Can Google Outsmart the Smartphone?
Now that Apple's new iPhone has dominated the high-tech industry landscape this week, the real question is: what comes next? Will the sleek, slick "zippy" (as Steve Jobs termed it) device make it in the enterprise business market, or is its fate to be meremy a consumer novelty?
It's a relevant question because Google is waiting in the wings is Google with its Android mobile operating system. So far, it's still more vision than reality. However, as BBC News notes in an interview with Android's creator, the system could herald the same sort of open application development in the mobile space as we already find on the Web. And that could have big ramifications for the channel, both in new mobile devices and applications.
Now as Apple noted in its latest iPhone announcement, there is a lot more open application development promised with more than 20,000 developers on board. But Google is delivering a significantly more open environment to developers to work in -- they won't be bounds by a single vendor's source code, for example -- and that could ultimately mean Android delivers much richer capability on a wider universe of mobile devices. Will the Open Handset Alliance that Google helped establish be able to deliver on that broad potential? That remains to be seen, but what Android delivers should certainly prove intriguing.