Google changes mobile strategy

By vmazek
In Cloud
May 16, 2012
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upon a time Google decided it would change the way cell phones were sold, in a bid to make cell phones more free. They offered their Google Nexus phone online and sold it directly first on TMobile and then on tons of other platforms. Turns out the consumers weren’t as confident in those early Android phones and the effort not just flopped in a massive failure but also made phone carriers more powerful than ever with the new platform to distribute what can only be called carrier crapware.

But it got even worse – carriers also managed to control which updates the devices they were subsidizing would get. If at all. More often updates would get delayed and many brought up the argument of problems Android would have with fragmentation – where some software will not work on newer or older phones.

So how do you fix the problem of having carriers and handset manufacturers dictating what goes on the phone? Easy: You buy a phone manufacturer that has billions of dollars worth of patents. Enter Motorola Mobility, which Google recently bought, and you’ve got another try at taking some power away from the carriers.

As reported by Wall Street Journal, Google will release Android ahead of time to Motorola, Samsung, Sony, HTC and Asus.

Let’s track the money

Facebook recently reported that most of it’s traffic comes from mobile devices – not your computer!

Google doesn’t make money on the phones, it makes it on search advertising and other mobile services. So if Apple decides to ditch Google for Bing or it’s own platform it will take lot of money from their pockets.

This is why we have such a dirty and global battle over mobility: Whoever controls the device also controls the services that are shipped with that device. Money isn’t necessarily on the device itself but all the services it touches – from mobile payments to advertisements to the way calls are made and placed.

Carriers do not want to become dumb poles and bars – and Google doesn’t want them to be anything more. For the moment, the carriers need Android and Android needs the carriers because nobody wants their partner-competitor to become very powerful.

In the meantime it’s the consumers that win, right? Not really. We are just being pushed up to more expensive devices and more expensive data plans. Verizon in fact is killing the grandfathered unlimited plans as soon as you upgrade to 4G.


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Author: Vlad Mazek