Today Google ended years of speculation and announced its plans to enter the wireless industry. Google, along with 33 partners, have created the Open Handset Alliance with the common goal of not only enabling handset makers and carriers to roll out technology faster, but also cheaper. There will be no gPhone, but instead Android, a linux-based mobile operating system that will allow for “thousands of gPhones.” Notable partners include Sprint and T-Mobile on the carrier side, semiconductor partners Qualcomm, Nvidia, Broadcom, Texas Instruments and Intel and software companies include Google, eBay and Packet Video (who powers Verizon’s VCast services.) The four handset manufacturers on board are HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung. Notable absences to the alliance are Verizon Wireless, AT&T and top handset manufacturer Nokia.
Android is “a
fully integrated mobile ‘software stack’ that consists of
an operating system, middleware, user-friendly interfaces and
applications.” It will have an emphasis on web browsing and
will be scalable, allowing for QWERY and traditional keypads, big and
small screens, etc. The SDK will be released to developers next
week, and the product is expected to hit the market in the second
half of 2008.