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Mayer At SES: Google Mobile Bump

By - August 25, 2007

Google’s got a bump in summer mobile traffic, Marissa says at SES (ars). I have to say, this is consistent with my usage – I use Google a lot on my BlackBerry.

I have to say, I don’t see why a Gphone makes sense. Just ride the top of the platform that is already being built in mobile….

What do you guys think? You want a Gphone? You use Google a lot on your phones?

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19 thoughts on “Mayer At SES: Google Mobile Bump

  1. skip says:

    My mobile browser is set to use Google Reader as the start page, I check my Gmail account on the mobile, use Google Maps, and Google’s mobile search. But would I use a Google-branded phone? Nope. I also use Microsoft Live Search and Yahoo Go on my mobile.

  2. TomLee says:

    I don’t even want an iPhone.

  3. Hiroko says:

    I don’t care whose logo is on the phone; I just want a phone that’s not hamstrung by the phone company. My car doesn’t require that I buy only Chrysler gas, after all. I hate the iPhone because it’s the ultimate walled garden–only ATT, only Apple applications. I want the device and the service to be two separate decisions, like a personal computer and Internet service. Google’s been loudly lobbying the FCC on this issue, so if they eventually brings net neutrality to phones, more power to them.

  4. John Battelle says:

    I totally agree about No Walled Gardens. And I think Google can use its influence to help make that happen. But get into the phone biz? Dunno.

  5. John says:

    I use the Java Gmail client on my Treo daily. Also, for local searches, I do quick searches on Google in my browser.

    Gphone – sure, why not? Of course, it depends how good of a phone and browser is on it, as how much the phone and service is (free?)

  6. Adam White says:

    I use Google on my Blackberry, nearly constantly. I installed the Gmail and Google Maps programs. I love them.

    That said, I would never buy a G-Phone. Google should stick with its core competencies and stay out of the hardware business.

    (I likely will never by an iPhone, either.)

  7. Adam White says:

    I forgot — Google Reader is my home page, too. What a nice interface.

  8. John Battelle says:

    But here’s what I don’t understand. Apple gets major publicity for doing a walled garden. Can Google do it differently?

  9. Hiroko says:

    I think that all of the speculation about Google getting into the phone hardware business is missing the point. Everything from their FCC lobbying, to giving away mobile applications, to hiring the founder of Danger (and absorbing his new startup in the process) a couple years ago points at them wanting open mobile software platforms. Remember last winter when a Google exec complained that cellular telcos were threatening to block Google apps? My guess is that they’re focussed on that (i.e., not getting locked out of mobile markets by providers), rather than on trying to compete with Nokia, Motorola, or Apple.

    (reference: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/communications/0,1000000085,39284850,00.htm)

  10. PaulSweeney says:

    A bunch of business friends have adopted the new Blackberry Pearl and THEN discovered gTalk for pearl. THEN my other half got one for home use. Now she IM’s me to leave the computer and come down for diner (the baby is asleep). Why Blackberry – Google and 3 don’t get together to push out “always on” services is beyond me. Does anybody know exactly how many Blackberry users have gTalk?

  11. Anna says:

    I love my iPhone. I’ve been using it constantly since I got it. Much more than I ever used my old smartphone. The apps on it that *just work* have made it really useful. There are a few things I’d like on there – like gTalk. But, overall, I’ve been really happy and the Google integration is a big part of the reason for that.

  12. Rocky says:

    I really would like to see much tighter integration of the phone and network-based services than we have today. With the heavy restrictions that carriers place on handsets in the U.S., it probably means that it would take something like a Gphone to push those services.

    Just one example: I want my phone book in the book to be the same as the address book in Gmail. I know there are sync based solutions that work at different levels of accuracy, but having it use the same data is a better way to go.

    Some more examples here:
    http://blog.agrawals.org/2007/08/23/iphone-as-your-social-network/

  13. TomLee says:

    Hiroko is closer to getting a feel for what all this gPhone talk is about. At the end of the day, when your mission is about organizing the world’s info, it makes for a difficult environment to accomplish that when you have a bunch closed networks and or from a cost perspective you must develop and deploy software stacks for each device and network to do so. The tact that Google is employing is to try to force these networks open.

