Google Android: Mobile Platform, No Gphone (Yet)

Google today unveiled a new mobile operating system, user interface, and applications platform dubbed Android. It's being developed by Google and about 30 members of the "Open Handset Alliance," a group comprised of mobile technology providers, carriers, and other mobile industry players.

Some of the participants include Google, Broadcom, eBay, Intel, LG, Motorola, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sprint, Telefonica and T-Mobile. The biggest missing partners are Verizon and Vodafone, which still may join in, and AT&T, which threw its hat into the ring with Apple's iPhone

Android, named after the company of the same name that Google acquired in 2005, is being spearheaded by that company's founder, Andy Rubin, who's now director of mobile products at Google.

"Through deep partnerships with carriers, device manufacturers, developers, and others, we hope to enable an open ecosystem for the mobile world by creating a standard, open mobile software platform. We think the result will ultimately be a better and faster pace for innovation that will give mobile customers unforeseen applications and capabilities," Rubin wrote at the Google Blog.

There's no mention at the outset of monetization, but ads served by Google into the mobile platform seems like the logical direction this will lead. That could potentially ruffle the feathers of some of the partners in the alliance, since they're all interested in serving their own ads on their own decks.

"Google's announcement may be misconstrued as a forum for interoperability to advance mobile applications and services, yet it is actually a part of Google's multilayered strategy to win over the wireless search and advertising industries and commoditize all key players," said Dan Olschwang, CEO of white label mobile search and advertising provider JumpTap. "By losing control of key services such as search and advertising, operators are at risk of losing everything – customer data, their brand, revenue and ultimately the customer."

ClickZ News has more details on Android and the Open Handset Alliance.

About the author

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.