From the Journal:
Google Inc. is close to unveiling its long-planned strategy to shake up the wireless market, people familiar with the matter say. The Web giant’s ambitious goal: to make applications and services as accessible on cellphones as they are on the Internet.
In a move likely to kick off an intense debate about the future shape of the cellphone industry, Google wants to make it easier for cellphone customers to get a variety of extra services on their phones — from maps to social-networking features to video-sharing. To get its way, however, the search giant will have to overcome resistance from wireless carriers and deal with potentially thorny security and privacy issues.
What I want to know is this: Will I be locked into certain software apps on my Google phone – or can I treat it with the same indifference I do with the PC Internet? In other words, will I be able to wipe the Google apps off, and use other apps if I choose to? Or is this going to be a distribution play for Google’s apps?
A clue is here in the article:
The Google-powered phones are expected to wrap together several Google applications — among them, its search engine, Google Maps, YouTube and Gmail email — that have already made their way onto some mobile devices. The most radical element of the plan, though, is Google’s push to make the phones’ software “open” right down to the operating system, the layer that controls applications and interacts with the hardware. That means independent software developers would get access to the tools they need to build additional phone features.
But that still doesn’t tell me if I can use the phone as a blank slate, so to speak, or if I have to use Google software.