free html hit counter Google and Partners Announce Open Platform for Mobile | John Battelle's Search Blog

Google and Partners Announce Open Platform for Mobile

By - November 05, 2007

Not news anymore, but here’s the release, in the extended entry below.

Journal coverage here.

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From: efors@google.com

Subject: Industry Leaders Announce Open Platform for Mobile Devices

Date: November 5, 2007 8:00:47 AM PST

To: jbat@battellemedia.com

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.; BONN, Germany; TAOYUAN, Taiwan; SAN DIEGO, Calif.; SCHAUMBERG, Ill. (November 5, 2007) — A broad alliance of leading technology and wireless companies today joined forces to announce the development of Android, the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. Google Inc., T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm, Motorola and others have collaborated on the development of Android through the Open Handset Alliance, a multinational alliance of technology and mobile industry leaders.

This alliance shares a common goal of fostering innovation on mobile devices and giving consumers a far better user experience than much of what is available on today’s mobile platforms. By providing developers a new level of openness that enables them to work more collaboratively, Android will accelerate the pace at which new and compelling mobile services are made available to consumers.

With nearly 3 billion users worldwide, the mobile phone has become the most personal and ubiquitous communications device. However, the lack of a collaborative effort has made it a challenge for developers, wireless operators and handset manufacturers to respond as quickly as possible to the ever-changing needs of savvy mobile consumers. Through Android, developers, wireless operators and handset manufacturers will be better positioned to bring to market innovative new products faster and at a much lower cost. The end result will be an unprecedented mobile platform that will enable wireless operators and manufacturers to give their customers better, more personal and more flexible mobile experiences.

Thirty-four companies have formed the Open Handset Alliance, which aims to develop technologies that will significantly lower the cost of developing and distributing mobile devices and services. The Android platform is the first step in this direction — a fully integrated mobile “software stack” that consists of an operating system, middleware, user-friendly interface and applications. Consumers should expect the first phones based on Android to be available in the second half of 2008.

The Android platform will be made available under one of the most progressive, developer-friendly open-source licenses, which gives mobile operators and device manufacturers significant freedom and flexibility to design products. Next week the Alliance will release an early access software development kit to provide developers with the tools necessary to create innovative and compelling applications for the platform.

Android holds the promise of unprecedented benefits for consumers, developers and manufacturers of mobile services and devices. Handset manufacturers and wireless operators will be free to customize Android in order to bring to market innovative new products faster and at a much lower cost. Developers will have complete access to handset capabilities and tools that will enable them to build more compelling and user-friendly services, bringing the Internet developer model to the mobile space. And consumers worldwide will have access to less expensive mobile devices that feature more compelling services, rich Internet applications and easier-to-use interfaces — ultimately creating a superior mobile experience.

Open Software, Open Device, Open Ecosystem

“This partnership will help unleash the potential of mobile technology for billions of users around the world. A fresh approach to fostering innovation in the mobile industry will help shape a new computing environment that will change the way people access and share information in the future,” said Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt. “Today’s announcement is more ambitious than any single ‘Google Phone’ that the press has been speculating about over the past few weeks. Our vision is that the powerful platform we’re unveiling will power thousands of different phone models.”

“As a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance, T-Mobile is committed to innovation and fostering an open platform for wireless services to meet the rapidly evolving and emerging needs of wireless customers,” said René Obermann, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Telekom, parent company of T-Mobile. “Google has been an established partner for T-Mobile’s groundbreaking approach to bring the mobile open Internet to the mass market. We see the Android platform as an exciting opportunity to launch robust wireless Internet and Web 2.0 services for T-Mobile customers in the US and Europe in 2008.”

“HTC’s trademark on the mobile industry has been its ability to drive cutting-edge innovation into a wide variety of mobile devices to create the perfect match for individuals,” said Peter Chou, Chief Executive Officer, HTC Corp. “Our participation in the Open Handset Alliance and integration of the Android platform in the second half of 2008 enables us to expand our device portfolio into a new category of connected mobile phones that will change the complexion of the mobile industry and re-create user expectations of the mobile phone experience.”

“The convergence of the wireless and Internet industries is creating new partnerships, evolving business models and driving innovation,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer of Qualcomm. “We are extremely pleased to be participating in the Open Handset Alliance, whose mission is to help build the leading open-source application platform for 3G networks. The proliferation of open-standards-based handsets will provide an exciting new opportunity to create compelling services and devices. As a result, we are committing research and development resources to enable the Android platform and to create the best always-connected consumer experience on our chipsets.”

“Motorola has long been an advocate of open software for mobile platforms. Today, we’re excited to continue this support by joining Google and others in the announcement of the Open Handset Alliance and Android platform. Motorola plans to leverage the Android platform to enable seamless, connected services and rich consumer experiences in future Motorola products,” said Ed Zander, Chairman and CEO of Motorola, Inc.

