Google kicked off the world's biggest mobile phone show by predicting that the latest industry plan to create an open application platform could be doomed to failure.
The warning came on a busy morning in Barcelona, where Intel and Nokia announced a new alliance and several manufacturers showed off their latest handsets.
Andy Rubin, Google’s vice president of engineering, said he was sceptical about the potential success of the mobile phone operators in creating their own application platform. Rubin, who is the man behind the search engine’s Android mobile phone software, also insisted that Google will continue to produce its own-branded mobile phones, despite what analysts have described as the muted success of its first device, the Nexus One.
Speaking to the Guardian at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, however, Rubin said he does not see a great future for the operators' Wholesale Applications Community (WAC). “There is always a dream that you could write [a program] once and [have it] run anywhere and history has proven that that dream has not been fully realised and I am sceptical that it ever will be,” he said.
“I just hope that the people who are managing that [WAC] really understand technology deep enough to fulfil that promise because it’s an awfully big promise. On the Android side what we have realised is that app stores are somewhat aligned with a platform,” such as Android or Apple's operating system or BlackBerry, he explained. The Guardian