Nov 6, 2007

[World Domination] Open Handset Alliance takes on everyone else

And that includes the giants: Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Microsoft, and Apple.

After much speculation, Google, together with other technology partners, made two major announcements today.

First, the Open Handset Alliance was introduced. The group was formed to "accelerate innovation in mobile and offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience." No, there is no gPhone, but there will be "gPhones". What the OHA wants is an open ecosystem for mobile development through an open platform.

The OHA also introduced AndroidTM. Android is an open mobile software stack, which includes an operating system, a user interface, middleware, and applications. The ecosystem that the OHA envisions centers on Android as the platform for development. That means all partners comprising OHA are committed to develop hardware and software based on Android.

The opportunities are vast for all stakeholders, including end users:

1. For developers, it will be easier to develop and push applications for mobile phones, at a lesser cost and learning curve. The Alliance will also provide mechanisms for commercialization and distribution of applications.
2. For mobile operators, they will be able to offer cheaper phones and differentiated products. They can customize an Android-enabled device to their own specifications.
3. For device manufacturers, it is much tougher, since all of them will produce devices based on a single platform. This should spur manufacturers to innovate in order to differentiate their products. Using a single and open platform allows them the flexibility in developing devices.
4. In the end, this gives consumers a wider array of choices. And who knows, if someone from the Alliance releases a user-friendly toolkit, consumers can make their own applications even without programming knowledge.

Will the Alliance succeed? That remains to be seen, couple that with the way non-members react.

Google press release
Official Google Blog entry on OHA and Android

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