digg_url='http://digg.com/';

There has been a lot of speculation lately about Google building their own mobile device, also covered by Babar on his blog.

These rumors were also confirmed and downplayed by Google Execs.

Today I want to analyze this rumor from many angles, including business incentives, brand, executive hints and so on.

Before that though, frankly, these rumors have puzzled me – cellphone are massive investments with ver low margins and short product lifecycles. Given Google’s philosophy of being super-cost-effective and scalable in their technology investments, on first look it made little sense that Google would venture into this area.

But then, a lot of large ventures undertaken by Google …

" />

Why would Google build a mobile device?!

May 7, 2007 8:33 pm 0 comments

Share this Article

Author:

There has been a lot of speculation lately about Google building their own mobile device, also covered by Babar on his blog.

These rumors were also confirmed and downplayed by Google Execs.

Today I want to analyze this rumor from many angles, including business incentives, brand, executive hints and so on.

Before that though, frankly, these rumors have puzzled me – cellphone are massive investments with ver low margins and short product lifecycles. Given Google’s philosophy of being super-cost-effective and scalable in their technology investments, on first look it made little sense that Google would venture into this area.

But then, a lot of large ventures undertaken by Google have made little business sense uptil this point – MetroFI access, YouTube, and others.

I think the Google phone could be key to linking and making sense of all of these investments.

Let’s dive into the analysis after the link:

The Purpose of the device
This one is simple — the purpose of investing in this device would be to augment and strengthen Google’s core business – advertisements.

In other words, the device has to be a channel to make you see more Adwords, or Video ads, or CPM ads, etc with incentives to make you click through and explore the products.

Basic Features
Given the above, some of the features that could be a given are

1- conversation-style SMS / voicemail management. The conversation style gives the spider more text, and thus can give you more accurate “suggestions” for restaurants or products below the conversation.

2- Redesigned calendar and phonebook — maybe product suggestions on birthdays etc.

3- Browser and Google Maps integrations — well these are obvious.

The Product Search angle
I think the Google phone will have a separate “Product Search” browser — this makes sense because a proprietary device gives Google complete control over the user experience. As such, a dedicated “adwords browser” which doesn’t just show words but also product shots, short descriptions, and comparitive price points makes sense.

This is inline with a recent renaming of the service, which nows the product search one more component of the larger Google engine (that would be enabled by the device).

The Voice Search Angle
A phone device — and complete control over it — gives Google the opportunity of perfecting the user experience.

From a business angle, it is perhaps the only best way for Google to compete with the Microsoft + Tellme stack.

Give people a button on the side of the phone and a GPS module in it. They are traveling through Texas and want to know where the nearest McDonalds is — they press a button, say “mcdonalds”, and the phone zaps into Google Maps with the nearest locations.

Press a location and you get detailed driving directions.

The Wifi Angle
Google last year implemented a metropolitan wifi network in Mountain View, CA. The initial guess was so that Google could become the front-page for all internet users in key silicon valley areas.

The other way to look at this is that perhaps Google had plans to (or still does) make the Google Phone a wifi-only device, thus disrupting the telecom market like people had expected Apple to.

If Google had had better success with metroFI implementation it may have chosen to rollout these networks enmasse.

Even without huge success there, having a MetroFi network certainly puts Google in a position to negotiate better deals with carriers.

The YouTube Angle

YouTube’s acquisition made sense not only to capture the market share of online video, but also for the potential of running ads on them, say in a way similar to Revver or AdBrite InVideo.

1- Youtube has the ideal demographic for advertisers
2- Most wouldn’t mind looking at pre-roll or post-roll ads
3- Pay-per-view advertising models can make a lot more money.

The incentive to keep YouTube run as a business is to ensure that fresh, spontaneous video content can be added to the site regularly. The problem is with the experience of actually putting videos up on YouTube — it is still taxing enough to keep out a portion of the potential active users.

But what if Google used a product on a cellphone, similar to PixSense, to automatically route all the videos to YouTube? That will change the dynamics of how people make youtube videos and interact with each other.

Pixsense, maybe you should prepare for an acquisition.

Brand
Google has one of the biggest brands in the world, and certainly the most cost-effective one.

The Google brand symbolizes ease of use, simplicity and very high performance. What happens when they are trying to create a mobile device — devices that have been notorious for being clunky, slow, and difficult to use?

The Dark Fibre Angle

The answer is perhaps in their acquisitions for the past two years on Dark Fibre. With a new mobile device in an individual persons hand (as opposed to a computer for a family), running instant voice searches or recording and sending video instantly to YouTube, you need very large pipes to provide the backbone between the carriers and Google’s application servers.

Other Speculation: The Executive Remarks

I thought I would throw this in — with a Google executive confirming the Google Phone as an “R&D” project, she mentions that the cellphone was designed to make its way to developing countries.

This isn’t half bad either — Google has accessed most of the world’s information, but developing countries remain notoriously closed to the big Google spider hungry for new information to index.

