Monday, November 05, 2007

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words - Fox News Get To The Nub

The rumours surrounding the alleged Google phone, currently actually saying it will be a Google mobile OS, have been summed up rather nicely by Fox News in one single diagram which distills everything we know for sure about the advertising juggernaut's mobile plans:

Caption: "What the HTC Touch smartphone might look like with a Google operating system."

Technically that is incorrect, they forgot to add "if it were on Sprint", but we'll let them off as Fox News viewers have never been sticklers for accuracy. The diagram is still genius in that it really does encapsulate all of the facts, removing all the unsubstantiated dross around the edges.

The article goes on to talk about what "innumerable, but still anonymous, tech-industry sources" have been saying for ages. Here we descend back onto more familiar Fox News territory, regurgitating what people want to hear without worrying too much about reality; we know it's what people want to hear because so many bloggers have been writing about for so long. There's no echo chamber effect here, oh no.

Amid the myriad of rumours, there have been a few interesting posts such as Skydeck's 5 predictions (via this week's Carnival), rare in its application of actual real numbers and some insight into the industry and lack of religious certainty in the greatness of Google. It's also correct in pointing out that whilst Google has managed to turn out a few very nice Java apps, when it comes to mobilising their bread and butter service (Adwords) they've done a piss poor job - anyone who remembers their pre-YouTube video forays may have to pause and wonder for a second what a Google phone OS might look like. All experience suggests that whatever comes out of Google, it won't have an iPhone-level experience.

So hands up who thinks their current phone has too much screen space and desperately needs a serious percentage of real estate dedicated to advertising, with the UI hobbled to make the ads easily clickable? Think about how many keypresses it takes you to navigate round your menus before you answer that one, and mobile operators - you can put your hands back down right now, you don't count and your enthusiasm speaks volumes about who will benefit.

No, just like the iPhone, the Google phone / OS / whatever will mainly be interesting for what it does to shake up the industry. It is unlikely to have the polish of the fruit company's wares and it probably won't have such a positive effect on competition either, but at least it'll ruffle some complacent feathers.