Google Mobile Platform To Slash Smart Phone Costs

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The Google gPhone will not be delayed with HTC who yesterday rolled out their new Windows Mobile Diamond phone in Australia set to be one of the first Companies to deliver a version of the HTC Diamond running the Google mobile operating system.

Horace Luke, the chief innovation officer at HTC said yesterday that the Company will have a Google offering in the second half of the year running the Google Android software platform. HTC has also admitted that they have been testing an Adobe Flash offering for the mobile phone however Company insiders said that this is still not ready for commercial release. 


The new Google software which, based on the Linux operating system has been developed by Google as a competitor to Symbian and Microsoft’s Windows  Mobile.

HTC who are a member of the Open Handset Alliance, a 30-strong group of technology companies, handset makers and network operators believe that the Google offering will allow HTC  to deliver a faster phone for use on a 3G network. They also believe that a market will develop for third party applications that can be downloaded onto a base mobile software platform.

Luke said “A market is developing for third party applications and in the future mobile platforms will allow for the downloading of applications when needed as opposed to loading several applications that may not be used when the phone is sold”.

The advantage for Companies like HTC is that, because Android is developed using “open source” software – where the code is free to view, use and re-use – the potential for developing features is limitless, compared with traditional, proprietary platforms.

 

Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman and chief executive, said at the launch of the Alliance: “Today’s announcement is more ambitious than any single ‘Google Phone’. Our vision is that the powerful platform we’re unveiling will power thousands of different phone models.” The advantage for Google is that it can expand its internet presence into the mobile world. While the group’s search, mail and mapping services are all available using any internet-enabled smart phone, Android will be designed specifically with them in mind. If the devices prove popular, Google will benefit from a vast extension of its advertising reach into the growing mobile internet market – sales of smart phones grew nearly 30 per cent in the last year, according to figures from Gartner, an analyst.

The most immediate benefit to consumers is likely to be the price. Because Android is open source, it can, in theory at least, be sold much cheaper than its proprietary competitors. At the moment, smart phones cost up to $900. With Android, they could come down as low as $350 according to Carolina Milanesi, a research director at Gartner. “The great advantage of Linux is that it is cheaper than the other mobile operating systems, because you don’t have to pay a licence fee, so it could drive more mass-market adoption of smart phones because it could bring to market more mid-tier devices,” she said.

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