The trouble with information from developing countries seems to be infrastructures that support the penetration of the internet.

Disrupting those barriers can be a small PDA-type of computing device (Goophone) that can let people store their info and route that over the cellular infrastructure rather than the internet infrastructure.

Conclusions
Whether it is developing countries or a first-rate phone for the US market, a Google Phone in my view can be the one channel that binds and makes sense out of some of their large confusing investments.

Facebook comments:

No Comments

Leave a Reply


*

Recent Posts

  • Events General Mobile Apps Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    First we had Angry Imran which brought smiles and some short lived fun for us during the election campaign. Then came Gullu Butt following the incident of Model Town Lahore, which stayed on top of charts (Pakistan play store) for quite some while. Also Gullu Butt made an update with having the famous “Aam Khaiyga” quote form Aamir Liaqat in which a character resembling Aamir Liaqt throws mangoes and the Gullu Butt character tries to catch them. Gullu butt currently has more than 100,000 Installs

    And now during this extremely politically tense situation which had the whole nation on its toes on 14th August we have another app continuing the …

    Read more →
  • Announcements Featured Startup General Meritaleem.com aims to help student make better decision regarding their future.

    Meritaleem.com aims to help student make better decision regarding their future.

    MeriTaleem.com aims to solve an age old problem for our students, where to go next?

    If you have just completed your primary school which college to pick, if you have completed your college which university to pick. There has always been lack of information or rather consolidated information regarding these questions. The best source till now has always been relatives and friends (mostly of your parents). So some uncle did CA and made a good living you should talk to him and decide, or daughter of my sister completed her medical and is practicing follow that career.

    The fact that online presence of our existing universities are limited and not …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Whoa!! this was quick so Eccentia technologies launched an app a few days ago called “Ajj Kia Pakaen” or what to cook today and today it has reached the top of charts for Pakistani Stores on iTunes and google play store.

    “Ajj Kia Pakaen” is the most common question asked at every house hold in the morning. The ladies of the family have a hard time deciding what to cook for the day. The app has a fun interface and is simple to use, you fire it up, and it gives you an option of what to cook for the day, if you like the option you can check the …

    Read more →
  • Coffee Session General Marketing/Adv Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan

    Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan

     

    Until a few years back we used to have closed groups and forums, which gathered the like minded people and anyone targeting the online audience would tap into that forum and market his/her services. So PakGamers , PakPassion initially even PakWheels used to be driven by members talking about what they loved, people used to create marketing and sales opportunities from within those discussions (so you could get a good router cheap or a gaming PC etc).
    The advent of facebook changed all that, most of the forum goers moved to the new social media. It also made a very attractive market place for some one who does not …

    Read more →
  • General Getting back

    Getting back

    I  have been out of blogging for a long long long time, a lot of things happening on personal front (including a little startup I have ben doing my self). However during my absence I met a lot of people who had followed GreenWhite at its peak, read the articles regularly.

    I had hope there would be some one else who would come ahead and cover everything going on and around us in the local tech world. There are some guys doing a great job, but for some reason I still could not find one source where I can go and read about everything, so my routine usually is to …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Software & I.T. GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniITeam has successfully launched an official app for PakistanIdol. This is one of the first collaboration between a reality game show and a local app development company. I am sure a lot more would follow. Previously we have seen seenreport becoming the basis of mostly all channels citizen reporting system (Like Geo Dost). This is a healthy sign and with the advent of 3G round the corner it should become a business generator for our local firms.

    App allows you to follow the contestants that you like, promote them, comment on live feedback on an episode. It offers official content from the show since it is developed with partnership with …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls, one of the leading Pakistani IT companies, has recently added another feather to its cap. This time, in partnership with National Geographic, 10Pearls has released the new and improved GeoBee Challenge App – an interactive app to challenge and grow the geographic knowledge of the users.

    Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The competition is designed to encourage geography in the classroom, ignite student interest in the world around them, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    It’s heartening to see that Pakistani IT companies have now started to diversify themselves into non traditional areas, and are competing with global players in areas such as gaming. We have received information that 10Pearls, one of the leading  mobile and enterprise web development services companies in Pakistan, has spun-off a separate entity focused solely on developing and publishing casual mobile games.  The new entity, Game Plan8, will focus on creating 2D and 3D games for the iOS, Google Android, Kindle, Facebook and other platforms. Details can be seen on the company’s official press release at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/12/prweb11428177.htm

     …

    Read more →
  • General Telecom CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    If only were there two things when it comes to the law, firstly the fear of breaking it and by passing the legal authority, and secondly, implementation of the law given full dedication, there would have been less competency and dishonesty in business and society. However, keeping good faith, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has put forward “Deceptive Marketing Guidelines” which will maintain the Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010. In order to enforce this part of the law and stop anti-competitive conduct on part of the telecom companies in advertising, the guidelines have been shared with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and other concerned telecommunication sector members, in …

    Read more →