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Google’s Android announcement was not the branded mobile phone we were anticipating, but a development platform for mobile manufacturers and carriers to deliver more applications to the smart phone market. The company has always been about tearing up the rule book when it enters a market, and the ad-subsidized model for delivering smart phone apps is another example of what one analyst called a “game-changer.”

Gotta confess it was a zig when I was anticipating a zag, and it leaves me with many questions. If anyone cares to set me straight on them, hey, I’d be grateful. In no particular order:

  • This is a consumer play for the most part. Are consumers actually using the “smart” in smart phone? Anecdotally, aside from the RIM-addled e-mail addicts, I’d say not many people are looking to the phone for Internet-based applications at this point, the experience being as excruciating as it often is.
  • How far does this ad subsidy model go? If every phone call is brought to me by Axe deodorant body spray, then every single call, every single feature, all my long distance, had better be free (and I mean free as in free beer, not as in free speech).
  • And, as ever: What is Google doing with all that dark fibre? There’s long been speculation that the cable Google picked up for pennies on the dollar after the dot-bomb will be used to create an “alternate Internet” (in conjunction with the huge block of IPv6 addresses it’s registered). Mayhap it’s for an alternate telco model … is it a huge stretch to an ad-supported, IP-based wireless network in most of the major cities in the U.S.?
  • What compelling applications do you foresee on the new platform that will make you run screaming to a dealer to pick up an Android?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Dave Webb
Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a freelance editor and writer. A veteran journalist of more than 20 years' experience (15 of them in technology), he has held senior editorial positions with a number of technology publications. He was honoured with an Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Business Journalism in 2000, and several Canadian Online Publishing Awards as part of the ComputerWorld Canada team.

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