Well, thats the rumour on the street... Getting Inside Google's gPhone
I will say off the bat, it is my belief they will NOT build their own phone. But they will build a software platform and partner marketing program that is going to force manufacturers to make a choice. You in or out ?
We think Google might start using the big media company tactic of using the leverage of distribution to gain distribution for their products and features and in this case phone software platform. We will explain in the second point below.
Firstly, Google is a software developer. The search tool we all know is a piece of software that you use just through a browser only. They also distribute their Google Calendar, Gmail and Google Docs programs like this. However, by doing this you cant control the total experience for the user due to the users using different computers, devices (iPhone, Blackberry, Mac, PC, etc)processing powers, internet speed and browser types (Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera etc).
The other option is to create parts of the application that are downloadable on to a person's machine/device. This way you can control a lot more elements - and if you can control more of the elements you make the experience much more desireable and addictive. i.e. you can make versions specific to that person's device, eliminate start up time because there is not total reliance on internet speeds and browers.
So you can deploy software in the 3 ways.
1. Fully via internet - via browser
2. Part download/Part Internet - download part of the application to your device and then it accesses the web for other parts.
3. Fully downloadable
So, Google is already creating 1, 2 and 3.
1. Full via Internet - Google Search, Google Taxi Finder
2. Google Desktop
,Gmail App for Mobile Devices
3. Google Desktop
The gPhone package looks like it will be a software platform that will be marketed to handset manufacturers like Nokia. So Google turn up in Finald and say, we love your phones. Now wouldnt it be cool if you had a clean, Google feel on them. So people could have Google Mail, Google Calendars, Google Address Book, Google SMS, Google Maps, YouTube, Google News Alerts, Google Docs and GTalk - All on the Nokia phone they purchase.
To my point earlier, Google would also sweeten this package by saying - and we'll help you market it through our massive distribution and marketing power!!!!
So it would be a combination of 2 and 3.
2. The applications would be pre-loaded on to the phone. They would draw upon the web to retrieve email, view calendar, docs, Google Maps locations and Google Notes items you uploaded on the web.
3. Standalone Google Apps. These apps would work on the phone without web access. i.e. They will need to create a Google Phone Desktop. The screen you see with all the menu items, an SMS mailbox with send and receive functionality.
Boy, its a big play... but I would love to do the campaign and the interface... Can you imagine how much the word "clean" would be used in the brief to build the interface and the campaign.
Oh.. and I also think Google is going to buy TiVo very soon. So there is a new 4th view of Google - Device, Downloadable, Web combo. Or will they make the software available for existing set top box owners ? Could but as if they would let Google near their precious interface. GAME ON!!!