The “mobile web” has taken a long time to arrive — think about how quickly the Internet-based Web grew — because the mobile phone has a chokepoint that the Internet didn’t have: operators who can nix developments on their closed platforms. While it looks like the Googlephone is at least six months away, Forbes reports on Google’s announcement of an “Open Handset Alliance:”
By creating a commonly shared software platform, called “Android,” Google executives contend that the future phone should be cheaper to produce compared to other high-functioning models. Those cost savings could either be pocketed by the companies or passed on to consumers. Google hopes–though it will take a year or more to find out–that the economics of a cheaper, easily re-engineered handset will create a phone-development environment far different from today’s proprietary closed models–in which a small number of service providers dictate to relatively few manufacturers what they want on their custom-designed models–and closer to the “fast and cheap” Internet design model.
The software development kit, along with software tools for building applications, is slated to be released to alliance members in a few weeks