    As well, the Mount.View WiFi project is, I suspect, as much about having a real world environment for an R&D Lab for Google as well as showing other companies in the telecom provisions space that this is a commercially viable environment to operate in and that they might pick up that mantle and expand that sort of communications environment Sprint/Google comes to mind.

    The potential bid for some of the 700mghz space is really about acquiring some of that C block to be able to lease to others that want to build open networks that Google and others will be able to develop hardware and software for.

    The simple facts that these 3 areas, wireless environments, hardware and software all need R&D work to create this outcome need 1 or more companies to really do the work required to make this happen. Google is leading that charge in all 3 areas. I don’t think they intend for one second to own and operate a services provisioning and device business. But some company has got to do the R&D leg work to make this happen.

    The AT&T’s of the world won’t because they’re comfortable with the walled gardens, and the handset makers themselves simply don’t have the financial resources to do it.

    Google, by it’s own desire to get as many people “connected” as possible see this as the only economically viable way to do so by virtue of mobile handsets being the cheapest and wireless broadband also being cheaper than deploying wired broadband in parts of the world that simply cant afford a wired broadband infrastructure.

    This requires R&D on all three fronts, service provisioning, software and hardware. The hardware R&D leads to rumors of a gPhone today especially in India and other Eastern parts of the world because that’s where it’s needed most as so many people exist yet do not have access to even dial-up service. Just as rumors of the GoogleNet where a-plenty a couple years ago from folks like Om Malik and Cringley as Google was in the development phase and proposal stage if city-wide WiFi in Mountain View.

    Tom

  14. Prabal Aggarwal says:

    hello Sir
    I have been highly inspired by your work ‘The Search’ and has been following your blog since the time I read the book.
    I have jotted down my thoughts about your blog here
    http://blogsinformatika.blogspot.com/2007/08/john-battelles-searchblog.html
    Keep posting, you are an authentic datasource for all Netizens.
    Regards
    Prabal

  15. Andrew Miller says:

    The thought of a gPhone is tempting, but they are by no means dominating the space enough for me to consider locking out all other vendors. Today I use my Treo 700p for Google Maps, google.com mobile, mobile gmail and mobile reader, but that’s not to say that by this time next year there won’t be better solutions out there. If there are, many people’s allegiances will shift as quickly as their device can download a new app.

    Leave the phones to the phone companies, focus on the apps.

  16. Hiroko says:

    Right–until the telcos remove the ability to install 3rd party apps. ATT is doing it with iPhone, Verizon does it with BREW, etc. That’s where Google is vulnerable in the mobile arena right now. You can’t compete on quality if you can’t even get your software onto the phone.

  17. JG says:

    I think I’ve said this once before, but I’ll say it again: Google does not have to manufacture the hardware in order for it to be a “GPhone”.

    There are three layers here: (1) hardware, (2) OS, and (3) software. If Google is just writing apps for existing phones, then I would agree that Google is not working on a “GPhone”. But if Google is constructing the OS layer that lets everything run, I would very much call it a GPhone.

    Why? For the same reason we call a desktop computer a “Microsoft PC” if it is running Windows. Did Microsoft make the hardware? Likely not. But it’s still a Microsoft PC. Even if it allows non-Microsoft apps to run on it.

    Same for the GPhone. If Google is making the OS, it is a GPhone. Even if the OS is open and anyone can write apps for it.

    But Google has continually denied rumours of the GPhone, which means they can only be making apps, and not OSes. But then Hiroko above makes an excellent point, in that Google cannot “just ride the top of the platform that is already being built in mobile”, because currently that platform is locked by the carriers. Even Windows is a more open platform than the current iPhone OS.

  18. “The tact that Google is employing is to try to force these networks open.” Definitly, Google Reader is one of my home pages too

  19. Lisa says:

    Here is where I would use a gPhone.

    When Google wifi’s the world for free. You now have over VOIP on your cell phone and never have to have a cell phone bill ever. Of course they would monetize it with relevant radio, tv, text ads but I am willing to do that to save $200 a month on phone bills.

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