As assumed, Google announced yesterday that they have no interest in entering the mobile hardware game. There is no gPhone. Instead, the company took the wraps off of the Open Handset Alliance, a 30+ company coalition featuring software companies, handset makers, network operators, and web companies that claim to be committed to a genuinely open mobile phone platform.
That platform is Android, a linux-based operating system and software stack originally developed by a start-up of the same name that Google absorbed in 2005. Basically, if you license Android, you can power a cell phone. It’s everything except the phone itself.
It’s exactly what I hoped for. T-Mobile, Samsung, HTC, Motorola and others are on board, and this time next year, there could be dozens of Android phones on the market, each set up for total openness of software and all other features. It could be the iPhone without Steve Jobs trying to control everything about it. It could be high-end, low-end, mid-end, side-end.
On the other hand, this is a year off. We’ll see the SDK next Monday. Then it will move from vaporware to reality. Can’t wait.