It’s Official: Google Heads Open Source Initiative for Phones
As anticipated, Google has announced their mobile phone strategy. As if Google needed another reason to boost its stock price, today the company announced how they are releasing phones with Google software as soon as the second part of next year. They are partnering with 34 companies to build an open platform to develop software for cell phones.
Google is moving towards open source development by announcing OpenSocial last week and now and a similar model to encourage innovation in the mobile phone industry. Rather than making their own phone – the rumored gPhone – they are forming partnerships. The platform is Android after a company that Google acquired a few years ago – and here’s a YouTube video from its creators.
Google, which has no immediate plans to make phones of its own, said it was working with more than 30 companies in the Open Handset Alliance. Partners include Motorola, Samsung, High Tech Computer Corp (in Taiwan), Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Marvell Technology Group. While this news certainly raised Google stock prices (which has passed $730 a share today), it didn’t yet help Marvell – which I happen to own (and it hasn’t done well but perhaps this will be a needed boost).
The mobile phone market like the health care market presents challenges. There is a range of handset designs and different software standards that have stifled innovation. The idea is you’ll be able to use the internet on your phone like you already do from your PC. And many developers can contribute because the system is based on open-source code that runs on Linux.