Is there an Android in Skype’s Future

<chest thump>Last April I posted about my experience with using "Google Mobile" on various mobile device platforms, including Blackberry, Nokia N80/N95 and N800. At the time my "gut" was saying that Google would not want to get into the hardware business but rather build out from this mobile experience to provide some form of software play for hardware players. Today I see on the Official Google Blog a post by Andy Rubin that starts out:

Despite all of the very interesting speculation over the last few months, we’re not announcing a Gphone. However, we think what we are announcing — the Open Handset Alliance and Android — is more significant and ambitious than a single phone. In fact, through the joint efforts of the members of the Open Handset Alliance, we hope Android will be the foundation for many new phones and will create an entirely new mobile experience for users, with new applications and new capabilities we can’t imagine today.

</chest thump>

Dan York says "It’s about the platform":

"It’s about an open platform, stupid!" While I didn’t include Google when I first wrote my post about how voice is really all about application platforms, I did note in the comments that I had intended to do so… and today’s announcement really shows that they should be in anyone’s list of telephony application platforms.

Of course this brings up many questions:

"The companies will also explore interoperability between Skype and Google Talk via open standards to enable text chat and online presence."

  • Why, when you go to mobile.google.com on an iTouch do you simply get browser based application links instead of the dedicated Google clients found for the Blackberry. (And Google CEO Eric Schmidt is on Apple’s board.)?
  • Why are some of the Alliance members those players who are going through some business challenges these days: Motorola, Sprint, to name a couple?
  • Is there a Skypephone play within Android?
  • With the current Google relationships with other handset vendors, such as Research in Motion and Nokia, can we expect to see them join the Alliance? According to the New York Times article:

But for now at least, Google will not put its brand on a phone. The software running on the phones may not even display the Google logo. Instead, Google is giving the software away to others who will build the phones. The company invested heavily in the project to ensure that all of its services are available on mobile phones. Its ultimate goal is to cash in on the effort by selling advertisements to mobile phone users, just as it does on Internet-connected computers.

And Google sees the same multi-billion device market potential as Mobivox; as Dan says:

In the end, Google wants a platform upon which they can offer their many services. With this plan, they are hoping to turn a zillion mobile phones into a platform which Google – and many others – can use.

Ending with another Andy Rubin quote, this time in the same NYT article: “We are not building a GPhone; we are enabling 1,000 people to build a GPhone,”

….Now back to using those lovely Google clients on my Blackberry 8820 where the 88×0’s GPS is now linked into Google Maps……

Lots out there in the blogosphere:

Tags: Android, Google, GPhone, Skype, eBay, Dan York, Andy Rubin, New York Times, Blackberry, Nokia, Open Handset Alliance, iTouch, iPhone, Mobivox

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.
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