Open Handset Alliance Founding Members

Aplix (www.aplixcorp.com), Ascender Corporation (www.ascendercorp.com), Audience (www.audience.com), Broadcom (www.broadcom.com), China Mobile (www.chinamobile.com), eBay (www.ebay.com), Esmertec (www.esmertec.com), Google (www.google.com), HTC (www.htc.com), Intel (www.intel.com), KDDI (www.kddi.com), LivingImage (www.livingimage.jp), LG (www.lge.com), Marvell (www.marvell.com), Motorola (www.motorola.com), NMS Communications (www.nmscommunications.com), Noser (www.noser.com), NTT DoCoMo, Inc. (www.nttdocomo.com), Nuance (www.nuance.com), Nvidia (www.nvidia.com), PacketVideo (www.packetvideo.com), Qualcomm (www.qualcomm.com), Samsung (www.samsung.com), SiRF (www.sirf.com), SkyPop (www.skypop.com), SONiVOX (www.sonivoxrocks.com), Sprint Nextel (www.sprint.com), Synaptics (www.synaptics.com), TAT – The Astonishing Tribe (www.tat.se), Telecom Italia (www.telecomitalia.com), Telefónica (www.telefonica.com), Texas Instruments (www.ti.com), T-Mobile (www.t-mobile.com), Wind River (www.windriver.com)

For more information about the Open Handset Alliance, visit the website at www.openhandsetalliance.com.

About Google

Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.

About T-Mobile

T-Mobile is one of the world’s leading companies in mobile communications. As one of Deutsche Telekom’s three strategic business units, T-Mobile concentrates on the most dynamic markets in Europe and the United States. Almost 112 million mobile customers were served by companies of the Deutsche Telekom group by June 30, 2007. The common technology platform is based on GSM, the world’s most successful digital wireless standard. This also makes T-Mobile the only mobile communications provider with a seamless transatlantic service.

About HTC

Founded in 1997, HTC Corp. (HTC) designs, manufactures and markets innovative, feature rich smartphones. Since its establishment, HTC has developed strong R&D capabilities, pioneered many new designs and product innovations and launched a broad portfolio of smartphones for mobile operators and distributors in Europe, the US and Asia. These devices are available as HTC products and as products individually customized for operator and device partners. HTC is one of the fastest growing companies in the mobile device market. The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange under ticker 2498. For more information about HTC, please visit http://www.htc.com.

About Qualcomm

Qualcomm Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on CDMA and other advanced technologies. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in the S&P 500 Index and is a 2007 FORTUNE 500® company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market® under the ticker symbol QCOM.

About Motorola

Motorola is known around the world for innovation and leadership in wireless and broadband communications. Inspired by our vision of seamless mobility, the people of Motorola are committed to helping you connect simply and seamlessly to the people, information and entertainment that you want and need. We do this by designing and delivering “must have” products, “must do” experiences and powerful networks — along with a full complement of support services. A Fortune 100 company with global presence and impact, Motorola had sales of US $42.8 billion in 2006. For more information about our company, our people and our innovations, please visit http://www.motorola.com.

Media Contacts

Google: Erin Fors, efors@google.com, 415-939-0582

Deutsche Telekom: Michael Lange, Michael.Lange@t-mobile.net, +49(0)228 936 15500

T-Mobile USA, Peter Dobrow, mediarelations@t-mobile.com, 425-383-4002

HTC: Jason Gordon, jason_gordon@htc.com, 425-679-5337

Qualcomm: Kira Golin, qctpublicrelations@qualcomm.com, 858-204-8156

Motorola: Paul Alfieri, paul.alfieri@motorola.com, 847-660-9176

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All company and product names may be trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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4 thoughts on “Google and Partners Announce Open Platform for Mobile

  1. JG says:

    The Android platform is the first step in this direction — a fully integrated mobile “software stack” that consists of an operating system, middleware, user-friendly interface and applications.

    Huh? What does this mean? “Fully integrated”? Last time I heard that line, from Microsoft in 1996, a fully integrated software stack meant that IE was an unseparable part of Windows. Now it is being reported that Google’s (ahem, sorry, “Android’s”) platform also has applications that are fully integrated with the operating system?

    So, fine, you can add other applications to this platform. But from this language above, it sounds like you cannot take Google’s applications off. You cannot have the OS without the Google (ahem, sorry, “Android”) applications.

    Un. ac. ceptable.

    Will someone please clarify this? Am I reading this correctly?

  2. Hiroko says:

    From the press reports of what the Google execs actually said, it’s quite clear that the Google apps will not be locked in, in the way (for example) MS does with Windows Mobile. And if they really do release it as open source, anyone will be able to remove anything they don’t like.

    This appears to be aimed directly at Windows Mobile and the big carriers, to try to make the mobile phone market more like the personal computer market and less like cable TV.

  3. JG says:

    Hiroko, could you send links to some of those press reports you are talking about? Because from the press report above, the only quote from a Google exec is Schmidt saying that he hopes the Google platform will power thousands of different mobile phones. This says nothing about the ability to wipe such a phone completely clean of any and all Google applications (esp. the advertising applications), and only retain the bare operating system.

    Please, post the links where this is clarified.

  4. nebby says:

    “mobile” is they say the future of the net. Anybody know if google plans to do anything major with shopping for its mobile platform? maybe something like mosh?
    Thanks
    nebby