Chrome and Android have recently been melded together under the same division at Google... so does that mean a Chromephone is inevitable? It depends. The Chromebook Pixel line looks like Google is emulating Apple a bit with a kind of "we control hardware and software design" philosophy -- whereas the Android platform looks more like a "let's let developers go crazy and we'll worry about reigning them in later" design philosophy.
The strategy seems to be to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. So if people seem to want hardware that has been optimized for its OS (and be damned if the functionality of it suffers), then Google has that covered by ChromeOS. But if the market decides that apps are the most important feature of their mobile devices, then Android is Google's trump card.
So there might be a possibility for a chromephone that's basically a smarter featurephone that only does web apps. But in any event, Google needs to ramp up its Motorola supply chain to be able to develop and design cost effective and desirable phones -- no matter what OS they run.
I have a bit of a different view of Google's directions. I think that first and foremost they act to defend their ad business, which could have been threatened had Apple turned the smartphone business into their own little walled garden. So if you take Android as a way of insuring that smartphones don't end up validating an exclusive business model for a competitor, then "Chromephone" might be something similar in the featurephone space, and at the same time a way of making an end-run around Apple, who isn't all that happy with dumbing down phones.
It's likely that Google's strategy with Android was simply to keep Apple from getting a monopoly in smartphones. That goal has been achieved, and more. So a person has to wonder what's going to come next for Google and Android.
The introduction of the Pixel Chromebook and other chromebooks, acquisition of Motorola, development of Google Glass, demonstrate that Google wants its own hardware line. it can do that with Android simply by turning Motorola into a premier distributor of Android phones. No "Chromephone" need apply.
On the other hand, Google's history with Android and Chrome indicates that it has no compunctions about introducing products that, at least at first, compete with each other. So why not a third mobile OS?
The whole Amazon.reader debate is a double-stupid. It's stupid to think that there's any e-book buyer who doesn't know Amazon's URL, and it was stupider to let ICANN launch the whole free-form TLD initiative to start with.
YouTube's move to a partial pay-for-view model could help relieve a dearth of good new content but it could also complicate debates in many parts of the world over payment by content providers for delivery of their material to customers.
That's what Larry Page said on Google's earnings call, referring to the conjunction of mobile and the cloud. Well, let's chart it then! We need to be thinking about an Internet where 90% of our traffic goes to 70 destinations within 40 miles of us.
Facebook's Graph Search may face some profound challenges and risks, first, because Facebook users haven't been thinking of their posts as product reviews; and second, because Facebook will now have to contend with the social-network equivalent of SEO "gaming" of results.
EU operators are considering joining up to create a pan-European network to reduce competitive overbuild and cost. This might lower costs and focus operators on higher-level, more interesting services.
A survey by JD Powers found that customer interest in product features is lessening as phones evolve. Rather than features, price is driving purchases, and that change could have a dramatic impact on how IT departments secure these devices.
Verizon's one-data-plan-for-all-devices could revolutionize mobile data by making it practical to have multiple devices share a plan, and thus encourage users to cellular-equip all their portable appliances.
To date, smartphone apps have only been able to work with 50Meg chunks of information. Well, recent technical advances have been able to boost that number to 4Gbytes. Consequently, developers will be able to work with more complex data types. But will wireless networks be able to handle the additional traffic?
The drive to stream TV directly to HD sets, to tablets, or to PCs in the home may create a broader demand for streaming, and this could create a major new source of traffic pressure on mobile networks, mobile pricing, and mobile service policies.
Google may give Microsoft an opening for its phone and tablet if it can't induce all the Android handset and tablet vendors to update their OSes to Version 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Forcing users to choose between buying a new device and having an obsolete OS is a bad idea.
Microsoft's buy of Skype could revitalize Phone 7, give Microsoft a social, gaming, and collaborative strategy, and spell the end for old-fashioned telco voice. It will also certainly give Google a headache in its Voice, Chat, and even Android strategy!
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