on the partner roster–Sprint may give itself a much needed spark. This effect may be magnified if Verizon Wireless isn’t on board with Google. AT&T isn’t expected to get cozy with Google yet.
- Developers: Google’s mobile software stack is giving developers some open field to play with.
- Open source: Google’s Android is expected to integrate parts of Linux. This is a mobile victory for the open source movement in what remains a proprietary wireless world. The leading mobile software players are all proprietary.
- Handset makers: Google’s mobile software stack sounds like it’ll come cheap–like free. This fact enables handset makers to push the envelope on the hardware side of the equation.
Yet to be determined:
- Apple: A few folks have taken Google’s leap to surmise that Apple will be hurt somehow. There may be some potential impact, but there’s a cure for this line of thinking. Repeat after me: Apple sells hardware.
- Microsoft: Windows Mobile is entrenched, has a big footprint in the corporate world and is a key partner to wireless carriers and developers.
- Consumers: Mobile phone users will apparently get better software out of this Google move. But if the trade off is more ads on your phone it may be a wash for some.
- Palm: Man it gets tiring kicking Palm, but it’s clear this former high flier has major problems. Wasn’t Palm trying to cook up its own Linux based operating system? Yup. It’s late to the party and looks like Google will get any momentum that may come its way. The Palm OS is rapidly becoming a footnote to the history of the wireless market.
- Wireless carriers’ current business model: Wireless carriers have a model that is extremely controlling. In the grand scheme of things, Google is nibbling away at the standard wireless business model.