Carl Howe speculates that if Google is going to release their own phone, it’d be unsubsidized and unlocked, able to run on any major carrier’s network. That would still be contrary to what Andy Rubin said last month, and still strikes me as something that would antagonize existing Android handset makers. And you’d still have to pay for a monthly voice and data plan, the cost of which isn’t likely to be any less than the plans for subsidized phones.
But, if this is what Google has in mind, perhaps Google itself would be willing to “subsidize” the cost of the phone to some degree in anticipation of mobile advertising revenue. There’d have to be some sort of hook like that, because a starting price of $400 or $500 just isn’t going to cut it against subsidized iPhones and Droids that start at $99.
If there’s any truth to this Google phone rumor, I think Mike Arrington may be onto something here:
The Google Phone may be a data only, VoIP driven device. And
Google may be lining up at least AT&T to provide those data
services for the Google Phone, says one person we spoke with
The idea is that you’d just pay for a data plan, get a phone number and voice mail through Google Voice, and all your “calls” and SMS would go over IP. Lower monthly bill, no bullshit about minutes. It’s a wonderful idea — I just can’t believe any of the U.S. carriers would go for it.
To watch this video from Microsoft regarding the upcoming IE 9’s support for standards and interoperability, you must install Silverlight. (Via Mark Pilgrim.)
I’ve started a log of who’s afraid (and not) of the terrorists.
My eight-year-old son, Joel, comes into my office to ask if there’s
a worse swearword than fuck. “No,” I say.
There’s a silence. “You’re lying,” he says.
“There’s none worse than fuck,” I say.
Joel narrows his eyes. “I know you’re lying,” he says.
(Ronson made the excellent documentary Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes.)
Mike Arrington says Google is definitely making its own phone, coming in “early 2010”:
Way more interesting are the rumors we’ve been hearing for
months about a pure Google-branded phone. Most of our sources have
unconfirmed information, which we describe below. But there are a
few things we have absolutely confirmed: Google is building their
own branded phone that they’ll sell directly and through
retailers. They were long planning to have the phone be available
by the holidays, but it has now slipped to early 2010. The phone
will be produced by a major phone manufacturer but will only have
Google branding (Microsoft did the same thing with their first
Zunes, which were built by Toshiba).
That puts Arrington on the same side as the almost-always-full-of-shit Scott Moritz. On the other side: Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering for Android at Google, who just two weeks ago said Google would not “compete with its customers” and “We’re not making hardware. We’re enabling other people to build hardware.”
So either Mike Arrington is totally wrong or Andy Rubin is a liar.
At the outset of Google’s Android initiative, I was a proponent of their creating a Google-branded, Google-designed reference handset. But at this point, after promising their hardware partners for 18 months that they wouldn’t do that, I don’t see how Google could do it without infuriating their partners and spoiling their trust. It’d be like what Microsoft did to its PlaysForSure partners when it introduced the Zune.
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