Finally, we go from rumor to an announcement. Google has now provided some details on its phone initiative. Adam Rubin, who is the mastermind behind Google's mobile platform initiatives has a blog entry that has all the relevant details for now. Some may be disappointed that Google has not announced another glitzy device (I am still partial to Apple iPhone!). But, their announcement makes far more sense than launching a phone in a competitive market. Why go after the commodity-end of the market anyway? It is far better to make software available for monetizing advertising on as many phones as possible than create a distinct brand of devices. It's smart thinking for the network era.
How successful will it be? That's a multi-billion dollar question (stock market valuations are based on Google's ability to be a dominant force in the mobile handsets). This strategy requires Google to become a leader in orchestrating an ecosystem and that is a new area for Google. This is an area that Microsoft has more experience and has historically done well. What Google is trying to do is to become 'Google Inside' the mobile phones of tomorrow. It is a strategic move that is brilliant but requires flawless execution. Intel succeeded with this strategy with a broad set of personal computer makers that were creating Wintel (Windows-Intel) computers and laptops. Can Google succeed with 'Google Inside' mobile phones? Worth watching since it marks a shift in its strategy that calls for new capabilities for orchestrating a portfolio of relationships.