I was reading Walt Mossberg’s first impressions of the new G1 phone, the often-mentioned mobile device designed by [praized subtype=”small” pid=”3860b2c64636cc5633b387557a048bc9″ type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] and built by HTC. A couple of comments struck me. First, Mossberg writes:
“Google’s new G1 phone announced today is the first real competitor to the iPhone. Like [praized subtype=”small” pid=”a8f1a0cbb34ab038327f20af2e5e24ca” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”]’s product, it’s a serious handheld computer with a powerful new operating system (called Android) and a clever touch-based user interface. Like the iPhone, it’s likely to be a major new platform for third-party software.”
He adds later:
“A second big feature, or limitation, of the G1 — depending on your point of view — is that it is tightly tied to Google’s web-based email, contacts and calendar programs. In fact, you must have a Google (GOOG) account to use the phone, and can only synchronize the phone’s calendar and address book with Google online services.”
What it means: Strategy to carve out an important portion of a nascent mobile market; 1) Create an open source mobile operating system (Android); 2) make sure your core services works well with that O/S; 3) partner with hardware manufacturers to build your device (devices?). Don’t forget the browser (Chrome)! This is a very smart strategy. For impacts on local search, look at the implementation of Google Street View in the demo found on the T-Mobile Web site.
Update: you can’t compare the iPhone to the G1 from a device perspective. Think about software, not hardware.