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Google Phone Buzz

india Updated: Aug 09, 2007 17:53 IST
Highlight Story

The Google phone

We are an e-civilization and gizmos our new tools for communication, for pleasure and perhaps more. The lustre of Apple's iPhone has barely faded and there are now talks about a Google Phone, christened by some as Goophone and GPhone by others.

According to Andy Goldberg in Bangkok Post "If the speculation about Google's planned mobile phone is even half true, the GooPhone will have iPhone users dropping their expensive devices as quickly as hot bricks."

The pros

Andy does have a point if the fact is considered that Google does have a strong presence in handsets as far as browsing platforms are concerned. Google reportedly also have partnerships with Vodafone, Samsung and LG. Besides that mobility has been high on Google agenda for a long time.

Another noteworthy factor is Google's bread and butter is advertising. The next wave of advertising is likely to be on the mobile. Besides with the web and mobile merging Google could be seeing it as the next big thing for its advertising platform (read bread and butter for Google). Consider the following case. It's dinner time. Google Phone knows exactly where you are and at the appropriate time suggests you a restaurant down the road. For Google it means revenues. Revenue is the ammunition Google needs in its battle with Microsoft, someone it has attacked right in its heart. And the defender happens to be the biggest company in the world!

The cons

The telephony market is much more complex than the market Google is in currently. It hasn't really been a cake walk for even somebody of Steve Jobs stature whose hyped iPhone has been getting mixed reviews. The presence of the world's biggest companies further makes it complex. Another factor is that a project of this scale requires tons of money. Does Google have the money or the right partners?

Google's corporate communication

The good or bad part, depending on the side you are on, about Google corporate communication is that it neither denies nor confirms such rumours. In fact it would not be wrong to say Google thrives on it. Probably the adage "any publicity is good publicity" works for Google perfectly well. Noteworthy is Google not just thrives on such publicity it probably flames it further through its informal communication channel on its Google Blog. It happened with Gmail, it happened with YouTube and throughout the same pattern has been observed.

This time again Google as usual has neither confirmed nor denied the rumours. The Google spokesperson on being contacted said "Mobile is an important area for Google and we remain focused on creating applications and establishing and growing partnerships with industry leaders to develop innovative services for users worldwide. However, we have nothing further to announce."

The last word

Andy may have a point considering Google's intellectual think tank and the launch of some superb applications from Google labs in the recent years. On the other hand it is noteworthy that the mobile phone market has some of the biggest giants in the corporate world. The market has immensely matured feature wise over the last few years. Google Phone isn't going to find it easy for sure.

Puneet Mehrotra is a web strategist at www.cyberzest.com and edits www.thebusinessedition.com you can email him on puneet@cyberzest.com