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November 20, 2007

Will Google buy Sprint?

Should or shouldn't Google buy Sprint?

I hate this slide show format by eWeek, but I guess they're able to show more pages of advertising in the process by doing this. What follows is a summary plus my take on this topic.

Why Google should buy Sprint:

This move essentially makes Google a player in the cell phone market. It puts them in a position to come up with a product to their liking without carrier interference, which is where the iPhone suffers.

They can develop the suggested ad model that would make this cell phone very inexpensive or free depending upon the subsidy from the agreement to view ads.

Very importantly, with this new wunderdevice, the can effectively compete with Yahoo as *the* mobile search engine. Google and Yahoo both play a role on the iPhone. You can bet won't be on the gPhone.

Buying Sprint, and 700 MHz spectrum puts them on track to possibly be the largest carrier eventually. This is assuming that the gPhone will receive overwhelming interest with the public.

Since Google has created the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), there is a opening for developers that the iPhone doesn't have.

Google is not necessarily interested in selling minutes, or selling services--they want market dominance to sell ads. The revenue generating model changes in way that Verizon Wireless and AT&T can't compete.

Why Google shouldn't:

With a $45 billion market cap, Sprint could prove to be too big a purchase for Google. YouTube and DoubleClick at nothing compared to this company.

Sprint’s inability to make the ClearWire deal work might show that it might not work well with Google either.

This might be the one false move that shows this company’s arrogance by dominating a market.

The OHA may fall by the wayside now that two members are now joined together.

Essentially, it comes down to what the plans for the gPhone are all about. If Google can come up with a device that catches fire, being boosted by Sprint's infrastructure could take this device to heights never seen. If their collaboration with Sprint doesn't take hold, and leadership becomes a problem, it could be a long and difficult journey. But, except for the iPhone the other carriers are not coming up with any phone worth talking about. It you want to make a splash in the mobile world, choosing the iPhone as a target is what you have to do.

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