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November 05, 2007

Quick take on the expected Google phone

What Will Google Mean to Phones? - WSJ.com

Some salient speculation about how the Google phone will change smartphones:

1. By enticing developers for this new platform, chances are users in the US will begin to see services that have already taken hold in the rest of the world, such as multi-player games and streaming video.

I might add that the smartphone might even cut into the PC space. This story PCs Being Push Aside in Japan by Hiroko Tabuchi cites the stats to support this trend.

"The household PC market is losing momentum to other electronics like flat-panel TVs and mobile phones," said Masahiro Katayama, research group head at market survey firm IDC.

Overall PC shipments in Japan have fallen for five consecutive quarters, the first ever drawn-out decline in PC sales in a key market, according to IDC. The trend shows no signs of letting up: In the second quarter of 2007, desktops fell 4.8 percent and laptops 3.1 percent.

2. Google being as big as it is, and given the phenomenal success of the iPhone, carriers could be more willingly to reliquish control in order to be part of this potentially major device.

3. Internet start-ups might want to jump into the mobile development space which they have avoided up to this point. Think of the Facebook application boom.

4. Mobile content providers would also feel the impetus to step up their efforts to support this new platform. Again, this would begin to make laptops seem burdensome when you can enjoy YouTube or the other video sharing services on your smartphone.

5. Vertical markets begin to open up. Certainly, the clinical use of smartphones would be promoted by this super-converged handheld (convergence promotes ubiquity).

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